The Blessing of Kristol: The 2nd Generation

One unintended consequence of the right’s hyper-messaging push has been that it may have worked too well. Namely, the constant repetition and dissemination of talking points have become so embedded in the right’s DNA that it leads, largely, to one of two inevitable occurences every so often. On the one hand, a right-winger will short hand a common “tenet” you could find any day at The Corner. Sarah Palin’s “pro-America” comment fits this bill. The right, and those of us who follow the right’s rhetoric, understand the longer point it’s supposed to make, but to everyone else it pretty clearly implies that certain areas like cities are un-American. And that hurts you because lots of people live in cities.

Short of that though, you’ll often catch a second rate hack on a right-wing blog getting lazy with their formulations, and demonstrating just how silly these basic assumptions of wingnutdom really are. Take Jennifer Rubin, remarking on the Georgia Senate runoff:

So you can expect the MSM to crow wildly if Martin wins — and relegate the news to the back pages if Chambliss pulls it out.

Now, on the one hand, this is the sort of argument that would flunk any logic/rhetoric class, because it obviously can’t be demonstrated. It may be true, but since both Martin and Chambliss cannot win, there’s no way for us to tell if this really would happen, and so it can not be asserted as “proof” of any underlying premise.

But even if we allow that it would happen, that only serves to underscore the point liberals are finally making about right-wing accusations of media bias; it’s not that they want an unbiased media, they want a media that is favorable to Republicans. To be blunt, Saxby Chambliss winning the run-off is back page news, because he’s a Republican and a Republican winning in Georgia isn’t exactly breathtaking stuff. But even removing partisan identifiers, he’s an incumbent Senator who nearly captured a majority the first time around, and is very likely to win the run-off relatively easily. His re-election isn’t particularly newsworthy, but if he somehow loses, meaning that not only does a Democrat win a national race in Georgia but that Democrats may very well wind up with 60 Senate seats, that’s pretty obviously front page news. So any “discrepancy” isn’t evidence that the newsmedia has a partisan bias to it, but rather confirmation that the real world isn’t 50-50. But conservatives have rather conveniently flipped this into a victim mentality in which everyone is out to get them, and they’d win elections if only the media (or any of the other institutions with a “liberal bias”) would play fair.