From the inbox
A reader writes, in response to this post by Barrett:
… you might want to mention my experience about how the liberal media and publishing bubble actually helps empower the Breitbarts of the world. When I went with my agent to shop around my proposal for [my book], we visited with an acquisitions editor for a major publisher. Really sophisticated guy, but I could tell he had absolutely no idea about the conservative ideas landscape. To him, conservatism was a vast indistinguished "there be dragons" wasteland. He visibly could not grasp what we were saying to him. To him, conservative publishing was all about Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, throwing red meat to the barbarians. He thought that was the only way to connect with conservative audiences. To be sure, if you were all about making money, you were far better off with that attitude than with opening yourself up to me, with my rarefied kind of right-wingery. What bothered me about that meeting was that he very clearly had no grasp of intellectual nuance and depth among conservatives. I would not be the least bit surprised if that same condescending ignorance were at work when editors at MSM broadcast and print outlets think they are doing a good job of bringing a balanced, informed perspective to their coverage by hiring these right-wing bomb throwers. If they can’t tell the difference between Andrew Breitbart and (say) Ramesh Ponnuru, or even a more intelligent and thoughtful outsider among the conservative camp, then they’re going to walk into these landmines. Can you imagine hiring Markos Moulitsas as a serious political analyst? Breitbart is a provocateur, not an analyst. Same with Erick Erickson. It’s this stupid Chinese menu approach to providing analysis (match one liberal with one conservative, and we’ve done our job) that results in this kind of idiocy. That, and not caring to understand the conservative landscape enough to realize you aren’t doing yourself any favors by hiring this sort of commentator.
All I can say is “Amen” – though I’m leaning toward an interpretation of the mainstream media as not so much ‘liberal’ but rather corporate status quo – the media is very entrenched, and some of that translates into a sort of cozy artificial liberalism.
Can you imagine having carte blanche to put together your own cable news talk show? Bring in whoever you wanted – bloggers from The American Scene, etc.. Bring in Daniel Larison to talk foreign policy. I imagine we could shake things up if we were given the chance. Which, of course, we never will be.