The conservative mainstream media?

By Nicholas Sanchez
web posted March 27, 2000

We are in the dawn of a New Age, ladies and gentlemen. That's right, we are now living in the epoch of the Conservative Mainstream Media. How do we know this to be true? Why because Bill Kristol has told us so, that's why!

In a recent article for Human Events, Brent Bozell writes how Kristol is quickly becoming the media's favorite mouthpiece of the Right. And it is no wonder why.

Mr. Kristol was, of course, one of the most outspoken champions of media-darling John McCain's presidential campaign. More recently, he has appeared in print and on television, offering such memorable quotes as: "The whole idea of the 'liberal media' was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures." Kristol has also been quoted as saying that on some occasions, the media has acted in the interests of conservatives.

So, according to Bill Kristol, the Liberal Media is merely an invention of the big-bad Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

This fantastic claim is based on the glowing treatment that John McCain received from members of the media. So . . . according to Mr. Kristol, the fact that John McCain, a Republican, received kind treatment from the press is now the leading indicator of whether or not the press is liberal or conservative.

I suppose that his love affair with the media had nothing to do with the fact that, on a wide array of issues, Sen. McCain was quick to distinguish himself as a conservative, but one who doesn't take his conservatism too seriously. This would explain why his dismissive attitude towards tax cuts was praised as "responsible". (I bet McCain didn't see that coming.) I guess that the media would have been there to praise him whether or not heparted ways with religious conservatives. Which is now why I -- thanks to Bill Kristol -- am free to believe that McCain's baiting of Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson had very little to do with politics - it was done on principle. And, obviously, I am now equally assured that when he equivocated his past position on abortion, it was in no way to curry favor with members of the press. It just shows that the man is flexible.

Yes, we all know how much the media loves conservatives who stick to their convictions. Well, going by the standards of Bill Kristol, I do not know what we conservatives have been moping around for so long. Apparently, the media has been on our side for a long time now.

The Media was there for former Senator Barry Goldwater when he came out in favor of homosexuals serving in the military. The Media was there for Congressman Henry Hyde when he came out in favor of the assault weapons ban. The Media was there for Senator Bob Dole when he backed the Clinton Administration in the Bosnian war. The Media was there for Senator Orrin Hatch when he came out in favor of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And the Media was there for Ronald Reagan when he first announced that he would put a woman on the Supreme Court, and still later when he announced that woman would be Sandra Day O'Connor.

So there you have it: five examples that go back at least twenty years of the media coming out in favor of positions taken by conservatives, or in some cases, so-called conservatives.

I am quite sure that the media's favorable coverage of these gentlemen has nothing to do with the fact that they each came out in favor of liberal positions. I am also sure that the media showered favorable attention on John McCain because the media is working to achieve conservative goals. And I hope that you share my sense of certainty on a piece of real estate that I would like to sell you in Brooklyn.

Nicholas Sanchez is director of Development at the Free Congress Foundation.

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