Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All’s Fair

All’s Fair
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Waters: Tea Party Can Go ‘Straight to Hell’

Article Synopsis:
California Democrat Congressman Maxine Waters, among the multitude of Democrats whining for “civility” following the shooting of Arizona Democrat Congressman Giffords by a looneytune, informed a group of her constituents at a job creation forum near Los Angeles that “the Tea Party can go straight to hell”. While acknowledging that this was tepid compared to other Democrats who have called them terrorists and jihadists, Tea Party leaders disapproved of Waters’ comment.

So how do you really feel, Maxine? It would appear that the only people required to be civil in this New Era of Civility is anyone who would criticize liberals, Democrats or [ironic term] “progressives”; they, though, are allowed to be as crass as they please. And they’ve been quite crass – and not only recently, either.

Of all the things this smacks of – hypocrisy, delusion, self-righteousness – it smacks most of desperation. This is not how a representative of a political philosophy needs to talk when he has an easy sell to the public. Commercials for products that beat the pants off their competition never mention the competition – in good terms or bad. A polite mention is free advertising for the competition; an impolite mention leaves an unnecessarily bad taste instead of minty fresh breath.

Conclusion: A clearly superior product which defames its competition, whether mouth wash or political philosophy, will be viewed by its consumers as a bully and an ass hole. Liberal politics is clearly not a clearly superior product any longer, and liberals are coming off as bullies and ass holes.

Headline: Standard & Poor’s President to Step Down

Article Synopsis:
He’ll be replaced by a Citigroup executive as he “pursues other interests”. S&P, along with all the other major ratings agencies, maintained AAA ratings of subprime mortgage securities guaranteed by the government’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loansharkers.

What the article doesn’t say, but should: The “other interests” being pursued is mainly to achieve separation between the S&P head honcho when it lowered the US bond rating and the company itself, for when the Justice Department investigates the circumstances of the lowered bond rating.

Also not mentioned is that the Citigroup from which S&P’s new president will come is the same Citigroup that was instrumental in implementing the government’s mandate to compel subprime loans through the failed and farcical policies of Fanny and Freddie.

Finally not mentioned is how much SEC pressure was brought upon ratings agencies – who are now suffering for their ratings policies – to maintain those ludicrous AAA ratings on what was privately known for well over a decade, and publically known for several years even by layman, as essentially fraudulent or otherwise criminal lending practices ... and that were required by law.

Conclusion: What’s another scapegoat in the grand scheme of things? He may well end up as Treasury Undersecretary for Fiduciary Bond Analysis.

Headline: FCC Drops ‘Fairness Doctrine’

Article Synopsis:
In 1949 the FCC demanded that political coverage on radio and television give substantially ‘equal time’ to opposing views. Liberals are complaining because of the dominance of conservative talk radio and conservatives are complaining because of the similar dominance of liberal print and television media. FCC claims they haven’t actively enforced this regulation in two decades. They cite media technology and competition for making the rule obsolete.

The sound of the other shoe falling: The “fairness doctrine” mainly meant having to dig up Republicans in Chicago in order to hold Mayoral debates, and the problem is that none could be found. Political “fairness” is ephemeral at best, non-existent at worst – as the Maxine Waters hootenanny above would suggest. But mostly it has been used to shoehorn marginal and embarrassing third-party candidates into presidential relevance. With the exception of Ross Perot in ’92 there hasn’t been a third party candidate worth including ... including Ross Perot in ‘96 – not even the Libertarians. And as a third-party voter who calls himself libertarian, that’s sad and pathetic.

What is saddest and most pathetic is that we are a two-party nation, and with the exception of Republicans in Chicago and little else all relevant viewpoints are included where necessary by default; the ‘fairness doctrine’ is, as the FCC says, obsolete. Yes, a US government regulatory agency is right about something – another ephemeral event. I’m sure it won’t last.

People will get their news from places which do not offend the listener’s sensibilities. And when liberals complain about conservative talk radio and Foxnews being conservative news outlets ... they’re correct. These are conservative news outlets. And when conservatives complain about most print and television media [less Foxnews] being liberal news outlets ... they’re also correct. They are liberal news outlets.

So what’s it mean when both liberals and conservatives are correct about the inherent biases in the media they gripe about? Nothing, that’s what.

First: ever has it been thus. William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, and the “yellow journalism” they gave us were not, themselves, the first occurrence of this phenomenon; media has been used for propagandizing to the popular opinion since the first pictogram on the first papyrus scroll. Second: as we’re seeing today in the marketplace of ideas, the availability of a philosophical viewpoint doesn’t matter a tinker’s dam when the philosophy doesn’t resonate with the audience it’s trying to convince.

Large-circulation daily newspapers are failing all over the country, going broke by the boatload. Large dailies are primarily liberal sounding boards serving large metropolitan areas ... which are predominantly liberal in voting pattern. In areas in which two dailies can be supported, the smaller conservative daily generally does better.

Liberal television national news outlets – CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC – are scrambling for ratings while Foxnews beats them all. With ratings comes advertising; with advertising comes money. It’s not a coincidence that nearly everyone recognizes the names Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity while it’s only political junkies who know the name Keith Olbermann. [I had to look up all three as I pay no attention to any of them; but we’re talking generalities here and not my subjective specifics].

Conservatives dominate talk radio and very successfully; several years ago liberals attempted to cobble together AirAmerica, the liberal radio response to Rush Limbaugh. It bombed, even in Chicago where conservatives can be counted on two liberal hands and a “progressive” foot and still have enough toes left over to tread political water.

Conclusion: “Fairness” is what people can intellectually swallow without gagging. Different gag reflexes arise at different times in every country, and the gag reflex over liberal nonsense is becoming more pronounced in this country at this time. That’s reality. There are not enough liberals around to justify the predominance of liberalism in print and television media – contraction and obsolescence will occur. There aren’t enough liberals because more people are realizing that the time of liberal solutions to systemic problems is fading. The only people who don’t realize it are liberals ... who are becoming desperate about it [see item one].


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