Andrew Sullivan’s latest Fox News take down is a must read. He takes issue with Fox not just attacking or dismissing its critics, it’s airbrushing them out of existence to use Sullivan’s words.
What happened in the Bush-Cheney years was a ruthless attempt to nullify as far as possible the reach of the dissidents. We live with the consequences.
For my part, I would have loved to have a chance to debate my critique of modern Republicanism – “The Conservative Soul” – on Fox News. You’d think a discussion of that kind would have enlivened a show segment. But the book was ignored by almost every conservative media outlet. My cover story on Obama’s long game last January spawned several segments in prime time on Fox, but despite persistent requests from Newsbeast’s publicist, Fox chose other people to defend the essay I wrote. When they put a screen shot of the magazine cover on TV they actually blurred out my name, in true Stalinist fashion in which an individual is simply airbrushed out of existence. Megyn Kelly, moreover, asserted that I was not an “actual journalist” and I was given no right of reply, despite insistent requests. If you don’t remember this, here’s the Kelly clip. And the January essay which predicted that Obama’s long game would outlast his critics turns out not to have been such a bad bet after all. And in the marketplace of ideas, it blazed a trail – almost 60,000 Facebook likes, for example. Why not have the author on to defend his own work? Why not have at me and let me fight back? Because they were never interested in a real debate, just phony ones.
I’m lucky enough to have created and built the Dish as an outlet – and as a refuge for conservatives repelled by the current GOP. So I don’t care. I don’t need cable news to get my ideas out there. But the chilling effect on desperately needed discourse on where conservatism went so badly wrong is not a solution to a problem. It is the source of the problem.
Roger Ailes has helped kill conservatism in America, by never allowing it to criticize itself. [emphasis mine] When journalism puts power above truth it isn’t, to coin a phrase, “actual journalism”. It’s propaganda. And I, like others in the Stalinist atmosphere, was just rendered invisible in the one-party state that is the GOP’s media-industrial complex.
This must ring true even for hard core movement conservatives. The suppression of dissent is an authoritarian instinct that demonstrates nothing but insecurities. If the positions of movement conservatism were intellectually honest and reality based, would such suppression be necessary?