« but nobody does anything about it | Main | A Play »

Response to the Response

Your Humble Blogger has not (yet) listened to the State of the Union Address, nor yet the Republican Response, nor the Tea Party Caucus Response.

About that last one—David Kurtz over at TPM joked about it, joking about CNN having broadcast Bernie Sanders or Russ Feingold giving a separate SotU response in 2007. Not only did that not happen, but it’s hard to even imagine it happening.

Why is that? Is it because of the inherent corporate media bias that creates collusion, even if not intentional, to prevent anti-corporate political views from being aired? Well, ok, yes, that actually is a part of it. But mostly it’s because there is nothing remotely comparable to the Tea Party caucus on the Left.

Remember that Michelle Bachmann founded the Tea Party caucus, and was wagging the dog well over a year ago, when she started a rally that her Party’s legislative leadership wound up compelled to attend. That makes her news, and it makes her Caucus news. I can’t blame CNN for reporting that news.

Of course, some Gentle Readers are thinking back to 2003 and 2004 and thinking that there was, in fact, a political movement that was drawing crowds to rallies all over the country. And it’s true. If, in 2004, some Democratic legislator had become identified with the anti-war movement, and then had used that identification to demand that all the leaders of the Party at least pay lip service to the anti-war movement, and then had declared that he was giving his own response to the State of the Union, then I suspect that CNN would have broadcast that response. Perhaps not. Perhaps the bias really was dispositive.

Or, perhaps, things would have been different had the anti-war legislators had the balls that Michelle Bachmann has.

Although even that would not have prevented or shortened the war. Any more than Michelle Bachmann’s speech will cut the spending of the federal government or repeal the Affordable Care Act. So there’s that, too.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


I think the vast difference between the media's coverage of the anti-war rallies and their coverage of the tea party rallies should provide sufficient evidence to foreclose any suspicion that media bias isn't at work.

If that's not enough, we might contrast the media treatment of Michelle Bachmann to the treatment of Dennis Kucinich. I'm not suggesting that Kucinich is anything like an equivalent to Michelle Bachmann. For starters, he's not crazy. But he's the farthest-left Democratic legislator with something like a national profile. And he's not taken remotely seriously. And why should he be? He's a vegetarian! No red meat at all!

Well, and Rep. Kucinich is not taken seriously by the media because he isn't taken seriously by the rest of the Party. The thing about Rep. Bachmann is that she called a rally without checking with anybody, got a very good turnout, and the top people in the party came. Can you imagine Rep. Kucinich calling a peace rally, and who would come?

Now, that's not a separate issue from media bias, as Rep. Bachmann's rally was pushed and reported on in a way that Rep. Kucinich's would not be (and economic left rallies have not been), and the success of the rally within the Party was inseparable from its media success. But that media success is an actual thing that Rep. Bachmann has and Rep. Kucinich (f'r'ex) does not. So the media success is a legitimate reason for the media to report on her and give her greater media success, because that's how politics works.


Comments are closed for this entry. Usually if I close comments for an entry it's because that entry gets a disproportionate amount of spam. If you want to contact me about this entry, feel free to send me email.