Rick Perlstein had a must read Op-ed in WaPo yesterday on "The Rise of Right Wing Rage " he also called out the Media for their lack of courage to label lies and hate speech as such.
Sarah Paling "Death Panel" claims should have been ridiculed and debunked by the MSM immediately she made them, instead pundits were brought in to analyze the statement. Politico actually reported the story as if it were true.
Perlstein Op-ed below the fold
Liberals are right to be vigilant about manufactured outrage, and particularly about how the mainstream media can too easily become that outrage's entry into the political debate. For the tactic represented by those fake Nixon letters was a long-term success. Conservatives have become adept at playing the media for suckers, getting inside the heads of editors and reporters, haunting them with the thought that maybe they are out-of-touch cosmopolitans and that their duty as tribunes of the people's voices means they should treat Obama's creation of "death panels" as just another justiciable political claim. If 1963 were 2009, the woman who assaulted Adlai Stevenson would be getting time on cable news to explain herself. That, not the paranoia itself, makes our present moment uniquely disturbing.
It used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to "debunk" claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president's program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn't adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of "conservative claims" to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civic outrage represented by such discourse as "extremist" -- out of bounds. The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America's flora. Only now, it's being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest.
Read more Here
The MSM not only wants to see this lies perpetuated, the participate in the conspiratory theories. Why the hell is Lou Dobbs still on air?
The Myth of the so called "liberal Media" is perhaps one of the biggest con in American politics. Sadly they have been successful in pushing the media far to the right, where "fair and balanced" now means using conservative talking points.
Conservative positions for the MSM is the new Center and Progressive positions are described as "far Left". Crazies are Patriotic and Congressional Dems advocating calm are impinging on their first amendment rights.
A TPM blogger correctly states
All the broadcast MSM does is report what politicians say. They don't fact check them. Afterwards, they have blowhards sit around in panels and have disingenuous spin-meister discussions about whether or not what was said is playing well with the general public.
Rick Perstein ended by saying "Good thing our leaders weren't so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill -- because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites".
That is the f**king Problem, Congressional Dems are cowards, they have allowed themselves to be bullied by the nuts.