Media Matters, in case anyone is unaware, is an organization dedicated to the proposition that the liberal media is insufficiently liberal. So when the New York Times published a friendly 8,000-word profile of Rush Limbaugh in its Sunday magazine, it was inevitable that Media Matters' Eric Boehlert would have a conniption over the "squishy-soft . . . puff piece":
For Limbaugh, the ego-stroking profile was quite an achievement: The mighty, and allegedly liberal, New York Times conducted what appeared to be a lengthy, in-depth, and objective profile of Limbaugh and came away very impressed by the titan talker. The Times, quite emphatically, provided its editorial seal of approval to Limbaugh, complete with the flattering, Tony Soprano-like cover photo. . . .Twenty million listeners -- some "fringe"! Boehlert can be forgiven for pining nostalgically for the days when Time magazine presented Limbaugh as a threat to America, and when Limbaugh was among the "purveyors of hatred and division" President Clinton blamed for the Oklahoma City bombing.
I understand that Beltway media players routinely play nice with Limbaugh and his fringe brand of conservatism. Spooked by his liberal-bias charges, the mainstream press corps has for years treated Limbaugh with undeserved respect, worked overtime to soften his radical edges, and presented him as simply a partisan pundit.
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