Gainor Column: Journalism Is Dying and Newsies Decide Nowhere but Left to Go
Arianna Huffington's crazy left-wing, pro-Democrat website gets bought out by AOL for $315 million. Professional Angry Man Keith Olbermann follows up by joining Al Gore's deservedly unknown Current TV effort. Before that, decrepit Newsweek was absorbed by one of the lesser liberal lights of the blogosphere - Tina Brown's Daily Beast.
To journalists desperate for a direction - any direction - turning left seems an easy way to go. Forget MSNBC's brief propaganda attempt to "lean forward." That is going nowhere.
Old-style, supposedly neutral journalism is collapsing. Out of the rubble, we are seeing more and more journalists declare themselves to be what we've always known they were - liberal, left-wing, progressive or even "socialist," as MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell admitted late last year.
Faster than a congressman can take off his shirt, journalists have proven every complaint about media bias conservatives have leveled for decades. Yes, journalists are liberal. Yes, they blatantly spin stories to benefit both liberals and Democrats. Yes, hosts like Chris Matthews play "Hardball" with conservatives and play a thrill-ing game of slo-pitch softball with their Democrat buddies.
That's what they call "absolutely nonpartisan."
As always, we know they lie.
Watch as lefty propagandist Arianna Huffington pretends her anti-GOP site won't impact journalism at AOL. Huffington, the New Queen of All Media, told TheWrap "absolutely no" when asked if AOL would go left. "I was always clear that HuffPo would not just be a political site. I always wanted it to be an Internet newspaper, covering every aspect of life."
Like any Washington spin doctor, she uses words and pretends they have meaning. Sure, HuffPo is like a newspaper. But Socialist Action has a newspaper. The homeless in D.C. have the newspaper Street Sense. Even nutball Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have the Final Call. (His latest column: "The divine destruction of America: Can she avert it?")
In other words, calling something a newspaper doesn't mean it's neutral or accurate or worth reading.
HuffPo manages one of those, to be worth reading … for entertainment value alone. It's more than just a laundry list of top liberal politicos like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Where else can you see a parade of prominent lefties like Bill Maher, Howard Fineman and Michael Moore fill in the blanks a) bashing anyone named Palin, b) bashing Tea Partiers and c) bashing the GOP? Where else can entertainers like Alec Baldwin, Aaron Sorkin and Wally Shawn attempt to opine about what they think the topics of the day are? Where else can you learn that even talented actors like John Cusack are vile, hateful tools that spew so much venom rattlesnakes are jealous?
Just after the election of 2006, Cusack said conservatives "speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us - they are the Ku Klux Klan." He added: "I piss down the throats of these Nazis."
In the years since, HuffPo hasn't gotten any better, it's just gotten more popular. Outside the random blogger charged with incest, the site has evolved into one of the most clever pro-left places on the Internet. If an article is written anywhere, HuffPo "journalists" grab it, put a new, anti-right headline on it and add a photo. Combine that with titillating traffic grabbing devices like "The 22 Most Likely Causes Of Death" and "Jennifer Aniston Bares Chest, Talks Body In Allure (PHOTOS)." Throw in an advanced social media platform where libs can hate conservatives 24-7 and, voila, Huffington Post.
The woman who successfully merged those pieces into a website "which now counts nearly 25 million unique monthly visitors" told Politico 'We don't see ourselves as left.' Of course she doesn't. She sees herself as right and conservatives as wrong.
Look at what Arianna said of the deal. Under the headline: "When HuffPost Met AOL: 'A Merger of Visions,'" she said readers can expect more of the same, but with more resources. "We're still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we're now going to get there much, much faster."
When she says they are traveling to a destination, she's going past left field. The left is frustrated that decades of media control have not given them ultimate victory over evil (i.e., conservatives). So they are taking a sharp left turn and heading out to the edge of the world, so far away from normalcy they may just fall off.
So far, the responses to this media insanity have been predictable. Liberals are afraid Arianna sold them out. She didn't. She just got a big payday for her lefty labor, even if most of her blogger buddies never see a red (ahem) cent. The radical rag Adbusters complained stridently. Another lefty pub, Raw Story, highlighted the Adbusters anger under a headline saying: "The left built Huffington, and we can tear it down too."
Washington Post writer reiterated that point saying, there are "some indications that she has sold out in the ideological sense." And the "CBS Evening News" didn't even admit the site is liberal to begin with.
They are all wrong, but that doesn't really matter. What does is that more news organizations are embracing their liberal identities and conservatives, who are laughably outnumbered in journalism, could easily find themselves left out of much of the media future.
Dan Gainor has seen his shadow and is hunkering down to shiver and watch six more weeks of media about global warming. Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.