Hectoring Dimwits and Other Media Matters

For an example of how Left and Right aren’t viewing the same reality, check out this post at rightie blog Radio Blogger. There is a transcript plus link to an MP3 file of an interview by Hugh Hewitt of reporter Helen Thomas, in which Hewitt shamelessly badgers the 85-year-old Thomas until she finally hangs up.

In Rightie World, this is called “winning an argument.” I call it “bullying.”

Several rightie bloggers are celebrating this travesty as if it proves something bad about news media. But all it proves is that Hugh Hewitt is a bullying, knee-jerking, Kool-Aid drinking Bush apologist who wouldn’t recognize professionalism or objectivity if it bit his butt.

See Tbogg for more on what is loosely called the Hewitt interview “style.”

Meanwhile, Peter Daou posts

A Challenge to Rightwing Bloggers Who Blame the Media for the Cheney Mess: Prove it.

Peter writes,

Despite the glaringly obvious fact that major media narratives favor the right, we get bloggers like this, this, and this attacking the “MSM” for hyping the Cheney hunting scandal. Rather than waste cyber-ink explaining why it’s a big deal that the Vice President of the United States shot a man in the face and heart and went to bed without letting the American people know about it, let me share a question I asked of a blogger at Real Clear Politics who questioned my premise about the pro-Bush press:

I know the assertion that [supposedly neutral or liberal] reporters favor rightwing narratives blows your mind; after all, the liberal media fiction is hard-wired into the right’s political nervous system. But why should I believe your foregone conclusion that these people are left-leaning? Just because you say it with such conviction? Give me concrete examples of bias, not of negative coverage. (How can there not be negative coverage of the mess in Iraq? Or Katrina? Or the Plame outing? Or the NSA fiasco? Or do you want our media to simply fawn over the government? Is anything less than total pro-Bush propaganda considered media bias?)

The thing is, righties can’t tell the difference between negative but factual coverage and bias. For righties, anything they don’t want to hear about their dear leaders is “biased.” Whether a report is true or not is just an insignificant quibble.

See also Tristero at Hullabaloo.

8 thoughts on “Hectoring Dimwits and Other Media Matters

  1. Helen was to sharp to be manipulated..she countered his every attempt to make her look foolish and biased. and showed Hewitt to be a fly weight. I’m sure he didn’t get the message,but Helen Thomas left him with the soundest advice possible —Look at what you are doing in Iraq.

    In scripture there is a proclamation that says,” Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” And in reality it will be likewise proclaimed of Iraq that every head shall be hung in shame, and every tongue confess that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake.

  2. I always feel kind of unclean after visiting those Right Blogostan links, but I read the Helen Thomas transcript too, and I agree with Swami. She held her own.

    Here’s what the right doesn’t get: the shooting incident, which was indeed minor in the grand scheme of things, and didn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know about the Dick, was the tiny little pinhole leak in the levee. We’re seeing the widespread, deep loathing of Cheney burst forth, and it comes from the people, fed-up Republicans in Congress, and even Bush’s staff.

  3. Helen kicked Hewitt’s butt! Every asinine question he asked was met by Helen’s logic and journalistic integrity! She even checked him by asking him what he’d ever done – really.

    Helen ROCKS!!!!!

  4. When I substituted “Communist” for “liberal” in that nasty interview, it reminded me uncomfortably of the McCarthy hearings.

  5. I listened to the interview…she took all of his punches with dignity, intelligence, passion, and reason..she was great! And furthermore, she exposed him for being a complete and total asshole!!
    I don’t understand how righties could be happy on this, if for no other reason than it showed that Hewitt is nothing but a nasty angry partisan with no respect for the facts…and a lousy interviewer at that…I was surprised she tolerated it for as long as she did..

  6. I agree with all of the above comments. Helen was on to Hewittt from the get-go. He selected her, of course, because she is aggressive during the White House Press Briefings with Scottie.
    Helen is no one’s fool.

  7. The first thing that pissed me off was the nerve of this twerp to call her ‘Helen’. Not Mrs Thomas, not Ms Thomas, no respect whatsoever. The second thing that pissed me off was his insistence that she declare her personal like or dislike for the incompetents whose policy she is required to cover. If it isn’t personal when the people of NOLA are left to die why the hell is it personal when journalists report that the people of NOLA were left to die. I am so way tired of this kind of tactical one upmanship where bozos like this want to talk about talking about it instead of talking about it.

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