May 10th, 2004

you think you know...

(no subject)

WASHINGTON, May 2 — David Brock, the former right-wing journalist turned liberal, describes himself as once having been a rather large cog in the machinery of the conservative media.

Now Mr. Brock is starting a new endeavor built to combat the very sector of journalism that spawned him, with support from the same sorts of people (Democrats) about whom he once wrote so critically.

With more than $2 million in donations from wealthy liberals, Mr. Brock will start a new Internet site this week that he says will monitor the conservative media and correct erroneous assertions in real time.

"New Internet Site Turns Critical Eyes and Ears to the Right" by Jim Rutenberg (NYTimes, May 3, 2004)
I didn’t hang on to the link, but one blogger joked that clearly The Right Wing Conspiracy that bought off the blogosphere got a much better deal. I mean really now, bloggers have been critiquing the Left for years now, “monitor[ing] the [liberal] media and correct erroneous assertions in real time.” *sighs* Insert bitchy parallel about The Left throwing money at problems here.

In "Welcome To The Post-Bias Media," Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. says:
Brock told the Times that he hopes that Media Matters will replicate the success of the Media Research Center, which for almost 17 years has documented the leftward tilt of the media. But as James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal wrote on Monday, "See the problem here? Brock's new shop is devoted to faulting conservative opinion journalists for expressing conservative opinions. What the Media Research Center does is entirely different; it analyzes liberal bias in the news media, which are supposed to be objective."
you think you know...

(no subject)

This is related to the previous post (and the cited article actually relates more to the next post), but i wanted to post it on its own. The last line well sums up an idea i keep trying to articulate.

E-mail from my father:
[This] article may not be worth reading. It's of the sort, "If we had only done X instead of Y 25 years ago, we would have avoided problems a,b,c,d,e,and f in the years since."

Well, maybe. And maybe we would have also caused problems g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o, and p.

But the article made me realize something. There probably aren't really any multiculturalists. Not true "all cultures are equally valuable" multiculturalists. What there are are "street festival multiculturalists." Interesting food, colorful costumes, different song and dance. But basically all within a tolerant, respectful-of-individual-liberties, small L liberal culture. (It's not a melting pot but it's not a salad either. It's more a slow cooked stew. There are individual pieces but they only exist within the stock, and each piece has lost much of its individual taste and absorbed that of the other pieces.)

How else to explain how people who call themselves multiculturalists can also be strong supporters of something like the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights. The Declaration is a work of cultural imperialism--and even by the former colonial powers. It says that everyone should have the rights that are thought important by European Social Democratic parties (and by much of the Democratic Party in the USA). I have no doubt that if everyone did, the world would be a better place. But there are many, many cultures in the world that don't believe this at all. For example, the Declaration calls for equal rights for women, something a hell of a lot of cultures think is an abomination.

To support the Declaration is to say, "Some cultures suck, and they better change--big time."

(Another logical possibility is that many people who call themselves multiculturalists delude themselves into thinking that all cultures really are "tolerant, respectful-of-individual-liberties, small L liberal." So people in all cultures really do want to, in the words of Rodney King, "just get along." And thus that all problems are solvable by getting together and talking, along with some appropriate arm-twisting.

Or I suppose some people could just be hypocrites.)

[And while I'm spouting, just as there are very few real multiculturalists, so there are very few real egalitarians. Right-wing intellectuals constantly accuse left-wing intellectuals of being egalitarians. How silly. As anyone who has spent any time at a high-powered university knows, left-wing intellectuals have very definite ideas about how people should act, and would love to have the unequal power to impose their ideas on people less enlightened than they are.]