A letter to the editor in today’s San Jose Mercury News show a lot of what is going on in this election, and in America today:
“The Democrats and their sycophants in the media criticized George W. Bush for using pictures of 9/11 in his campaign ads. However, they seem to have no problem with using the issue of photographs of coffins of American soldiers in their attempt to damage the president politically for the war in Iraq. Look up hypocrite in the dictionary, and it will say, ‘See Democrat, also Media.’ “
The news runs pictures of coffins coming back from Iraq — that’s news, no way around it. But to this Republican, those pictures make Bush look bad, and therefore news outlets showing such pictures must be biased against Bush.
Let’s go a bit deeper into what he is saying. I think this letter reflects the thinking of a typical “movement conservative.” He’s probably a Rush listener. Maybe he reads National Review, or visits Free Republic. To him, news is entirely about the political images that are projected to the public – entirely about whether the things told to the public help or hurt the right-wing movement. This Republican lives in a world engaged in an ideological war, so it is beyond comprehension that a news outlet would show something just because it is “news.” The reality factor – the “news” – is not an issue, nor is it supposed to be, for him. Whether what is shown helps or hurts the movement is the only issue that matters. Everything is about helping move the cause forward. Anything that does not move the cause forward is an enemy.
So look at what this means for traditional news outlets. An honest news outlet is going to report, on occasion, things that do not help the cause of the Republican Party. So to these committed conservatives, this means that regular news outlets are, by definition, “against” them! If an image is shown that hurts Bush, the outlet must be “liberal,” or else they wouldn’t show it. (This is why we are all so surprised when a “news” outlet like Fox discusses news that might be seen as unfavorable to Bush.)
This writer KNOWS that the Republicans are lying when they say it is out of respect for the families of the soldiers that they refuse to let the media take photos and is complicit. To him it is clearly about images that harm Bush. He respects them for lying, because it furthers the movement. He understands the need to provide a cover story. He does not see it as lying and certainly there is no respect lost for those telling the cover story. He knows that it is part of the way things are done.
THIS is what is going on now in America. The “conservatives” see themselves as part of a “movement” and understand their part. Listen to Rush, as they phone in and discuss the nuances of PR strategies. It is all about furthering the cause, defeating the enemy — which, by the way, is you and me. Watch your back.