The Corner

Mad How disease

The Washington Post’s media man, Howard Kurtz, is mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it for more than another couple decades or until the management buy-out offer improves:

The media are getting mad.

Whether it’s the latest back-and-forth over attack ads, the silly lipstick flap or the continuing debate over Sarah and sexism, you can just feel the tension level rising several notches.

Maybe it’s a sense that this is crunch time, that the election is on the line, that the press is being manipulated…

Yes, indeed. Howie feels the press is being “manipulated” by the McCain campaign.

Maybe it is. A conventional launch strategy for a little-known vice-presidential nominee might have involved “manipulating” the media into running umpteen front-pagers on Sarah Palin’s amazing primary challenge of a sitting governor and getting the sob-sisters to slough off a ton of heartwarming stories about her son shipping out to Iraq.

But, if you were really savvy, you’d “manipulate” the media into a stampede of lurid drivel deriding her as a Stepford wife and a dominatrix, comparing her to Islamic fundamentalists, Pontius Pilate and porn stars, and dismissing her as a dysfunctional brood mare who can’t possibly be the biological mother of the kid she was too dumb to abort. Who knows? It’s a long shot, but if you could pull it off, a really cunning media manipulator might succeed in manipulating Howie’s buddies into spending the month after Labor Day outbidding each other in some insane Who Wants To Be An Effete Condescending Media Snob? death-match. You’d not only make the press look like bozos, but that in turn might tarnish just a little the fellow these geniuses have chosen to anoint.

John Hinderaker has more on Kurtz’ descent into madness, while Roger Kimball calls the last two weeks an “act of auto-immolation” by the media. Alas, while setting their own pants on fire, Howie & co also managed to spill the lighter fluid all over Barack’s coronation robes. The other day Boston’s ”alternative” paper ran a piece lamenting that MSNBC being so obviously in the tank for Obama is, in fact, damaging the Obama campaign. As Orrin Judd says:

Even if it isn’t particularly true, the notion that Keith Olbermann defeated Barack Obama needs to become conventional wisdom, just to drive the Left bonkers.

Indeed. When Howie claims he’s getting really really mad, I wonder if he realizes he sounds like Elmer Fudd warning Bugs Bunny “You’re making me vewy vewy angwy”* right after he’s shot his own butt off.

(Incidentally, Howard’s second paragraph,quoted above, should be taught in Journalism School as a model of how to give the air of “impartiality” and even-handedness – “Whether it’s… or… or…” -when, in fact, you’re entirely “unidirectional”, in John Hinderaker’s word, in your obsessions.)

[*UPDATE: I was being too kind to Howie. Steven den Beste emails to say, Loony Tunes-wise, the media are more like Marvin the Martian when he’s angry. As an image for the media establishment, an effete space alien is hard to beat.]

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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