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I've been reading Newsweek since 1975, when, as a yeshiva student in Israel, I subscribed in order to keep abreast of world events when otherwise not ensconced in the study of Torah. It's been three and a half decades, and my subscription, which lapses next month, will not be renewed. The reasons are reflective of the current state of American culture and mainstream journalism.
A new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, a new book and a new documentary (which aired in New York on May 6) comprise a joint project with the apparent aim of refurbishing the tarnished reputation of John Vliet Lindsay, who presided over the rapid (and at the time seemingly irreparable) decline of New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
There is a widespread impression that prior to June 1967 Israel was beloved by American liberals, who turned lukewarm only when the Jewish state lost its underdog status. While most mainstream liberal politicians at the time were indeed pro-Israel, the same cannot be said for liberals in academia and in an often overlooked but influential source of elite opinion – the major Protestant denominations, which by the mid-1960's were almost uniformly leftist in their political orientation.
The recent release of yet another batch of Nixon tapes and transcripts inspired a new round of fulminations by Nixon-haters, most of whom are tellingly silent or remarkably forgiving when the misdeeds and indiscretions of other former presidents are revealed.
Apparently it was not enough that many of America’s best-known journalists disgraced themselves and their profession by portraying Barack Obama during last year’s presidential campaign as a savior-like figure come to redeem a sin-sick America. Now that the Anointed One is in a position to exercise his wise and benevolent rule from Pennsylvania Avenue, it will no longer do to cast him as a mere mortal.
As Israeli officials continue to warn of the unacceptability of a nuclear-armed Iran, the 28th anniversary of Israel’s June 7, 1981 attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor approaches. The world of course was outraged at Israel’s effrontery, with the usual suspects – European leaders and the liberal media – leading the way.
The cause that for two years now has been closest to the liberal heart – the election and glorification of Barack Obama – has, of course, benefited immeasurably from the virtually uncritical coverage accorded it by the mainstream media. The weeks since Obama’s election have been a period of celebration and self-satisfaction for liberal journalists who barely even attempt to conceal their bias anymore.
Perhaps sensing that the liberal media’s attack template of Sarah Palin as lightweight rube had not made a discernible difference in the campaign polling numbers – and may in fact have driven swing voters to the McCain-Palin ticket – The New York Times appeared to be trying a different tack last weekend.
There is one question readers have asked the Monitor with far greater frequency than any other. It’s a simple one, and it goes basically like this: What is the most important thing you can say about the media after doing a column like this for ten years?
Reminders of the mainstream media’s egregious political double standard vis-à-vis liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, come on an almost daily basis – the latest being last week’s New York magazine, the cover of which features a head shot of John McCain smack in the middle of a concentric-ringed bulls-eye board accompanied by this charming teaser copy: “Target: Bush-Backing, Surge-Loving, Economically Clueless Geezer.”
Was there ever any doubt that liberal journalists and media outlets would swoon over whatever Barack Obama would say in response to the controversy concerning his relationship with his longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Liberals just have too much invested in the storyline of a post-racial, biracial healer whose mission it is to set our house in order after the unspeakable depredations of the George W. Bush years.
With its Oct. 5 front-page story on Rudy Giuliani’s experience hosting an often boisterous weekly call-in show on WABC radio for the better part of his mayoralty, The New York Times found yet one more way to portray the Republican presidential frontrunner as a reckless hothead, reflexively rude and not at all willing to suffer fools (or even just annoying callers) gladly.
Could there be such a thing as Women's Art? From my liberal modernist perspective such a notion is foreign, threatening and, indeed, heretical.
Last week the Monitor considered the matter of radio host Don Imus’s firing and the hypocrisy that infused the affair throughout its eight-day life. Ironically, Bernard Goldberg – the veteran television newsman who with his 2001 surprise bestseller Bias blew the whistle on how liberal journalists routinely slant their reportage – has a new book out, Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right, that includes an amusing, counterintuitive, anecdote about Imus.
Graydon Carter tries so hard to get New York’s liberal establishment to take him seriously – no small task for someone who’s gone from skewering the rich and famous as editor of Spy magazine, the relatively short-lived 1980’s media phenomenon, to toadying to Hollywood celebrities and their imperious agents as editor of Vanity Fair, the glossy monthly that downplays its more serious journalism behind covers that feature scantily clad Hollywood ingénues and headlines seemingly lifted from the National Enquirer. (World Exclusive, shouted the October cover, A 22-Page Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes Family Album.)