Monday, May 14, 2018

The Tangled Web of Conservative Thinking...

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert continues traveling around the state asking you and me how we really feel about politics.

I found these conservative comments revealing. First, that "you hate Trump" come back when you're just trying to offer a little political criticism of the government:
1. Mike Breininger of the Richland Center Fellowship, a conservative pastor … his contempt for an “established media” … he views as “corrupt and incapable of benefiting the American people. It’s the dishonesty. I don’t mind if they slant it, just be honest about it. Don’t pretend like you’re putting out the truth here. Just say, ‘This is my opinion. I hate Trump. I’m writing an article based on hating Trump, so here it is.’ I can take that! But to say, ‘I’m just a journalist reporting the way things are and Donald Trump is a slimy, no-good, lying dog who deserves to be impeached’ — oh, that sounds pretty impartial and journalistic to me,” he said sarcastically.

2. One local GOP official, who was not a big Trump fan, complained to me that network news is an “I-hate-Trump Fest for 30 minutes.” When I asked Tom Harder of Grafton what changes he’d like to see in the political culture, he replied, “Changes in you guys.”
This is one of my favorites because it asks that reporters stay in the middle when presenting absolute nonsense with the absolute truth...like there's a middle ground or something? 
3. Ryan Perrault of Milwaukee. “I feel in order to get an educated opinion you’ve got to listen to both sides … and then from there you formulate your own idea,” said Perrault. “If you listen to Tucker Carlson on Fox News, it’s like Trump’s the best guy ever, and then if you turn on CNN, it’s the very opposite end of the spectrum. … How do you get a media source that’s right down the middle, because nobody’s going to want to fund them.”
This next statement hit home and was an epiphanic moment for me. I've been complaining for years how mindboggling and unfair it was to pair an impartial reporter with a stark raving rightwing bomb thrower. Like the disadvantaged reporter could respond with a likewise line of total BS? Gilbert does a wonderful job of describing it. This is how Republicans set up the premise "liberals" and "the media" were one and the same:
The unintended consequences of always pairing right-wing pundits with reporters had the effect of making all reporters “liberal.”

Retiree Jerry Ruud took one look at me at his door and said, “You used to be on Charlie Sykes.” “You’re a liberal,” he said disapprovingly.

“I’m a reporter,” I said. On the Sykes show, I was often the only panelist who wasn’t a conservative commentator or Republican politician.

To Ruud, I was "the other side," as he put it.

No comments: