Archive for August 12th, 2008

by Rebecca Schmitz

If you have a few spare moments to spend online, and need further proof that the “drill drill drill” crowd’s solution to our energy problem isn’t one at all, be sure to read this interview with Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein on the Onion’s AV Club.

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by Rebecca Schmitz

Dragons. Santa Claus. Unicorns. All are things most people no longer believe in. Hell, even the Bhutanese question the existence of the yeti. But there’s a mythical creature out there that the credulous among us insist still exists.

[cue scary, dramatic music]

The liberal media!

[/music]

Anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention during the run-up to the Iraq War knows there’s no such thing. From that great “liberal” flagship the New York Times down to your local fishwrap, the media simply passed along the fairytales spun by the Bush Administration. And yet, the myth persists.

Two posts elsewhere this past week debunk this curious belief.

If you haven’t been paying attention, Pogie over at Intelligent Discontent has been writing a great series about the political farce better known as the “#dontgo” show, and the role the media has played in perpetuating the myth of our lackluster Representative’s concern about the energy crisis.

The Missoulian loved the story so much that it offered an editorial that was a barely reworded version of the original Rehberg press release [snip] It turns out that Representative Rehberg went to do the “people’s work” for exactly one day. Let’s ignore the fact that news stories about the Republican faux Congress ignored the past recess practices of these members, their trips, and their justifications for leaving. Let’s ignore the fact that the Montana media left out any context about the nature of these show debates.

How could they not notice that Rehberg wasn’t even there the rest of the week?

The creators of any fantasy world, whether it’s Middle Earth, Discworld, or the liberal media, have to add enough detail to make it seem real to his or her audience. And thus we have the oft-told story that the liberal media always, always supports public education. One of Missoula’s favorite booksellers, Shakespeare & Co., pokes a hole in that folktale.

Man–I really object to this story about Montana schools fail No Child marks for yearly progress (Missoulian, Rob Chaney). First of all 71 percent of them passed. Secondly any “failure” is a bunch of transparently self-fulfilling bullshit. The radical right does not believe in public education (or public much of anything) and so they create “standards” that are specifically designed to stigmatize public schools as failing. Then they starve education (at every level) of adequate funding. Then the Missoulian reports it: Montana schools fail.

Job done.

Nice going, Missoulian.

There’s an easy way to disprove any myth: direct observation. Wondering if there’s really a Santa Claus? Stay up long enough, and you’ll see your parents put your gifts under the Christmas tree. Scared of the monsters under your bed? Shine a flashlight underneath it just before bedtime. And convinced there’s a big scary liberal media out there? Just look at the blogroll there to the right. If the mainstream media was really all that liberal, why do the rest of us exist?




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