Back when I was young (yes, waaaay back), conservatives constantly grumbled about America’s “liberal press,” claiming that reporters by definition were sympathetic to “leftist” causes.
Things sure have changed.
In the media world of the 21st Century, a potty mouth like Rush Limbaugh can smear the Pope with impunity while an informed and courageous journalist like Martin Bashir loses his MSNBC job for suggesting Sarah Palin deserves to be treated like the slaves whose suffering she belittled.
So that’s what free speech has come to in America.
The right-wing nutcrackers can say whatever vile thing they can conjure up, heaping slurs on the President and the Pope, spreading lies and spewing abusive epithets at will, but let a “liberal” journalist utter an intemperate word and their career is over.
And, in Bashir’s case at least, they’re forced to grovel wretchedly.
Bashir’s “resignation” is the latest in a series of similar incidents at MSNBC. Remember Keith Olbermann? Dylan Ratigan? Cenk Uygar?
Outspoken commentators don’t seem to last at MSNBC.
When I hear MSNBC described as the liberal answer to Fox News, I have to laugh. If that’s the best we liberals can do, we’re a sorry lot.
Yes, I know they brought Ed back -after massive fan pressure. I know Al Sharpton gets to support “liberal” causes – especially if they have a racist element. And I don’t deny that Laurence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow are “liberal.” Rachel is especially adversarial when it comes to issues like same-sex marriage, which are understandably dear to her heart.
But they have to be polite.
Sometimes to a fault.
Chris Matthews is even more pathetic. Apparently, he has to bring on the worst bigots and fascists in America to trade opinions with.
Bashir’s remark about Sarah Palin (shown above) was regrettable of course. I’m sure he didn’t mean to convey the implication that right-wing listeners pounced on. That was indeed disgusting and ugly. (Click the link at the end of this blog for details.)
But better men have said worse things, and gone on with their careers.
And so have worse men. Rush Limbaugh for one.
That salacious windbag called law student Sandra Fluke a slut and remained on the air. And that was far from his only transgression. He has a long history of smearing ethnic and sexual minorities, the poor, immigrants, unions… not to mention the President, whom he relentlessly and intemperately assaults.
And now he is targeting Pope Francis, who is one of the best religious leaders we’ve had in a while (in my view, anyway).
It’s a sad world that tolerates the likes of Rush Limbaugh but tosses Martin Bashir on the scrap heap.