Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hugh Hewitt on the Home-town Refs

Click here for AmazonHugh Hewitt pounds Howard Kurtz flatter than a penny on a railroad track after the 5PM express. Kurtz, of course, had busily refuted the Fineman proposition that the mainstream media is truly another political party. Hewitt's salvos are among the loudest and most powerful blows to land on Kurtz, but by no means the only ones.

[Kurtz said:] ...the stereotype-they're liberal, and therefore they work overtime to stick it to Republicans--doesn't hold up. Some journalists clearly liked Clinton during the '92 campaign, but anyone who thinks the Clinton administration got good coverage from the press--remember that Whitewater, Travelgate, illegal fundraising, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Monica Lewinsky and the marc rich pardon were all press-driven stories--is seriously misguided. relations between the Clinton team and the Fourth Estate were incredibly tense in '98 and '99. and kerry was often depicted by the press as a cold and bumbling candidate, at least until the debates...

To combat this, Kurtz cites a string of Clinton scandals, which is not responsive. It isn't that major media refuses to cover news --though the studied indifference to big stories like Kerry's repeated and vehement claims to have been on an illegal mission to Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1969 or his fabled "magic hat," or the claim of having met with every member of the U.N. Security Council etc etc went almost completely uncovered by the Kerry cheering section in MSM-- it is that they act like the home town referee in the big game with the cross state rival. The refs will call most of the flagrant fouls committed by the home team, but they'll miss the close calls, or they will see the out-of-towners holding whenever they really need to.

Dems get the home-field advantage --all the time, in every game, and even on some flagrant calls. Notice that Howard's list doesn't include Juanita Broaddrick? I love to remind people that editors at the Los Angeles Times deleted a reference to Broaddrick from a January 2001 George Will column about Bill Clinton. Such is the power of the home-town ref. And does Kurtz really want to argue that the MSM has followed up on the Rich pardon? Sure, the MSM covered the Clinton travails, and Keith Olberman compared Ken Starr's looks to those of Himmler's...

...To hell with metaphors, MSM is a party, using Webster's third definition: "a group of persons who support one side of a dispute, question etc."

...[Admitting] deep and significant bias in the news gathering and production operations of MSM would require a remedy. It would require a remedy because it contradicts the central claim of MSM to be objective. Nobody wants "objective" news that is really "partisan." The remedy would be the hiring of counter-partisans, which would really rebalance the very unbalanced MSM. But there are only so many jobs. Start hiring center-right journalists, and center-left journalists are going to go looking for work.

...Power is not often surrendered. But is often involuntarily ceded, and that is what happening as we sit here, with the blogosphere draining media credibility day by day. To stop the hemorrhaging, MSM is going to have to repopulate their ranks with voices and bylines credible to the center-right...

Hugh Hewitt: Ideological Affirmative Action

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