The Right’s Cocoon Breaks With Reality
The right’s ability to create their own media and dominate the mainstream press into a position of weakness has been one of the more useful tools in the conservative arsenal. With Fox News and talk radio plus online conservative outlets, they’ve created an ecosystem of b.s. that repeats and amplifies the nonsense du jour. This then filters into the mainstream press, which bends over backwards to pretend conservative insanity is just regular, every day discourse.
The fun part, and why we liberals need strong media of our own but not to the point of excluding reality, is when those who are drenched in conservative noise — on rare occasions — get a dose of reality.
We saw this near the end of the Bush presidency, when the dead-end supporters couldn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t cheering on his failed leadership as they had in 2004. They couldn’t possibly understand that the leader so praised by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh could stumble so far. To this day many of these people still insist there were WMDs in Iraq despite all evidence. Why? Because George W. Bush and Bill O’Reilly said there must be!
This disconnect with reality happened again yesterday, only it didn’t occur with just an average on the street conservative. The bewildered party here was Gov. Jan Brewer. In a performance my colleague compared to the legendary Iraqi minister of information, Brewer claimed that a Supreme Court ruling that struck down much of the law she supported was some sort of great victory. Even worse, she’s so used to being sucked up to with softball questions on Fox News, she was shocked — shocked when the assembled press dared to question her idiotic narrative.
Brewer stammered and insisted the court had ruled in her favor, despite the evidence it had not. Even worse, her enablers in the conservative press — even the ones who clearly realized she was wrong — just kept on propping her up, claiming she had scored a great victory against the evil Obama. They have to keep the fake story alive because reality is just not keeping up with what they want it to be.
There’s obvious value in partisan media, it can be used as a tool of political strength. But when it has escaped the bonds of reality, as it has with the conservative press, all it creates is an army of simpletons who can’t deal with reality.