Politics & Policy

H8ers Gotta H8

Chris Matthews
In 2014, the media delivered a torrent of anti-conservative bile.

The real haters are in the media, some of them the openly left-leaning media and some of them claiming to be mainstream. But oh, how vilely they spew their hatred.

That’s the most obvious takeaway from a perusal of this year’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2014: The Twenty-Seventh Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting,” sponsored by the indispensable Media Research Center. This is my 17th straight year as one of the 40 or so volunteer judges for the awards, and each year the media’s anti-conservative vitriol seems worse than before.

They accuse us of being “haters.” They, by contrast, are rational, fair-minded, and kindly. Really, they are. Consider, for example, the gentlemanly Chris Matthews on Hardball on October 27, speaking of the Republican nominee for Senate from North Carolina: “What’s worse: Thom Tillis, or Ebola?”

Of course, for others in the media, the dread disease apparently was a cynical figment of the right-wing imagination. Here’s Andrea Mitchell reporting on MSNBC on Election Night about why Republicans were winning: “It was a scare tactic by the Republican opponents of Democratic incumbents, who tried to focus on ISIS and Ebola in the scariest, most nonfactual ways.”

Then again, maybe the world would be better off if leading conservatives themselves contracted a hideous virus. Here’s Alan Pyke, deputy economic policy editor for the far-left Think Progress blog in reaction to the Fox News Channel’s coverage of the unrest in Ferguson: “I hope Roger Ailes dies slow, painful, and soon. The evil that man has done to the American tapestry is unprecedented for an individual.”

How nice.

But that’s okay. After all, we’re killers. That’s the contention of the increasingly unhinged Matthews (again), with regard to conservative support for voter-ID laws: “Believing they can’t convert the African-American vote, they’ve decided to slaughter it. . . . This is murder in broad daylight.”

But at least our economics aren’t lethal — merely bigoted. Just ask MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, who on April 30 discerned our real motives: “I think not raising the minimum wage is a racist policy. . . . Not raising the wage, the minimum wage, is every bit as racist as comments made by Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. It’s just displayed in a different way.”

Speaking of displays, Sarah Palin still makes them apoplectic. Esquire once was a classy magazine. Now it employs Charles Pierce, who wrote this blog post about Palin’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference: “[Senator John] McCain should pay a heavy price for unleashing this ignorant, two-wheeled bilewagon [Sarah Palin] on the country’s politics. If you think she’s a legitimate political leader, you’re an idiot and a sucker, and I feel sorry for you. . . . She is the living representation of the infantilization of American politics, a poisonous Grimm Sister telling toxic fairy tales to audiences drunk on fear and hate and nonsense. . . . It was the address of a malignant child delivered to an audience of malignant children. If you applauded, you’re an idiot and I feel sorry for you.”

Compared with that, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski was quite kind to Palin, calling her merely “a multimillion-dollar moron selling a message.”

One should probably never take seriously a graphic novelist and cartoonist whose father, Mel Brooks, penned Springtime for Hitler, but Max Brooks on HBO with Bill Maher pretended to be a Deep Thinker delivering a sober analysis. The rise of the Tea Party “has happened before in history,” he sagely intoned. “In Germany in the ’20s and ’30s, there was this right-wing reactionary element that was so terrified of anarchy and Communism that they said, ‘You know what? There’s a group of street thugs that are real ideologues, and . . . once they get into power we can control them.’ . . . What is true is that ideologues are only loyal to ideology.”

On the other hand, there are no ideologues among liberals and the media (please excuse the redundancy), no sirree. They are broad-minded and always willing to abide opposing viewpoints. That is, they are, in a word, “tolerant.” Which of course is why Gawker’s staff writer Adam Weinstein shared this bit of policy advice:

Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars. . . . Denialists should face jail. They should face fines. . . . I’m talking about Rush and his multimillion-dollar ilk in the disinformation business. I’m talking about Americans for Prosperity and the businesses and billionaires who back its obfuscatory propaganda. . . . Those malcontents must be punished and stopped.

In case anybody missed the point, the blog post’s headline was “Arrest Climate-Change Deniers.”

Okay, Mr. Weinstein: Come get us. Bring your shackles for us. But just remember that the caves we live in are dark and deep and that, to fend off the saber-toothed tigers, we carry awfully big clubs.

— Quin Hillyer is a contributing editor for National Review. Follow him on Twitter: @QuinHillyer.

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