From Indian Country, Intimidation punditry – A disservice to discourse

Over the past 10 years, it has been the right wing that has steam-rolled the media. Its organizations, publications and think tanks – particularly Bill Kristol’s “Weekly Standard” group – are wielding significant influence in U.S. foreign policy. Right wing punditry, however, tends to drive its points of view with sledgehammers. It fields a style of verbal attack that is very harsh and insulting of the opposition. Often, the intent now is openly to damage reputations and to seek to destroy the careers of anyone who might dare question the right wing ideology that drives so much of the coverage these days. Public discourse is deteriorating in the process.

On national channels and especially cable programming, all talk shows have hard-right commentators and while there are many right wing talk shows, there are virtually no moderate or liberal talk shows evident. They are a dying breed, perhaps vanquished with the scuttling of Phil Donahue’s most recent show, which attempted to voice a liberal, and when set against the current climate, a forceless, response.

It is pretty obvious that the liberal or moderate mindset in reporting is in a retreat stampede. Always skittish, like long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs, woe now the reporter who would even dare ask the tough questions, or pursue a line of thinking that would question motivations and even official practices of the conduct of an American war. Woe to the man or woman in public life who dares disagree with the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Ann Coulter, Shawn Hannity or Laura Ingraham, among quite a few others. Woe the wrath of the far right. [emphasis mine – DJ] The intimidation factor has grown fangs in American public life, particularly through the phenomenon of talk radio and yell TV. It is a whole way of being in media. Aggressively going after people who disagree with your idea of what is “American,” which in this case, coincides with the point of view of the Republican party. Patriotism becomes label and sword. When investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh dared publish a controversial conflict-of-interest story about Richard Perle, a major pro-war policy figure, Perle labeled journalist Hersh, “a terrorist.”

Thanks to Cursor for the link.