In all the media furor over fired radio host Don Imus, one fact was very rarely reported: that Imus is not a conservative. In truth, he is a moderate liberal. Aside from his stand against the Iraq war, support of John Kerry, abortion-rights, and the Democratic takeover of Congress, perhaps the biggest indicator of his liberal credentials was that liberal media elites like Tim Russert, Jonathan Alter, and Nina Totenberg appeared on his show on a daily basis.
Being in like Flynn with the left-wing media snobs didn't do anything for Imus when it came down to it, however. Many GOPers and conservative intellectuals would do well to learn this lesson. Trying to get in with the liberal media crowd (bashing fellow conservatives works best) will never earn you any protection.
Even if you're naturally a moderate conservative, it still won't earn you any respect from the far left's rage, as centrist conservative radio host Michael Smerconish is finding out. Writing at Classical Values, Eric Scheie reports:
Philadelphia-based talk show host Michael Smerconish is a moderate Republican who (for reasons that deserve exploring) has drawn the type of leftist enmity normally reserved for talkers considered to be on the far right. I don't listen to his show, but I wrote a long post about him when he was the subject of a wildly ad hominem hit piece in the Philadelphia Weekly, because it made no sense to go after this guy with such a vengeance. Considering that an extremist like Michael Savage (a man I refuse to call a conservative) is on the air in Philadelphia, why target his moderate competition?
What makes even less sense is the recent campaign by Media Matters against Smerconish. [...]
The quotes cited by Media Matters are so tame (his complaint that PC correctness is "sissification" is listed first) that they barely merit a yawn. Yet Smerconish is listed alongside Savage, in a piece ominously titled "It's not just Imus."
Far from being an anonymous blog, Media Matters is a hardball operation organized and funded by key Clinton players like former White House Chief of Staff John D. Podesta (with the usual Soros ties, natch). While the "cyber-lynching by faceless, nameless bloggers" might play a role, I think the Media Matters campaign represents something considerably bigger than that.
I'm glad to see Smerconish's op-ed featured in the Huffington Post, because this campaign is a real threat to moderate and independent free speech.
I think the Clinton left would rather take down guys like Imus or Smerconish than a nutjob like Michael Savage, and that's because moderates and independents are a bigger threat. The far right is easily stereotyped, and in the long run, they can actually be seen as helping (not hurting) Hillary Clinton. If the goal is to get her elected, silencing the moderates (and, of course, libertarians like Neal Boortz) is a vital first step. If I were working for the Hillary campaign, I'd advise precisely such a campaign. Little wonder that another primary target of the Media Matters campaign is Democrat Chris Matthews. Like Imus, he's a Democrat against Hillary. They hate Matthews so much it reminds me of the attacks on Lieberman. Seriously; if you check out the links, you begin to see a pattern. While its stated goal might be to go after the right wing, Media Matters is very much in the business of enforcing Democratic political conformity.