Last week, Chris noted that the major argument for the bailout from its proponents was essentially that opposing it is a sign of stupidity. This came from the highest echelons of the Broderian media - and if you want a good example of what I'm talking about, watch the clip above from the highest of high cathedrals of Broderism, The Charlie Rose Show (h/t kovie). It features Conventional Wisdom Guru Doris Kearns Goodwin asserting that anyone who opposed the bailout is not merely wrong (that would be fine - disagreements over substance are part of a healthy democracy). No, Goodwin asserts that bailout opponents are irresponsible and unpatriotic, and further, that any lawmaker who voted against the bailout KNEW they were being irresponsible and unpatriotic. Put another way, Goodwin's comments, which were echoed by other similar elite media voices, very brazenly attempted to imply that opponents of the bailout were being part of the "me first, country second crowd," as hatemonger John McCain himself might say.*
Goodwin, of course, negates to mention the hundreds of award winning economists, financial analysts and experts - not to mention, tens of millions of Americans - who opposed the bailout on the grounds that it would actually make our economic situation worse. She simply insults any opposition as acting out of bad faith - as if it is absolutely impossible for them to be acting on principle and well-documented substance.
This is your elite media at work with the same kind of tactics that likened Joe Lieberman opponents in 2006 to extremist terrorist sympathizers - the same kind of tactics that urged us to spend more than $1 trillion - and more than 4,000 American lives - invading Iraq, while denigrating war opponents as irresponsible and unpatriotic. This is your elite media that, in sum, has become part of the problem.
Why does the media work this way? It's easy to understand if you consider the contemporary "analyst's" self-serving formula: Record whatever those in power say, package it as objectively "responsible" and patriotic policy and feed it to the country while omitting the substantive objections of opponents. That way, the analyst/pundit/reporter gets to stay in the good graces of those in power - and get invites onto Charlie Rose's Public Broadcasting Service show (which, as in this clip, often spends its time criticizing the public).
Call it, as I have, Stenographic Journalism.
* As an off-subject aside, this style is one of the things I really can't stand about McCain, and Barack Obama's very different style is one of the things I like about the Illinois senator. Unlike McCain, he doesn't denigrate his the people he disagrees with as unpatriotic evildoers, or part of any America-hating "crowd." Though I disagree with Obama on a number of things, I always have gotten the sense that he listens - and respects informed opinions, even when he ultimately disagrees with them.