Friday, May 11, 2007

But the Furrowed Brow has never left his face.

I hate to send you to Glenn Greenwald's blog so often, but it is so often good I really have no choice. In commenting on Media Bias, he takes David Broder and Joe Klein to task.
Why would David Broder -- or, for that matter, Joe Klein -- possibly view the Beltway political system as anything other than something to celebrate, in light of the fact that everything they have in their public life -- from their prestige to their access to their financial wealth -- emanates from that system and, more importantly, is dependent upon the preservation of their good standing within it? Because our media stars are not outsiders looking in on the Beltway power systems (as journalists of the past were), but instead now are glittery and eager participants within it, their view of that system is naturally and inevitably worlds apart from (and vastly more favorable than) the views of most people.

The analogy between those who are members of the royal court and those subject to its rule is almost exactly apposite. For most Americans, the "Beltway" is the distant, corrupt and closed system that rules the nation. But for our star national pundits, the "Beltway" is what gives them their careers, their friends, their wealth, their purpose and their identity. Exactly to the extent that most Americans are alienated from that system, Beltway pundits are invested in its preservation and defense.
It's interesting how alike and different conservative and liberal critiques of the media are. Rush Limbaugh wouldn't put it this way, but he would express these sentiments. The difference is that Limbaugh's critiques are rooted in the media's failure to confirm his ideology. Greenwald's critiques expose systematic flaws in the system. If Washington Media took a step back and started fighting to tell the news accurately rather than to get invited to the good parties I think it would be good for America, but I don't know that it would definitely benefit one side over the other.

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