Sunday, October 23, 2005


One of the things that has made the extreme righties (radcons, or neocons) so successful over the last 20 years has been their consistent, disciplined approach to messaging. They don't alter the message to accommodate the current prevailing winds, or incorporate the nuances that are a component of real life situations. They know two things: Find a simple, black and white message with absolutely no gray areas ("John Kerry is a flip-flopper"), and, whether it is true or not, repeat it often enough so it becomes its own reality, or becomes true in the eyes of the public regardless of the actual facts.

One of the great myths perpetrated over the last few years is the claim that we have a preponderance of "liberal" news media in this country. The measure of this is a simple litmus test: If the organization in question says something critical of a Republican (even if they have said something critical of a Dem), they are "liberal". Even given this narrow and simplistic evaluation, the vast majority of newspapers, radio, and TV (especially the cable "news" stations) are rabidly to the extreme right (if you don't believe me, look at the syndication stats of Rush Limbaugh's show, Fox "News" ratings, or Bill O'Lielly's stats as compared to their supposedly liberal counterparts). I would offer this test: If an organization makes an honest (even if occasionally flawed) attempt at ferreting out the truth, they are branded "Liberal" (read: NPR or the New York Times). If they exist to support a conservative ideology, they are mainstream.

That common target of liberal accusations, that supposed bastion of the left, The New York Times, today endorsed Michael Bloomberg, a decidedly Republican candidate, for re-election as mayor of our nation's largest (and arguably most prestigious) city. They did it for practical reasons: he's a fiscal conservative who believes government has to empower, not fetter the private infrastructure to be part of the solution (like the Republicans of 30 years ago), but also knows that compassion and practical solutions to issues like homelessness, poor schools, and crime are the real basis for a better future for all citizens. Unlike the group running the affairs of the nation, who believe that one must ignore the "background noise" (W's phrase for the realities of what is actually happening in life) and instead stick to supporting some mythical ideology, good governance means hard work, a true recognition and understanding of reality, and workable, effective solutions which involve a broad slice of constituents. Kudos to the "liberal" New York Times for endorsing an effective leader regardless of party. We'll see pigs fly before we see The Washington Times or Fox "news" support a true Democrat for office.

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