Kathleen Parker: 'Ignorance' from Ditto-Heads and Bias-Busters Is Destroying Newspapers

March 15th, 2009 9:12 AM

Pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker’s ongoing method of getting her columns published in the Washington Post – bashing conservatives – took another sleazy turn on Sunday, with Parker asserting in the Post that conservatives who accuse the media of a liberal bias are "non-journalists" who stoking "ignorance," like Rush Limbaugh (not to mention groups like the Media Research Center.)

The biggest challenge facing America's struggling newspaper industry may not be the high cost of newsprint or lost ad revenue, but ignorance stoked by drive-by punditry.

Yes, Dittoheads, you heard it right.

Drive-by pundits, to spin off of Rush Limbaugh's "drive-by media," are non-journalists who have been demonizing the media for the past 20 years or so and who blame the current news crisis on bias.

That would seem to be a direct slap at MRC, who could be accused by a liberal of "demonizing the media for the past 20 years or so" (founded in 1987). Could there be a better way for Parker to bow and scrape before her syndicators at the Washington Post Company than to decry that American newspapers are the lifeblood of democracy, and they’re being unfairly maligned by ignorant and unprofessional hooligans?

Frankly, the idea that "drive-by pundits" who decry liberal bias are "non-journalists" is simply not true in many cases. Start with Bernard Goldberg, a long-time veteran of CBS. (I’m not a "non-journalist." I’m a journalist who writes about journalism. Just because the Washington Post wouldn’t hire me doesn’t mean I’m not a journalist.)

Then, there’s simply the flawed logic that a "non-journalist" can’t criticize the journalist. If a plumber came into your home to a fix a leak and instead flooded the place, could the plumber argue "non-plumbers" have too much "ignorance" to complain?

She makes a lame feint to the idea that "there is some room for media criticism" and yes, some newspapers are liberal, but the charges of conservative media critics are comical:

Constant criticism of the "elite media" is comical to most reporters, whose paychecks wouldn't cover Limbaugh's annual dry cleaning bill. The truly elite media are the people most Americans have never heard of -- the daily-grind reporters who turn out for city council and school board meetings. Or the investigative teams who chase leads for months to expose abuse or corruption.

These are the champions of the industry, not the food-fighters on TV or the grenade throwers on radio. Or the bloggers (with a few exceptions), who may be excellent critics and fact-checkers, but who rely on newspapers to provide their material.

As others have noted, the Internet can't quickly enough fill the void created by lost newspapers. In time, some markets simply won't have a town crier -- and then who will go to all those meetings where news is made? What will people not know? In such a vacuum, gossip rules the mob.

That is simply a cartoon, a mudslinging campaign commercial script that could be paid for by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Clearly, the average talk-radio host doesn't make Limbaugh money, just like the average newspaper reporter doesn't make Katie Couric money. You don't dismiss the overwhelming evidence of liberal media bias by trying to distract people by talking salaries, that somehow, newspaper reporters are heroes because they helped install Obama while they made a five-figure salary.

The column is titled "Frayed Thread in a Free Society." Parker’s not a conservative. Because a conservative would argue the opposite: that liberal newspapers are a threat to a free society, not conservative media critics. Liberal newspapers are the ones who wanted to make America safe for terrorist suspects. Liberal newspapers are the ones whose coverage of Iraq screamed that they wanted America to fail. Liberal newspapers are fully behind turning America into just another European-style no-growth socialist republic.

If Parker wants to fly her liberal flag and claim that only the "ignorant" believe in consistent liberal bias, then why doesn't she actually address the evidence, instead of just throwing bombs?

Kathleen Parker should look in the mirror and see just who is the "drive-by pundit."