Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Who's Sleeping with Whom?

File this one under “Politics makes strange bedfellows” – or, as the case may be, strange bedpersons.

NewsMax reports that Senator Hillary Clinton, widely reported to be a liberal, is doing it with Rupert Murdock, the closest thing the 21st century has to newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. Mr. Murdock buys ink by the shipload and is widely perceived to be a conservative.

“Rupert Murdoch, head of the News Corp. empire that includes conservative favorites like the Fox News Channel and the New York Post, will be hosting a New York senatorial fund-raiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.”

The same paper reports that Sen. John McCain may be uninvited to give a commencement speech at the New School in New York. Students repulsed by the senator’s craven attempts to curry favor with conservatives have collected 1,000 signatures and presented them to New School President former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb, who favors the appearance. Kerry is widely regarded as a liberal and obviously does not agree with the unvarnished sentiments of literature professor Ann SNITow.

"Civility,” said the aptly named Ms. SNITow, “is not in order at a time like this. The moral position is outrage, protest and revolt against the right-wing oligarchy that is currently running this country. Ms. SNITow believes the maverick senator’s opposition to abortion rights “is tantamount to support for female sexual slavery.”

Columbia University also would like the give the heave-ho to Sen. McCain. The lone dissenter at the New School appears to be self-described libertarian Morgan Huntley.

"What about freedom of ideas?" Mr Huntley asked. "The New School only has one side of the coin. If you explore the other side, you're nuts."

Explore ideas? In the New School? BaaaHaaaa! Shut up Huntley!

As if all this were not confusing enough, the same annoying newspaper reports that Sen. Clinton has been caught throwing roses at the feet of the infidel Bush.

"He is someone who has a lot of charm and charisma, and I think in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I was very grateful to him for his support for New York," Clinton said Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., during a talk at the National Archives about her life in politics.

Just wait till the stone throwers at DailyKos hear about this.

DailyKos is the liberal blog site that has been stoning Connecticut’s beloved Sen. Joe Lieberman. The kiss Bush planted on Lieberman some months ago, has launched a thousand blog entries. Here in Connecticut, a half dozen fleures de mal bloomed overnight, making instant celebrities of formerly obscure political thinkers such as CtKeith, BranfordBoy and the anonymous proprietors of myleftnutmeg.com.

Political blogs are the Wild West of journalism, and anonymity certainly has stiffened spines. The writers on many anti-Lieberman blog sites are opaque rather than transparent, while their targets are always transparent. It would be impossible for Lieberman to disguise himself as Mr. Myleftnutmeg. The same state legislature that regards bloggers as journalists now has passed a law elevating journalists to the status of priests who need not disclose the substance of confessions made to them – certainly not if the confessor is Deep Throat, handing over to fathers Woodward and Bernstein valuable information concerning a break in at the Watergate hotel; but not even if the confessor has in his possession information necessary for the prosecution of, say, John Rowland but refuses to unburden himself of it under cover of the new law, which prevents courts from wheedling source information from reporters.

My guess is that the new opacity and the pampered attentions afforded reporters and media adepts will add to the general mistrust of honest journalism. People trusted Thoreau because, after he refused to pay his taxes, he went to jail; he did not petition the legislature for special protections unavailable to other citizens of Concord, Massachussetts.

Already, the general public trusts Big Media less than the average congressman. How low can you go? Anonymity makes writers mean rather than honest -- and sloppy in their work. Ms. Snitow probably got it right. Moral outrage, the spit and spittal of the new Torquemata, is very nearly the opposite of civility. But once you have done away with civility, how will have a civilization?

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