fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Commentary

Who&

s crying now?

The only thing that the Ace of Spades has up the sleeve is an ax begging for a grind.

Ace, a popular conservative blogger, lashed out at The Associated Press last week for allegedly insinuating that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was an ogre who drove the wife of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito to tears last week by suggesting that Alito is a bigot.

The &

offensive&

passage is this: &

&

145;Judge Alito, I am sorry that you&

ve had to go through this. I am sorry that your family has had to sit here and listen to this,&

said Graham. Moments earlier, the senator had asked Alito, &

145;Are you really a closet bigot?&

The nominee said no, and Graham said, &

145;No, sir, you&

re not.&

&

Ace&

s Jan. 12 response was telling: &

Are you freakin&

kidding me? How do they have the nerve? A correction must be issued. AP simply cannot be allowed to get away with this sort of blatant misrepresentation. No, it&

s worse than that &

it&

s an outright deliberate lie.&

Is it? The AP writer indicated Graham had been attempting all along to defuse the bigot charge, captured in his assuring words, &

No, sir, you&

re not.&

If this is not clear to Ace and others, it could be due to a flaw in the writing, not due to that tiresome charge of a Marxist conspiracy within the establishment media.

Are most big-paper reporters and editors liberal? Yes. Does that mean a conspiracy is afoot? No.

Pressing questions remain about how to make sense of an enterprise in which most front-line workers have a liberal worldview, while their owners have a more conservative worldview &

and while both worldviews are trumped by a need to titillate through trivia and shock.

Pressing questions remain about how the Internet will reshape the economics of organizations that are still the planet&

s dominant disseminators of information.

But the conservative activists-cum-commentators mock serious debate by feverishly dwelling on big newspapers&

political coverage, constantly connecting the dots to reinforce their sense of victimhood in the only arena that matters to them: their own partisan obsessions.

Matt Welch, associate editor for the libertarian Reason magazine, has tied animosity against the supposed left-wing &

MSM&

(mainstream media) agenda to Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach&

s observation that &

if you stare at anything long enough, it will look more like what you&

re obsessed with than what it actually is.&

Welch noticed the phenomenon in another MSM-hating blogger, Hugh Hewitt, when Hewitt protested that the establishment media &

swept under the rug&

the issue of a 2004 campaign-related photograph in which John Kerry&

s face looked, um, too orange.

Conservative activists cheer their followers with campfire stories about the gods smiting snotty elitists in the establishment media. (Googling &

out of touch&

and &

MSM&

yields 120,000 results. Googling &

hopelessly out of touch&

and &

MSM&

still yields 132 snarling results.)

They love to blame the MSM for serious damage to the national psyche. But they also love, ironically, to contend that no one takes the MSM seriously anymore.

Such activists vilify the &

Left Angeles Times&

for allegedly padding its paid circulation figures, and Hewitt has denounced the newspaper as a dinosaur being supplanted by &

new media&

such as his own blog. Yet the Times remains the dominant voice of its region and a significant voice nationally. It drew 3.9 million separate U.S. visitors to its website in October 2005, according to the impartial Nielsen/NetRatings.

While the Los Angeles Times reports a (perhaps exaggerated) paid circulation of 900,000, along with a larger pass-around audience and its massive web audience, Hewitt&

s famed website draws 42,000 visits a day &

which would generously translate to perhaps only 15,000 unique visitors.

Even Hewitt ally and MSM critic Michelle Malkin has reined in the wishful thinking of new-media conservatives. Hewitt is &

stretching the truth when he says &

145;more than 10 million people&

have visited his blog since its inception in 2002,&

Malkin wrote in March of 2005. &

His site may have been visited 10 million times, but that&

s not the same as 10 million visitors.&

A mere 8,000 visitors dropping by daily could achieve the 10 million visits count.

As Reason&

s Welch wrote last year, &

Right-leaning news operations, and even bloggers themselves, may soon taste the same deeply skeptical scrutiny and scorn they&

ve long heaped on the mainstream media.&

The reckoning may not be pleasant.