The battle of ideas between the left and right wings of our nation’s politics has perhaps never been as bitter as it is now. And it is certainly well outside of our lifetime since the liberal side of the war has been so outmatched. Desperate for ammunition, the Left has taken to hurling handfuls of excrement in lieu of journalistic integrity.
Yesterday morning, at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum published a piece titled, “Why Do Republicans Hate Obamacare?” The article peaked early when he started it with a cursory list of suspect accomplishments credited to the law, and it went downhill from there as he tip-toed around a few of the most minor problems with the ACA while ignoring the vast majority of the most troubling ones. Kevin didn’t exactly lie, but he certainly didn’t tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time the article was over the poor guy had devolved into a foot-stamping simian, one whose hands were alternating between covering his eyes, his ears, and his mouth. The conclusion of his brief screed is as follows:
“Republicans hate the idea that we’re spending money on the working class and the poor. They hate the idea that Barack Obama is responsible for a pretty successful program. They hate the idea that taxes on the wealthy went up a bit. They hate the idea that a social welfare program can do a lot of good for a lot of people at a fairly modest price.
What kind of person hates all these things?”
The serious answer to Kevin’s unserious question is that very few, if any, people fitting such a description exist. What Kevin and the Left fail to realize, or perhaps aren’t honest enough to admit, is that conservatives and libertarians want to help the working class and the poor too, we have the same intentions but we differ on the means to achieve the goal. However, in the mind of the leftist, no one who disagrees with their endless supplications to The State could possibly have pure intentions. Disagree with the progressive religion of government and you automatically hate poor people and love rich people. Of course those on the Right know better, but convincing those in the throes of maniacal state worship of this reality is equal parts worthy goal and wasted effort.
Rather than compile a concise, cogent, and unbiased examination of the facts, Kevin Drum has instead built up a textbook strawman and combined it with a classic non-sequitur. This is what passes for journalism at Mother Jones.
Writing for Salon.com, also yesterday morning, D. Watkins came running to the aid of Congressman John Lewis after the aged rep decided to throw the first punch against our President-elect, Donald Trump. The congressman has recently chosen to reboot his histrionic 2001 episode when he boycotted the inauguration of George W. Bush. The year is different, there’s a different President-elect, but his reason has remained the same: Trump’s presidency, like W’s, is illegitimate. In 2001 Congressman Lewis blamed the courts, sixteen years later he blames the Russians. Donald Trump can at times be unpredictable but Ray Charles could have seen his response coming from a mile away: he fought back and the liberal mainstream media exploded into a frothing moshpit of impotent indignation and sanctimony.
Enter D. Watkins and Salon.com.
We should all feel compelled to defend John Lewis’s right to free speech but that’s not Watkins’ main concern. The spat between the President-elect and Congressman Lewis is just another excuse for another shameful smear job. The hit piece begins almost immediately with a vapid and churlish reference to Mr. Trump’s fictitious toupee, then a comparison of him to an eight-year-old, and a low blow aimed at his manhood because he didn’t tag Congressman Lewis in his tweet.
When he tired of juvenile jabs, Watkins decided to up the ante and went on to make an exceedingly short case for why Mr. Trump is a racist. Half of it is based on highly publicized meetings between Mr. Trump with rappers, comedians, and veteran football players and, according to Watkins, the reason this makes Trump a racist is that these folks don’t have any real power to influence the black community. It was an empty gesture meant to mislead and confuse, to convey the appearance of tolerance.
As an aside, when Watkins said these people don’t speak for the black community he backed it up by linking to another one of his articles at Salon. Maybe Watkins should be less concerned about website stickiness and more open to the notion that white racists don’t go out of their way to receive counsel from blacks, even if only for appearances. If Trump were a racist he wouldn’t shake hands with them let alone invite them into his home and nominate one for his cabinet. That’s not how racism works and Watkins should know better. Watkins might protest that Mr. Trump is playing a part, but that seems to ascribe to the President-elect more intelligence than the Left has ever been willing to concede.
The other half of Watkins’ fleeting and fragile case for Mr. Trump’s non-existent racism is the 1973 Justice Department lawsuit against him and his father, Fred Trump, for race discrimination against blacks applying for tenancy at their vast network of apartments. Watkins had the class to find an authority other than himself to link to and cited the New York Times instead. Unfortunately for Watkins, the NYT states in no uncertain terms that there’s no evidence whatsoever linking Donald Trump to any official decisions to discriminate against blacks. But Mr. Trump was there at the time so guilt by association and proximity are all the proof Watkins needs to continue a witch hunt that started some four decades ago.
Drum and Watkins are only two examples out of many in an oversaturated market of uppity progressive political writers looking to make a name for themselves by regurgitating the same vacuous crap their equally ambitious peers are puking up on a daily basis. It would be an insult to everyone to say anyone could write this tawdry garbage but, in point of fact, it actually takes an especially credulous, unimaginative, and enthusiastic mind.
Take for instance Asawin Suebsaeng’s mind-numbing piece at the Daily Beast in which he gleefully details the lack of A-list celebrity power at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. The Huffington Post’s Ron Dicker barely lifted a finger to throw together a mishmash of screenshots for his article on Ihop retweeting an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet. The guy barely wrote anything at all. And how much time could Ben Mathis-Lilley have spent writing about Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder for Slate? Ten minutes? Less? The article is essentially a protracted allusion to the infamous loaded question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” The whole thing is a shot beneath the belt and, like D. Watkins, when referencing the fact that all allegations of domestic abuse against Puzder have been renounced, Mathis-Lilley cites his own previous work to drive up page views. Mathis-Lilley could have written about anything. He could have written about the destructive results of false-accusations, but instead, he decided to write an article premised on a false accusation. Also, this article wasn’t difficult to find. It’s front and center at Slate’s homepage. It’s part and parcel of the bottom-feeding sleaze they aspire to.
And that is the world we live in now. Journalism as we once knew it is dead and probably has been for some time. True investigative reporting has been replaced by a desperate cacophony of lewd rumor spreading and the parading of unsubstantiated allegations through headlines as though they were gospel. Appeals to emotion and various other logical fallacies are the new style. The requirement of evidence to back up defamatory claims is scoffed at as though it were obsolete. Indeed, defamatory claims that were long ago debunked are considered news as the liberal mainstream media scrapes the bottom of any barrel it can find to fling feces at their perceived enemies.
It has been theorized that a monkey pounding randomly on a typewriter for an infinite period of time could, inadvertently, recreate the works of Shakespeare, which is a compelling if not completely untestable hypothesis. Out here in the real world, apart from primate related theorem, we find ourselves in the complete opposite situation. In the space of only a few years (eight?) an army of empty-headed moral crusaders and social justice warriors have deliberately produced an obscene abundance of words, each of them spelling doom for a mainstream media flailing to regain relevance as it suffocates under the weight of its obvious dishonesty and nauseating lip service to the truth.
We might as well have the monkey. We’d be better off.
Original artwork by Jesse Comeau