Drum and Dumber
by dj moonbat
Kevin Drum is a very bright guy. He writes great prose. He regularly has incisive commentary on an impressive array of topics.
Today, he goes and fucks it all up. In a post entitled "Let Us Now Praise Daily Newspapers," Mr. Drum argues that because, as Atrios notes, the right wing wants to shut the media up, we can't fall into the trap of bashing the dailies along with them:
We can kid ourselves all we want that our toughlove approach to media criticism is aimed only at "making them better," but that's not what the public hears. They hear a group of squabbling teenagers who both agree that newspapers suck. So they tune out. And all that's left is network news with its 90-second "in-depth" segments, 20/20 and A Current Affair, talk radio, and blogs.
Now, Atrios is correct that the right is out to destroy the media — especially the major national dailies, which set the tone for so much other coverage because they're the ones with serious reporting capabilities. This has been a key goal of theirs for decades, and conservative bloggers are merely their latest foot soldiers. And why not? 80% of the most popular political blogs are conservative, so media bashing is a twofer: it eliminates an enemy and simultaneously promotes a medium that's dominated by conservatives.
Given all this, liberals should think very hard before joining the media bashing crusade too eagerly. Sure, the New York Times employs Judith Miller, and the pressure of daily deadlines promotes too much lazy he-said/she-said reporting on their pages, but guess what? It's still the best newspaper in the world, bar none. If you really believe the Times is a piece of crap, your problem is not with the Times, it's with the current state of the art in human perfectibility.
This strategy can bring nothing but doom. If the NYT or WaPo experiences, say, an attack from the right like this week's Newsweek assault, and as liberals we choose to take the looong view, and speak proudly in support of America's dailies, who benefits from that exchange? I'll give you a hint...