Sunday, February 13, 2005

Fractured fairy tales, Republican style.


Once upon a time (well, OK, within just the last several days, as I'm sure you all remember), someone, during the course of a high-profile press conference, said something sufficiently curious that it attracted the attention of a blogger or two. Two bloggers became four, four became eight and, in short order, a phalanx of intrepid online investigators were digging, poking and prodding, and publishing their results online. The end result was the inevitable embarrassed resignation of the individual in question. And there was much rejoicing and high-fiving in the right-wing blogosphere.


Huh? What the f...? Oh, you thought I was talking about this, didn't you?

No, what I was referring to is this -- the downfall of CNN's Eason Jordan, after he allegedly told an audience that the American military was deliberately targeting journalists in Iraq, then had to backpedal when he couldn't back up those claims. But notice the wholly different perspective on these two stories from the right.

The conservative spin on "Jeff Gannon" was that the left's investigation of Gannon was tacky, classless, vengeful, snarky, vindictive, that sort of thing. It was an invasion of privacy, a cruel thing to do to this poor man, yadda, yadda, yadda. Oh, yes, the crocodile tears streamed forth, howling over "the paranoid mentality and mean-spirited nature of the political left".

How, then, to explain Michelle Malkin's summing up of Easongate and its investigators, where we read of "the courage of Rony Abovitz" who "bypassed the MSM and exposed the controversy with a simple click of the mouse"? Where "a few standout bloggers picked up on the story and refused to let it die," how these steel-spined, rock-ribbed gumshoes were not a lynch mob but a "truth squad", involving the "relentless [Hugh] Hewitt", the "intrepid blogger Sisyphean Musings" and the "tireless Captain Ed". Where anyone who didn't buy in was just laying on "a transparent coat of whitewash." And on and on and on, noble soldiers the lot of them, whose only motivation was a quest for truth, freedom and justice. Or something like that.

Things sure look a lot different when you're inside that echo chamber destroying someone's career, don't they?

Without a doubt, right-wing freepers will complain that this isn't a fair comparison, that the two situations are not equivalent, that they want their mommy, etc. The inevitable grousing will be that Jordan's statements were most certainly fair game in the public arena, while no one had any business digging around in Gannon's private life, even if it involved possible gay male military prostitution web sites and Gannon in his Fruit-of-the-Looms, trolling for Log Cabin Republicans.

And while this is a valid point, it has to be noted that all of the high-profile leftie bloggers who were pushing this story were unanimous that the story wasn't the sex angle -- it was how someone with no discernible journalistic credentials, employed by a bogus front organization for the GOP, could have been getting a daily pass for the last two years under an assumed name to get into high-security White House press conferences and journalistically fellate the Chimp-in-Chief. And how he somehow got hold of a classified memo related to outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. The sex part was just icing on the cake, but it was most definitely not the story.

Ah, but you can see the point of all this, can't you? When you wander into the conservative bubble, the rules are pretty simple, aren't they? Us, good. Them, bad. Logic, unnecessary.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

1 comment:

CathiefromCanada said...

Exactly correct.
And I haven't yet seen any coverage about whether Jordan was, in fact, correct -- in the Control Room documentary, Al Jazerra reporters certainly felt that their Baghdad office had been deliberately targeted during the war. I wondered if the right-wing hysteria was based on the fear that the Jordan comments would actually be investigated.