Glenn Greenwald is fast becoming the ultimate resource for dispelling main stream media conventions. In an article for the NY Times, Ross Douthat recycles the tired argument that there are equivalencies between the left and right wing media. Writes Douthat:
What might work, instead, is a cable news network devoted to actual debate. For all the red-faced shouting, debate isn’t really what you get on Fox and MSNBC. Hannity has ditched Colmes, and conservatives are only invited on Rachel Maddow’s show when they have something nasty to say about Republicans.
Greenwald points out that this is complete nonsense:
Here we find two of the most common pundit afflictions: (1) a compulsion to assert equivalencies even when they don't exist, and (2) a willingness to spout anything without doing the slightest work to find out if it's true. Douthat's claim about Maddow -- that "conservatives are only invited on [her] show when they have something nasty to say about Republicans" -- is completely false.
The real problem is not that Maddow fails to invite conservatives on her show; she does exactly that relentlessly. The problem is that most leading conservatives refuse to be interviewed by anyone -- such as Maddow -- who will conduct adversarial interviews.
Douthat is an intelligent conservative and is no doubt highly alarmed at the state of the Republican party. However, even intelligent conservatism in America is still a completely defunct ideology given its spectacular failure to do any of the things it promised (spread wealth, stop poverty, make America safer etc) and people like Douthat are desperately trying to prove their relevance. To do so, he must pretend to be a moderate and decry extremism on both sides, cleverly positioning himself as centrist and the go to guy for rational ideas. The truth is, Douthat would be considered radically conservative anywhere else in the world, but because America's political spectrum is so heavily skewed to the right, he can parade himself as a dispenser of pragmatism and moderation.