Saturday, February 4, 2012

Priest of the Church of the All Powerful State Denies Its Existence

In a howler of an essay in today’s Sacramento Bee, former deputy editor Bill Endicott unintentionally displays in 629 words all the arrogance and myopia of the MSM and its role in the Church of the All Powerful State.

Mr. Endicott’s topic is liberal bias in the MSM—or, more accurately, his assertion that there is no such thing.  Of course, he and his fellow acolytes have been saying this ever since the “nattering nabobs of negativism” speech by Spiro Agnew in 1970.  This reaction of denial is understandable; after all, the Wizard of Oz was flustered when Toto pulled back the curtain revealing the actual nature of his mystique.

Mr. Endicott’s methods deserve similar exposure.  The ways by which the MSM delegitimizes the dissenters from the Church’s orthodoxy are fairly straightforward, and are on full display here.

First, attack a proponent of the argument you intend to stigmatize by misdirection rather than straightforward refutation.  In this piece, Mr. Endicott does this by first acknowledging Mr. Agnew’s leading role as one of the first public officials to specifically call out the MSM.  He then belittles the Vice President’s actual argument by asserting that his attacks were merely the result of personal pique against the press by President Richard Nixon.  He next decoys us away from the substantive argument when he reminds us of Mr. Agnew’s subsequent legal problems with things he did while governor of Maryland.  The message is that because the former Vice President had political ambitions and criminal problems, the point he was making with the "nattering nabobs" speech can be safely dismissed.

Nowhere does he address or rebut the actual substance of Mr. Agnew’s criticisms of the press.

Thirdly, insinuate that the charges have no substance by remarking on the effect they have on the unwashed and ignorant masses.  “GOP candidates have found press-bashing irresistible,” Mr. Endicott intones, “knowing there is no quicker way to get conservatives riled up than to tell them what they love to hear.”