home > archive > 2001 > this article
The death of the liberal propaganda machine
By Bruce Walker
The structure of liberal thought control is collapsing fast. Like a fat, vain, chain-smoking, neurotic, alcoholic the "media" that conservative once feared and loathed has self-inflicted maladies which combine to render palliatives counter-productive or useless.
Liberalism itself, of course, has been dead for decades. The defining election was not 1994 or even 1980, but 1966 when the American people determined in the short span of two years that the Great Society was an utter catastrophe, and that the noble, honest Barry Goldwater was vastly superior in every meaningful way to the sleazy, incompetent LBJ.
CBS, Newsweek, NBC, and the other few outlets that massaged any national message did not try very hard to defend liberalism. Instead, they championed "heroes" who attacked it from the Left (it was simply not liberal enough, you see) and changed the name of "liberals" to "progressives" or "moderates."
The other side -- the huge and varied group of people who simple wanted to live in peace, security, and freedom -- were lumped into Archie Bunkers or other crude stereotypes worthy of the vile Jew-baiting Nazi Julius Streicher, or unapologetic conservative political leaders invariably acquired the new titles "arch-" or "ultra-" or "extreme."
This alone, of course, was not enough. Liberals also nurtured the poisons of what they later would call "the politics of personal destruction." Richard Nixon was not much of a conservative, nor for that matter was his Vice President Spiro Agnew, but they were Republicans and the character flaws and weaknesses which media of all persuasions ignored in FDR and JFK suddenly became the new clarion call of liberal Democrats and their stooges in the media. This brought down Nixon and Agnew (even as Ted Kennedy, who was probably guilty of manslaughter, was the Majority Whip in the Democrat's Senate).
This strategy did not last long, however, and as Bomber Harris said of the Luftwaffe Blitz on London "They have sown the wind, and now they shall reap the whirlwind." After Nixon left office, Republicans became choosing leaders who were squeaky clean. Ideology aside, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bob Dole, and George W. Bush are good and decent men.
Rage as they did against the tricky Republicans who chose men of integrity for their leaders, the liberal Democrat media began to undertake the sordid job of mafia lawyers for crooked Democrats like Tony Cohello, Jim Wright, and Dan Rostenkowski. Mondale chose a running mate in 1984 whose spouse had serious mob ties. The Democrat-run House Banking Scandal was, in sheer number, the largest act of malfeasance in the history of Congress.
By 1992, Clinton understand the full measure of liberal addiction to power. He could lie -- blatantly, mockingly, brutally -- and get a pass. He could ruin lives in ways that Nixon's pals would never have dreamed of doing, and CNN would always find his latest, vacuous platitude more newsworthy. Stories of sexual harassment were spiked. Tales of goons terrorized defenseless women were ignored.
Soon Slick Willie had won the limbo dance of low morals, hands down.
These stories, however, were news. They were important. And conservatives,
who had learned to be lean, mean, and tough, developed outlets to reach
the people with the facts much more quickly than the dinosaurs of the
Democrat liberal establishment. People stopped seeing these empty suits
on network programs as "reporters" and "journalists"
and more as grotesque caricatures of serious defenders of honest government.
Perhaps the defining moment was in Florida, when the son of a good man who had been "robbed" of the Presidency (recall that the Democrat Senate committee that had spent eight years of fruitless investigation of President Bush announced his legal and ethical innocence the very day after he lost the relatively close election of 1992 -- an act of crass arrogance and abuse rarely seen in American political history) decided to fight and fight and fight. And win.
Now, as the poor babies of the media swelter in Crawford, Texas while the President does those things most of us in Flyover Country think quite sensible and good, they look in vain for ways to bring him down. But President Bush is also the first conservative Republican President to understand a very crucial fact about the Clinton News Network and its incestuous organs of party propaganda: He does not need them at all. They need news, and they are not getting much out of the Republicans in Congress or in state governments or in the Executive Branch. Dull, insulting diatribes by the Plurality Leader of the Senate only carry so much interest.
The President and his supporters have myriad quick and effective ways to communicate to the American people. His conduct and his policies are consistent with what most of us believe. During a recent visit to an East Coast city, President Bush was introduced by some Democrat hack who saw the chance to insult the Chief of our Nation with some comment like "I didn't support you then, and I don't know." Our President's response zoomed in with the precision of his father's cruise missiles a decade ago, when he said: "Who cares what you think?"
Do any of us conservatives who have been pilloried, mocked, and ignored care? Do the befuddled feminists scrambling to explain why Clinton, Gary Condit, and Jesse Jackson are good for women (but men like President Bush are bad) really care, except for power and perks? How about the new, improved black leaders, who say "Yassar" to former Klansman Senator Byrd, the new Democrat Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and to Dan Rather, who uses unapologetic racial slurs, but are expected to march into battle against such nefarious organizations as the Salvation Army and Boy Scouts? Do they care?
No -- no one cares about what these liars think, and we are wisely choosing to just ignore them. Once we begged for a token conservative on a stacked panel with a slanted agenda, but now we don't need them at all. They are sloths. They are boors. They are spoiled. And they are slipping into the darkness.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2019, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.
You've seen the banner,
now order the gear!
Visit ESR's anti-gun control gear web site for T-shirts, mugs and mousepads!