Wednesday, February 27, 2013

False equivalence is killing us

Not sure what started this mass bashing of the courtier press this week, but there's been a heartening amount of calling out the perps. Today Brian Beutler takes on Obama Derangement Syndrone in the establishment media. Brian riffs off David Ignatius who published an inane op-ed that included this gem:
“Obama tries everything to gain control — except a clear, firm presidential statement that speaks to everyone onboard, those who voted for him and those who didn’t — that could get the country where it needs to go,” Ignatius sighs.
This of course ignores the last two years of pre-election campaigning, the SOTU and President Obama's numerous road trips in the last few weeks to make his case directly to the people. Road trips which Ignatius and his fellow insider Villagers sneeringly term "campaign-style" tactics. Which wouldn't be necessary if these parrots of the conservative party line did their job instead of obsessively repeating the tired "both sides do it" refrain.

Greg Sargent has been calling out the courtiers for longer than maybe anybody. Not the first time he's made this point the both-siders consistently fail to mention.
The GOP’s explicit position is that no compromise solution of any kind is acceptable — this must be resolved only with 100% of the concessions being made by Democrats — which means any compromise Dems put forth is by definition a nonstarter at the outset.
And James Fallows schools the dunderheaded punditry on recent history they choose to forget:
... a hidden-from-no-one opposition strategy that embraces crises, shutdowns, and sequesters rather than wanting to avert them. Look again at the Lizza/Cantor quote: Obama and the Republicans could have had a "Grand Compromise" deal, but Republican hotheads wanted a fight for the sake of fighting.
On the off chance you've forgotten, this refers to when the scary sequester monster was spawned:
During the insane-at-the-time-and-worse-in-retrospect debt ceiling crisis nearly two years ago, Cantor intentionally talked Speaker John Boehner out of accepting a compromise with the Obama Administration, because Cantor wanted to preserve this as a campaign issue.
As always, Steve Benen politely sums it up
Pundits obsessed with pushing false equivalencies and needlessly blaming "both sides" are convinced they're part of the solution. They're actually part of the problem.
Me, I'm tired of being polite about it. The big platform, prima donna punditry is willfully engaging in a failure to inform solely to keep phony controversies alive. These people are not stupid. They have to know they're promoting false narratives. It's lazy and destructive. Hard to call it any else but journalistic malpractice commited solely for personal gain.

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