- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2007

‘Slime machine’

“For the first time in our history, we had this wall-to-wall ideological right-wing press that not only — the Fox News, the talk radio, the Weekly Standard — that not only mongered for war along with the administration, not only embraced the administration’s policies because they were quote, ‘conservative’ including going to war, but also mounted a slime machine to discredit any journalist who dared to stand against the official view of reality. [Dan] Rather himself says on my show, ‘They have a slime machine and we know it.’

“So that’s a new phenomenon that people don’t fully understand. How, if a journalist tried to tell the truth about the intelligence, the Hannitys and the O’Reillys and the Limbaughs and the Mike Savages would come down on them, slander them, discredit them, so good reporting lost its power to break through because of this avalanche of opposition and venom directed at them. … There are more media sources today than there ever was, as a result we’re losing our ability to, we’re losing the common knowledge that helps us act a society in response to certain crises.”

— Bill Moyers, interviewed April 18 by Eric Bates of Rolling Stone

Imus irony

“The [Don] Imus saga has prompted the inevitable talk of a national conversation about race. In his [New York Times] column, [Frank] Rich noted that such a conversation, if honest, should also include a discussion of hip-hop lyrics.

“But there are other, far less-noticed ironies. [New York Times columnist] Maureen Dowd is one of many Washington elites criticized for condoning Imus’ bad behavior by appearing on his show. Some years ago, commenting on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s critique of affirmative action, Dowd opined that Thomas had been driven ‘barking mad’ by the racial preferences he himself had received. What’s really more racist: a radio shock jock’s dumb casual gibe at a group of black women athletes, or Dowd’s calculated putdown of a black man who strays from the approved black point of view?

“Now that would make for an interesting conversation about race. But don’t hold your breath.”

— Cathy Young, writing on “From Imus Onward,” Monday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Drudge factor

“He defeats presidential candidates with a stroke of his keyboard.

“He makes best-sellers with a click of his mouse.

“He drives the national debate with his choice of headlines.

“Those are some of the supernatural powers that have been attributed to Matt Drudge. And, if you’ve been watching his work at the famed Drudge Report for as long and as closely as I have, you would probably agree there is more than a little truth behind them. …

“In fact, Drudge is so pervasive in our culture today that we seldom hear any first name. It’s just Drudge. And everyone knows who you are talking about as surely as if you said ‘Cher’ or ‘Madonna.’ …

“Americans — indeed, people all over the world — are getting their news in new ways today because of this Internet pioneer. He led the way.”

— Joseph Farrah, from his new book, “Stop the Presses: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution”

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