Our understanding of the media has changed. Many conservatives agree that the profession of journalism died during the 2008 presidential campaign. There's not a not a mainstream media now. There's not a left-wing media now. And there's no longer a conservative media, either. Many erstwhile conservatives spent last week and weekend beating the drum of tea party criticism. Media outlets once thought to be at least fair, if not outright sympathetic, to tea party conservative values were openly hostile during the debt ceiling battle in Congress. Tea party conservatives learned a hard, but valuable lesson last week.
They're all media now.
Many pundits and publications that used to be known as conservative media were actively assisting in the left wing's dirty work by drinking the compromise kool-aid, joining in the left's attacks on the tea party and spreading the president's fearmongering disinformation on the possibility and repercussions of default. I don't appreciate the way the tea party movement and conservatives who were opposed the debt ceiling increase were abused by a range of allegedly conservative pundits and publications.
The Wall Street Journal alone which, by its own self-description, purports to resist bullies, dictators, and the "ukases of kings" published at least a half-dozen columns and editorials in favor of compromise, hectoring the tea party for it's obstructionist ways, branding them hobbits and banishing them back to Middle Earth for having destroyed Speaker Boehner's chance at a "grand bargain" with the president
One such Journal editorial was seized on by Arizona's John McCain, who took it to the well of the Senate and entered it into the record, word for word. There were letters and commentaries from David Brooks, David Gergen, Peggy Noonan, Laura Ingraham, Fred Thompson, Bill O'Reilly, etc., etc., demanding we sit down and shut up. Accusations of terrorism, hostage-taking, the same over-the-top rhetoric that you'd find on CNN or MSNBC. Now all these outlets are trying to convince the tea party to sit down and shut up because of the glorious victory won. Some victory. The Senate passed the bill at about lunchtime today. By early afternoon the White House had taken to their Twitter account promising fair and balanced debt reduction, i.e. TAXES.
Many tea partiers feel that a trust was broken. This writer certainly joins in that sentiment. Politics make strange bed-fellows. Conservative media, once the fourth estate's sanctuary for conservative thought, ideas and open debate, actively joined in an effort to silence voices of dissent on the right, to somehow cool the ardor of tea partiers and conservatives for real and substantive tax and entitlement reform, all in a bid to be the enablers of political compromise. But at what cost to the American people?
A bad bill, back-loaded with out-year spending cuts that will surely not be adhered to by the 113th Congress, certainly not by the 120th or 122nd Congress.
A bad bill that creates a super committee of 12 representatives from the House and Senate, with a broad mandate, to likely include tax increases, whose recommendations will require an up or down vote in the Congress. This committee will not be accountable or accessible to the voters, and failure to deliver on their mandate will result in a range of draconian cuts to both national security and the social obligations so precious to progressives.
A bad bill which grants a further $2.4tril in deficit spending authority to the most partisan and radically progressive president to ever hold the office. Just in time for the presidential campaign....
A bad bill which the media are furiously spinning as a victory for the tea party since it didn't raise taxes and forced the deepest spending cuts in history on a progressive president and his progressive caucuses in the House and Senate. At least until the afternoon the bill was signed.
Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are unbowed. The media are already calling for congressional support for their "balanced approach" to debt reduction.
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, especially when they're all media now.