When a politician says that the mainstream media favor the other side, he or she almost always is a conservative Republican. Therefore, it was noteworthy when, this past week, Sanders accused the MSM of propping up the GOP; his argument, however, was unconvincing even to a reporter for a lefty magazine.
On Thursday, Tim Murphy of Mother Jones noted Sanders’s remark that “if we had a media in this country that was really prepared to look at what the Republicans actually stood for,” the GOP would be “a fringe party. Maybe they get 5, 10 percent of the vote.” Murphy didn’t buy it: “A corporate media that obsesses over the issues Sanders obsesses over would certainly have some impact on the political landscape. But Sanders' dismissal of the Republican base seems to miss a far more obvious takeaway. People vote for Republicans not because they've been brainwashed, but because they actually like what Republicans…are proposing.”
Call it the golden mean or the vital center, Mother Jones blogger Drum is for it with regard to economic systems. Drum contended in a Tuesday post that “the mixed economy is the only way to run a modern country” since the other choices, a “pure free market” and “socialism,” have unacceptable consequences.
This past week, two writers for Mother Jones contended that non-conservative Donald Trump’s presidential bid is actually a byproduct of longstanding Republican efforts to stimulate and profit from what one of them called a “climate of hate.”
David Corn, best known for his role in the release of the Mitt Romney 47-percent video, argued that the GOP "raised the expectations of its Obama-detesting base and primed the pump for Trump. There is not much wonder that a xenophobic and misogynistic bigot and bully who bashes immigrants and calls for a Muslim ban…should now find a receptive audience within the GOP's electorate." Kevin Drum opined that if a Democratic version of Trump, Michael Moore, ran for president, "he wouldn't have any serious impact...There just aren't enough Democrats around who'd find his brand of rabble-rousing convincing presidential material. The Democratic establishment hasn't spent the last 30 years building that kind of party."
"Journalistic integrity" and "Mother Jones" are two phrases that should not be in the same sentence. But alas, the ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat has lent some gravitas to the infamous lefty rag.
Bing West was a Marine infantry officer in the Vietnam war and a frequent embedded reporter in Iraq, yet Drum likens him to a tantrum-throwing kid and lectures him, “It's time to grow up, Bing.” (West is 75 years old.)
After West commented, “The lesson of Iraq is that after American troops achieved stability, Mr. Obama quit, leading to a larger war and more American deaths,” Drum vented, “Jesus, this pisses me off. Are conservatives ever willing to take responsibility for anything?...They're like small children, ruining everything they touch because the world is a big playground that they govern with their guts instead of their brains. Then they throw temper tantrums when the adults come along and try to clean up the messes they've made.”
President Obama deserves high marks for his ISIS policy only if you’re grading on a curve and the other students are Republicans who “can't be bothered to take any of this seriously,” suggested Kevin Drum in a Thursday post.
Drum charged that GOPers “blather about Obama being weak, but when you ask them for their plans you just get nonsense…Obama's ISIS strategy has [not] been golden. But Republicans make him look like Alexander the Great. They treat the whole subject like a plaything, a useful cudgel during a presidential campaign. Refugees! Kurds! Radical Islam! We need to be tougher!...That isn't leadership. It barely even counts as coherent thought. It's just playground jeering.”
Even though Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum describes Charles Krauthammer as a “hardcore conservative,” he suggested in a Friday post that Krauthammer is too enlightened to be on the same page as most right-wingers regarding Obama White House scandals.
When Krauthammer argued recently against the effort to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen, he commented that on matters including the IRS/Tea Party flap and the Benghazi attack, Republicans, despite not persuading the majority of the public of Obama-administration “malfeasance,” had had “the facts and the argument” on their side. Drum wrote, “Does [Krauthammer] really believe this? Or does he know it's baloney but figures he needs some kind of acceptable cover to get Republicans off their Ahab-like zeal for investigating nothingburgers?” According to Drum, Dr. K does indeed understand that it’s baloney.
For nearly three decades, Ben Carson was the head of pediatric neurosurgery at one of the world’s best hospitals. To MSNBC panelist Barnicle, however, Carson is a “political nut-boy” who reminds him of a patient at a certain type of hospital.
In a Monday Daily Beast column, Barnicle opined that Carson is “out there on the fringe talking nonsense in a soft, nonthreatening manner that is quite similar to the voice level heard among so many sitting sadly by themselves today in Day Rooms of mental institutions, off in a corner, wearing paper slippers, slowly eating apple sauce, unaware that nobody is listening.”
Regarding the mainstream media’s superficial coverage of religion, is the sticking point excessive evenhandedness or simple ignorance? Two lefty bloggers differed Friday on that issue.
First, Paul Waldman wrote on The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog that reporters don’t like asking the presidential candidates “about the specifics of their faith and how it might influence their day-to-day decision making…because they’re worried that it will come off sounding like criticism of the candidates’ beliefs.” Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, however, countered that journalists worry not about appearing biased but rather about getting overmatched by politicians who are well-versed in Scripture, exegesis, and so on.
On Friday, Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore and Kevin Drum of Mother Jones contended that the conservative war on political correctness is a tempest in a teapot, and that being politically correct is pretty much synonymous with not being a bigoted jerk.
Imagine an Abortion Pride Day parade in which women march while pushing empty strollers and baby carriages. That’s not far off from what Mother Jones pundit Drum recommended in a Wednesday post.
Drum suggested that women who’ve had an abortion and believe they made the right choice ought to say so publicly, and that they should view out gays and lesbians as role models in that regard: “As long as gays stayed largely closeted, it was easy for most people to think there weren't very many of them…[but] as more and more gays came out, that view was forced to fade away…The same is true of abortion…When it turns out your next-door neighbor had an abortion? Or the waitress at the diner you go to for lunch? Or your doctor? Then it gets a little harder to think of it as something unusual and sort of icky. It's just something people do.”
The Brooklyn birth-control clinic to which Planned Parenthood traces its roots opened in the fall of 1916, but according to Molly Redden, there’s concern on the left that the two recent so-called sting videos have damaged PP’s reputation to the point that the organization might not even be around for its hundredth anniversary.
“That Planned Parenthood is the target of a withering attack by anti-abortion activists is no surprise,” wrote Redden in a Thursday piece. “But this time seems different, with some of Planned Parenthood's strongest allies drawing nervous comparisons to the 2009 sting operation that destroyed” ACORN. Redden contended that the videos have taken the focus from PP the “critical women's health care provider” and instead made it “seem like a sinister outfit that profits wildly from abortion.”