Pattern of deceit from JFK to ACORN ; Goldwater, Levin books ignored.
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The reaction from liberals of the day was utter fury. Young Mr. Buckley was excoriated as a fascist and would-be Nazi. Yet the book sold like hotcakes, flashing onto the bestseller lists of the day and catapulting Buckley, at 25, to political and intellectual celebrity, setting him on a course for his remarkable life.
In 1961, Senator Goldwater penned a book called The Conscience of a Conservative. This time, unlike the outraged treatment of the Buckley book, the Goldwater book would just be ignored by those who, in Goldwater’s later words, “had long held a monopoly on the information flowing to the American people.” Yet just as with Buckley’s book, and this time without the publicity, a book that had a first printing of ten thousand copies eventually soared to four million copies sold. The book, now considered a classic, is still in print today.
Let’s focus for a moment on Mark Levin and his mysterious lack of welcome at your network and the rest. Without so much as a nod from the Old Media, Mr. Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny, a “pro-conservative” book vigorously positive in tone like those of Buckley and Goldwater before him, soars onto the bestseller list and just stays there. Like the Buckley and Goldwater books, the Levin book is a seminal work on conservatism itself that stands out from the conservative crowd, a classic and deeply serious look at political philosophy as expressed in the politics of our day. It is not a romance novel, not a Grisham or Dan Brown thriller, which makes its popularity (currently a stunning 1.2 million books in print — almost four times that of other bestselling conservative-themed books combined) and that of the book’s author an extraordinary story at any time, most particularly in the Age of Obama. As the Culture and Media Institute notes, Levin’s book was number one on the bestseller list of Mr. Friedman’s paper for 12 weeks. It is now in its 23rd week on the list. Yet just as with Goldwater’s 1961 book or with 1960s JFK stories, or a 1990s Clinton story or an Edwards or Van Jones or ACORN story from 2008 and 2009 — the established media does its best to bury the whole unpleasantness to liberals that is Levin’s book and its huge popularity, precisely because it is such a potent challenge to their world view.
Mr. Friedman’s own book managed the number one spot on the list for a mere two weeks — not even close to Levin - yet Friedman had the media red carpet rolled out for him. Elizabeth Edwards managed only one week atop the Times list, but she too got the media red carpet treatment. As the CMI story also points out, this media blackout applies to other conservative authors as well, although when prodded by Drudge and reports that Ann Coulter has been banned from the Today Show, she appears. Challenged, of course, in a fashion liberal authors never face, a problem faced as well by bestselling conservative authors like Dick Morris. “Stirring” was one of Matt Lauer’s comments to Elizabeth Edwards when she appeared to promote her book — and that was only about one paragraph. Ann Coulter gets complaints about her “tone.” One gets the feeling Lauer is simply too intimidated by either the subject matter or the author to question Levin.
Mr. Brokaw, all of this history, old and new, is now frankly irrelevant. What’s done is done. What once was a considerable reservoir of trust and respect has been drained bone dry.
The real point here is that by the grace of the hard work of a number of people, the world has changed in regard to this kind of thing. Specifically this includes people like Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes of Fox News, along with their stars like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren and Neil Cavuto, to cite but five of a long roster. Not for nothing Rush Limbaugh’s description of himself as “America’s Real Anchorman,” a description with which millions agree — with considerable reason. So too are other talk radio stars Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and their local and regional counterparts filling this news void. Add in the late Mr. Buckley and his National Review, R. Emmett Tyrrell and Alfred Regnery of The American Spectator, Regnery’s late father Henry, who founded the influential Regnery Publishing, and Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes over at the Weekly Standard. And others, such as the indefatigable columnist-blogger (HotAir.com)-author Michelle Malkin, whose book Culture of Corruption is now itself atop the Times list. A list where Dick Morris’s Catastrophe sits as well as does Bill O’Reilly’s Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity — the latter now for 44 weeks. Surely irritating at the moment is Beck’s Common Sense, number one on the paperback NYT list.
But most importantly of all, perhaps, there is the growing number of citizen journalists like Matt Drudge, the godfather of this field with his Drudge Report. Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, who surfaced some of the Van Jones story. John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson and Paul Mirengoff at Power Line, where Dan Rather’s Bush National Guard story was exposed as a phony. The ACORN story is courtesy of Andrew Breitbart and his new site BigGovernment.com, and as mentioned young filmmaker Jim O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, who did the investigating grunt work. There are now countless Americans with access to the Internet of which you are so wary, any number of whom are doing a better job at informing Americans than NBC News or the New York Times.
It is because of these people and their institutions that stories about President Clinton, John Edwards, Van Jones and ACORN have had considerably different endings then they surely would have had if the country had to depend on your Old Media. Why? Because the Old Media is not about the “news,” it is about promoting liberalism, using access to ink and air time to convince Americans that “that’s the way it is,” to borrow the late Mr. Cronkite’s famous phrase. When in fact the news as delivered — or should I say undelivered — by the establishment media was and still is really about the personal political agenda of its liberal journalists. The Old Media has lost all pretension to being the umpire. It is the batter — and the pitcher, infield and outfield players as well.
The Internet, talk radio and Fox have collectively if independently wound up as the battering ram that has smashed through the castle gates of Big Liberal Media.
As a result, the media world in which you played such an important role is imploding before our eyes.
Like the last reel of a James Bond movie, the good guys are swarming the bad guy’s lair and rigging it with explosives. Explosives called “the facts” or, better yet, “the truth.”
The real vetting in the Van Jones incident was not done to Van Jones, Mr. Brokaw. The real vetting was of your establishment colleagues. It is they who have been collectively vetted in this latest incident, and one more time Americans have concluded, to quote you, “this is crazy.” The news media they and you represent simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
The investigation of Mr. Jones — a government official no less — is but one example of the competition your colleagues now must face every minute of every day. The investigation into the corruption in ACORN is still one more. So too with the Bush National Guard story. Not to mention the real details of the President’s health care plans. The response to Mark Levin’s book — and the importance of that response, in spite of a virtual blackout from your peers — is, in its quite distinctive fashion, yet another.
In truth? Either you really don’t get all this — or you do, and simply can’t bring yourself to admit the fact. Much less do anything about it.
What do I think? I think you’re a really smart guy, and so are your colleagues.
Which is exactly what troubles.
Thanks for your time.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?