Monday, December 13, 2010

Shades of Nixon: Right-wing ideological affirmative action

In the interests of fairness and balance, we now must apparently pretend that Sarah Palin is informed. If that made you throw up in your mouth a bit, you're most certainly not alone.

Notice how the onus isn't on Palin to actually be informed or show that she is. By cultivating an expectation for partisan-based "balance", the political right has been able to successfully do an end-run around actually having to rest on its own merit.

Organizations such as Newsbusters are not concerned with truth or accuracy (note the difference between that and Media Matters), but rather with promoting the bizarre and dangerous worshiping of the almighty partisan balance, which the political right then exploits to avoid criticism or earning merit; anything insufficiently toeing the conservative line is "biased" and "liberal" and (ironically) has an agenda. It's conservative-supported affirmative action in the realm least appropriate for such an approach.

This "playing the refs" effort to shame the media into giving conservatism unearned, unwarranted passes and praise was one of the hallmarks of Nixon's populist schtick, and it's telling to see today's American (and increasingly, Canadian) conservatives going back to that well.

Oh, if only Dick were around today to see what he hath wrought.

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