A lot of us want deep answers. We want to know why the opinion-makers seem so beholden to the right-wing. We talk about corporate ownership. We talk about the military-industrial complex. And we're not wrong to talk about those things.
But the single most important thing to know about Tweety, Potatohead, and the rest of those cats is that they are lazy. That is useful to know. It might even be helpful. Follow me:
You have to understand, these people make a hell of a lot of money, and they get more respect than mafia-dons on the opening night of the Godfather for doing journalistic work . . . and the Clinton "scandal" was a dream come true for them.
It was perfect. Right away, they knew it was perfect. Suddenly, they didn't have to do any work. It was like a year-long vacation. It didn't matter that most of the country didn't care about the "Clinton Scandal." It didn't matter that no adult with three functioning brain-cells would take any of it seriously. That didn't matter at all. It was perfect. It was an easy story to cover; it required no journalism. It was of no significance and therefore entailed no risk, and it looked to last damn near forever.
Suddenly, all the Babbling Class had to do was pretend to be outraged. You have to understand how easy and fun that was to do. It makes their jobs a lot easier.
The "Scandal" lasted for more than a year, and all they had to do was say things such as, "The American People will not stand for this," despite the fact that the American people demonstrably gave less than a shit. All they had to do was say "the next 24 hours are crucial" . . . and "We in Washington don't like being lied to" . . . for an entire year.
Just type your copy, pretending to be taking a moral stand, and go have dinner. What could be better?
And then, once it became undeniable that the all-important audience . . . the people watching TV . . . simply didn't care . . . once it became clear that the very worst thing Clinton had done was no worse than masturbate . . . well, these cats knew what to do.
They talked about how the public was out-of-touch with American values and they talked about how "I will not apologise for the American people' (Bill Bennet) and they talked about Hollywood and they talked about the corruption of the children and they talked about "I want my kids to be able to watch the nightly news." Why?
Because they cared? No. Because it was easy to do. It dragged the story out a few weeks longer. It dragged their vacation out a few weeks longer. That's all.
I'm sorry, but that is the reason. You just say something that sounds brave -- even in the face of PUBLIC OPINION you are taking the HIGH ROAD -- but isn't, then go to a party and congratulate each other on how you all rise above the nation's moral perpitude. Easy. Fun. And it lasted a lonnnnnnggggggg time.
Finally, after that didn't work, either, after the audience continued not to give a shit, they moved on to a realm of ethereal heights beyond any of this, to the totally unempirical realm of "Can Clinton still lead?" "Does he have the moral authority to lead?" "How can he lead?" "The best thing he could do for the country is resign."
Why? Again. It required no work.
Not just the MSM. The Congress, too, was swept away and thrilled to have an unprecedented chance to appear noble while taking no risks. Do you have any idea how exciting that was? Henry Hyde was GOD and all had to do absolutely nothing except claim that he was angry.
So you want to know why Bush is getting easier treatment? Because his lies are about something important. Babbling about Bush's lies would require taking a risk. It would require a little bit of journalistic or politcal work. A little bit of bravery. It might have consequences, and most of all . . .
Most of all . . .
You can't just say some nonsense on TV and then go to the restaurant for backslaps and mutual compliments anymore.
And they HATE THAT.
Now here's the good news: the way to win the MSM is to make it easy for them. Take away the work and the risk. Notice how TWEETY will now occasionally say actual true stuff about Bush? That's because other people made it easy for him. Other people made it a quick backslap for him to say, "Bush lied." The path of least resistance. Who did that? Keith Olbermann did. And Kos did. And you did.
So keep it up. Let's do the work to make it easy for them to call Bush a liar. That's our job.