This is where the Media War gets definitely dicey.
Datelined April 10 and 11, there were two breathless revelations by ABC News which can be summarized as stating: 1) that the top aides to Bush met numerous times to consider and decide what kinds and how much torture was to be applied to "high value" captives; and 2) that Bush knew and approved.
These news reports at ABC were then confirmed by AP. One of the AP writers was none other than Lara Jakes Jordan, who earlier in the week was being dragged across hot coals by Warriors on the Media for writing a puff piece about AG Mukasey for the AP wire.
Of course the ABC items were immediately glommed on to in the anti-Bush blogosphere as PROOF! Bush and all his crew are War Criminals! who should be Impeached! and sent to The Hague! Except that nobody knows how to do that, and Nancy Pelosi has forbidden even the discussion of Impeachment in her House of Representatives, and so nothing can be done -- well, furious emailing and blogging is always apropos -- and the War on the Media will have to continue!!!! We're WINNING!!
This sequence has been repeating over and over since the seizure of the government by the Busheviks, and the outlines of it were set much earlier than that.
Items appear in the reviled and despised (because it's despicable) MSM that PROVE! some disgusting fact or other about the Busheviks. Things we KNEW! are now CONFIRMED! (by the MSM that we all hate with a purple passion), and so we must now furiously email and fax and blog our little fingers to the bone getting the news out -- because the MSM, obviously, will not do it, obsessed as they are with Britney and the cost of John Edwards' haircuts. WE, The People! must do it!
Alert the Media! Get this to Olbermann, stat!
[Ahem: the story came from the Media, the MSM.]
And so it goes, over and over again, world without end. Amen.
Chris Matthews gets an over the top puff piece-cum-slam in the New York Times Magazine over the weekend, and after eagerly devouring every juicy word, practically the entire Warrior-on-the-Media class commenced to feel sorry for him, (Digby's example is one of the best) in between episodes of intense schadenfreude that the Clown was finally getting his comeuppance, but the War on the Media must continue!!!, because the New York Times Magazine isn't exactly the MSM. Well, it is, but it isn't, you know. How many people see it? It's not like it's Hardball or the Chris Matthews Show which everyone watches obsessively. You know. Not the same at all.
This is WAR!!!
Of course it's all a game, one that's been refined and built upon for years, to make believe the MSM is worth warring on while being absolutely dependent on it for news content.
There are alternatives to the MSM for news content, but you would never know it from the blog posts of the many Warriors-on-the-Media. I confess, I've been hammering on this fact since the Good Times and Glory Days of Media Whores Online. Talk about "world without end." Ha!
Back in those days, it was much fun and kind of thrilling to go after the MSM for the intensity of its constant "Inappropriate Chimp Suck," as it was called. MWO's motto: "The site that set out to bring the media to their knees, but found they were already there" summed up the sense of complete frustration and contempt many open-eyed Americans felt toward the ever compliant and air-headed mainstream media reporters who filled the pages of newspapers and periodicals and filled the airwaves with endless whoring for Bush and Republicans.
After the Aaron Brown incident, however, it was questionable whether constant attacks on individual reporters and news anchors and so forth was appropriate. Brown was eventually fired from CNN, but how much the MWO campaigns against him had to do with it is hard to say. I would suggest that part of the reason CNN chose to get rid of him, though certainly not all of it, was that Brown demonstrated he was unable to control his critics. One of the chief attributes of news personalities is that they are able to withstand harsh criticism from the left, and even control the frenzy of their leftish critics. Brown failed.
But wait a minute. Brown wasn't acting in a vacuum. Reporters and anchors have bosses, they have editors, producers, publishers, CEOs, COOs, Board Chairs. They work in a highly -- and very rigidly -- authoritarian environment. They are not independent operators -- like Bloggers, for example -- and their work must pass layers of scrutiny before it ever sees the light of day.
But all that was forgotten in the intensity of attack. You go after those who displease you, and you go after the ones you can see. You don't see the bosses, and you rarely even hear of them. So of course you don't attack them. How can you? You don't even know that they are there, let alone who they are.
When I and others made these points back in those days, it was disconcerting to many to say the least. After finally getting through to the wretched whores on their knees before the Busheviks, it was hard to grasp the idea that these whores had pimps. Who pwn3d them.
Going after the bosses was and still is a difficult notion for many in the blogosphere; going after the institutions those bosses serve is almost beyond comprehension, though more and more media critics are picking up on the idea.
Media criticism is a fundamental part of the Internets, has been there from the beginning and will continue so long as there is an Internet, as it should. But the Internets also provide an alternative to the Big Media, and the Internets have always been able to link to and promote alternatives to the MSM in print and on the airwaves. As much as criticism of individuals is needed (and it is), so is an opening to the alternatives that exist and that are to come. As much as criticism of the individual media offenders is needed, so is the necessity of questioning the bosses and executives and the entire hierarchy and operation of the institutions they serve.
These are steps still only tentatively taken, after many years.
And the War on the Media is still attacking pretty much only the Whores.
Real change and success in this War on the Media is going to require a much broadened attack, one that goes to the sources of the whoredom, and to the heart of the institutions that allow and require it.