Saturday, October 30, 2010

Restoring Whose Sanity?

Stephen Colbert once said that "reality has a well-known liberal bias."  So, it appears, does sanity -- and that is my problem with the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear.  I love Jon Stewart.  He is incredibly funny, smart and insightful, and the best media critic out there.  And although the rally was embraced and attended by a left-leaning crowd, there was a false equivalency underlying the premise of the rally:  That pundits and politicians on both sides of the political spectrum are at fault for the caustic state of political discourse in this country.  However, the crazed rants of Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly are simply not mirror images of the fact-based, if impartial, reporting of Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann.  Calling Obama a Nazi is not analogous to referring to Tea Partiers who have links to supremacist and anti-immigration groups as "racist." One only has to look at the escalating level violence and violent rhetoric on the right, culminating in the stomping of a MoveOn supporter in Kentucky by the county coordinator for Senate candidate Rand Paul, to see the stark contrast in methodology.  In Congress, Democrats to their great discredit, in my opinion, have tried and continue to try to compromise with the Republicans.  Republicans view their goal as ensuring that Obama is a one-term President and, as Sen. Mitch McConnell declared, they will "do everything -- and I mean everything we can do -- to kill, stop and slow down" the President's agenda.  If the Republicans take control of Congress they  promise to repeal legislation, shut down government, issue subpoenas and investigate the Administration, and even foment armed revolt.  Now that is something to really fear.
[Related posts: Seemed Like A Good Idea at the TimeFollow the Money, Good to Know]


Stephen said...

David Carr, business columnist for The Times, responds (sort of and not really satisfyingly) to your critique of the rally's partisan even-handedness.

Stewart's Solomonic approach dodged blaming one side of the aisle more than the other in favor of lambasting both and took special aim at their midwives -- the media. Carr defends his ilk.

Carr's weakest argument:
"But here’s the problem: Most Americans don’t watch or pay attention to cable television. In even a good news night, about five million people take a seat on the cable wars, which is less than 2 percent of all Americans. People are scared of what they see in their pay envelopes and neighborhoods, not because of what Keith Olbermann said last night or how Bill O’Reilly came back at him. "

Puncture away. . .

Stephen said...

Pithy HuffPo comment in response to "Keith Olbermann: Jon Stewart Jumped The Shark At Rally":

Fox and MSNBC are both "the media" in the same way that evolution and creationism are both theories. There IS a difference.

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