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Bill Maher commenting on the Stewart/Colbert restore-something rally....via Digby
With all due respect to my friends Jon and Stephen, it seems to me that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you'd side with the sane and the reasonable, and not try to pretend that the insanity is equally distributed in both parties.
And the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake, that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism. There's a difference between a mad man, and a madman.
But the message of the rally, as I heard it, was that if the media would just stop giving voice to the crazies on both sides, then maybe we could restore sanity. It was all non-partisan, and urged cooperation with the moderates on the other side, forgetting that Obama tried that, and found out there are no moderates on the other side.
I'm not much of a fan of Bill Maher, but Maher gets it right in his critique of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Restore Sanity and/or Fear Rally.
There are no moderates left on the conservative side. That's an indisputable fact. The midterms brought a purging of the GOP from the crazy-right. Moderates, RINO's, had to be ousted and replaced with new non-moderates who would die first before compromising with Democrats.
Furthermore, instead of Jon Stewart's mythical take on corporate media giving voice to crazies on both sides, the truth is that corporate media has given disproportionate time to the new crazies on the right. On this issue, there is no equivalency to be found, whatsoever.
The phony notion that there are millions and millions of centrist conservatives, moderate conservatives who would surely find common ground with millions and millions of centrist and moderates on the left...if only media would quit giving voice to the crazies on both sides....is, in itself.....crazy. The purging of the GOP this year is ample evidence that I'm correct about this.
What has corporate media given voice to over the last 22 months? Rush Limbaugh's hatred and bitterness, Glenn Beck's insanity, Tea Parties and their extreme incoherence, Sister Sarah and her zany craziness and ignorance, a summer of wild and crazy TownHall Bustups, death panels, socialists, anti-colonialist Kenyan Muslims, Hitler, Nazis, ACORN, New Black Panthers, Shirley Sherrod......that's what the corporate media has presented to America the last 2 years.
What rotted media did not cover, let alone run on a 24/7 video loop like a L'il Jimmy O'Keefe-edited sting video, was anything comparable from the left. To be blunt about it......the crazy voices our main media have given voice to have come exclusively from the right.
Today's American extremism comes exclusively from conservatives. Brand name "journalists" pretend every week that that is not the truth....but they know they're only pretending.
That's why calls for restoring sanity to the media, who allegedly give voice to equal extremism on the right and the left, are so misleading and, quite frankly, dishonest.
Americans disagree about stuff. That will not change. The role of the media should be to inform viewers/listeners/readers about the facts behind the stuff being disagreed upon. However, media no longer regards that as their role. Instead, just as I've written about for years now, media's top priority is to gain market share by airing the crazy. In our current environment that means airing, almost exclusively, the voices of insanity coming from the New Right.
What that means is.....contrary to the Rodney King aspirations of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.....not only will sanity NOT be restored anytime soon, but just the opposite. The incentives are back to front. That means that it's all going to get even crazier.
When a rotted and corrupt media proves to us month after month, year after year, that the crazier and zanier you act and talk....the more outrageous you appear....the more facetime you will receive...
what else could possibly happen?
The United States is in decline. When the history books are written about this time period (excluding Texas of course) those books will not be efforts in finding equivalency between two radical political extremes during the period. Those history books will record the fact that extremist right wingers in the opening of the 21st century helped to advance our nation's decline.....and that professional media helped those extremists in their efforts.