Accuracy in Media

When I began working in politics in the late 1950s, after the Republicans had been seriously beaten, I attended many meetings the subject of which was the Grand Conspiracy. Speakers, some of reasonable intelligence, tried to make the case that somewhere in Washington (no one knew quite where) was the headquarters of the Liberal Conspiracy. If the Pope made policy for the Catholic Church, and if the President made policy for the United States, there must be a chief liberal who tells all the little liberals what to say. How else could one explain that the NEW YORK TIMES produced stories that were being run on CBS and NBC and would eventually end up on the wires and in our local paper?

Some speakers used charts to show the relationship among directors of major media properties. The lines crossed many times. The more complicated the chart the more the audience adopted the view that we conservatives could do nothing. With newspapers, magazines, radio and television so connected and so powerful, how could little people back home fight the entrenched interests in Washington and New York City? Almost everyone departed these meetings in a state of depression.

I was blessed. I was taught that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against Christianity so I figured the same must be true of people who sometimes did Hell’s bidding but who ultimately would not prevail. That was President Ronald W. Reagan’s view of the Communists. He assumed that a system built on lies ultimately could not prevail. He was sure of it when the Communists had the world believing that they would win. My point is that the Conservative Movement never progressed until it stopped feeling that Liberals are so powerful there is little we could do.

I knew we were winning when, about a decade ago, someone gave me a copy of a chart used at a meeting he attended. It showed the interlocking directorates of the conservative groups. Problem was the chart had most of the information wrong. It listed me as a Director of the American Conservative Union although I never have been associated with that fine organization. Supposedly I also was associated with two public interest law firms. While I have the utmost respect for the work of each firm, I never have been associated with either one.

Much of the information on Morton C. Blackwell also was wrong, as it was on many other conservatives. The charts showed lines connecting the conservative groups. The fellow who attended the meeting said the speaker, a well-known liberal columnist, told those assembled she was convinced that there was a conservative czar whose sole job was to give orders to conservative groups.

There is the leadership team of Senators Harry M. Reid and Richard J. Durbin who believe that a Republican Media Machine blows small matters out of proportion, thus causing the Democrats to be defensive. Twice in recent weeks the Senators blamed that machine for causing their political trouble. According to Durbin, once something is said that the machine operatives believe they can blow out of proportion talk radio initiates the news. The WASHINGTON TIMES and the WALL STREET JOURNAL and the Fox News Channel follow. Finally, the mainstream media echoes what the Republican Attack Machine started.

I am so happy when I read such comments from both Reid and Durbin. So long as they have convinced themselves that the Republican Attack Machine is responsible for their problems rather than what they themselves have said we conservatives will continue to win.

I soon expect those Senate Leaders to come to the Senate Floor with a large chart showing the relationship between Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and their connection to editors of the WASHINGTON TIMES. This would be especially important because former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s (R-GA) press secretary Tony Blankley is op-ed editor of the TIMES and, of course, the TIMES is connected with the editorial page of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. (Do you know that Stephen Moore, who ran the highly effective Club for Growth in the last election, now writes editorials for the JOURNAL? What more proof do we need?) Take, for example, the Fox News Channel (gaining numerous viewers) and observe how its coverage resembles other media coverage. And the so-called mainstream media echoes what others say. Why has Heather Nauert, who purportedly is fairly conservative, left the Fox News Channel for ABC News? See? What more must we tell you?

Reid and Durbin even rolled out the Republican Attack Machine nonsense when Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard P. Dean visited them after getting into trouble for his remarks. Was it Dean’s fault for saying unwise things? No way. It was the Republican Attack Machine at work again. Keep believing that, guys. Keep on looking for the czar who orchestrates what all the media sources say about the issues. He has to be somewhere.

Maybe the czar is Colin McNickel, the editorial page editor of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW. Remember him? He tangled with Mrs. Theresa Heinz-Kerry during the 2004 Presidential Campaign and she dressed him down. There it is. It has to be McNickel. He is at the heart of this conspiracy. After all he works for (pause for hushed tones) Richard Mellon Scaife. They need a federal grant worth several million dollars to figure out how McNickel does it. How does he give orders to the media? Does Limbaugh get his orders via e-mail or a special tie-line? Who knows? Of course, maybe it isn’t McNickel. Maybe it’s conspiracy-driven Liberals.

Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.

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