We conservatives have our little blind spots. One of them is that MSM journalists get it.
In other words, when they go on and on about objective journalism and the horrors of Fox News they understand that, as the postmodernists say, they are reciting a narrative, a narrative that justifies their power.
To run the kind of stories they run, to consistently bias towards the liberal point of view, as in the recent Toyota acceleration crisis, when the MSM was parroting the line of left-wing consumer groups and the plaintiffs' bar, you have to run under a world view that imagines that you are the noble objective journalists, and everyone else is biased.
If you had an ounce of self-consciousness, if you'd done a speck of reading, you would know that your pious affirmations of objectivity were, at the very least, self-serving.
But the reality probably is that many MSM journalists are liberal fundamentalists. They believe the dogma and they have never stopped to apply any higher criticism to their beliefs. They are happy to rail against Biblical fundamentalists, but are utterly blind to their own fundamentalisms.
So what are we to think about the screed by Howell Raines published in The Washington Post on Sunday?
You see, Raines has had something tugging at his professional conscience as the debate swirled over the last year on ObamaCare.
Why haven't America's old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration -- a campaign without precedent in our modern political history?
You mean, compared to the anti-Bush campaign supported by the mainstream media for the last eight years?
You see, Raines feels that Fox News has been dishonestly pushing the line that Americans don't want health care reform. On the contrary, writes Raines,
The American people and many of our great modern presidents have been demanding major reforms to the health-care system since the administration of Teddy Roosevelt.
Actually, I checked. Back in the platform of Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party they were calling for a uniform system of "public health," whatever that means. Let's amend those remarks. Liberals and liberal presidents have been demanding that government run the nation's health care since the turn of the 20th century.
Raines is forced to confront an ugly truth.
It seems incredible that Raines, as editor of The New York Times has slept through the last ten years in which the partisan bias of the liberal media has been decisively exposed. Especially when you consider the 2008 campaign in which the mainstream media just about fell down in raptures before Candidate Barack Obama.
For the first time since the yellow journalism of a century ago, the United States has a major news organization devoted to the promotion of one political party.
But let us give Raines the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he really does believe that stuff. Maybe he really thinks that New York media types like him are objective, lordly arbiters that sit astride the media world like gods, dispensing objective wisdom.
That's really the most likely explanation. Never underestimate the capacity of the human for self-delusion. Everyone that Howell lunches with is outraged at Fox News, so it must be so.
But one thing in Raines's article I must protest. He writes of "historical context, usually in short supply on Fox News." (How would he know? Does he watch Fox News?) In fact, Fox News personalities like Glenn Beck go out of their way to provide historical context on liberalism. That's why Glenn Beck began his recent CPAC speech with the declaration that he hated Woodrow Wilson. Beck has been spending a lot of time on his show recently developing a historical context for today's mad liberal plunge towards a social-democratic state. Partisan or not, it is historical context that you won't get on the mainstream media.