Column: They Shoot Reporters, Eventually


It’s easy to see why Palin would want to turn her supporters loose on the television, radio, newspaper and online reporters who were covering her: every time she opens her mouth to one of them she puts herself in an unflattering position. Make it the reporter’s fault and then no matter how feeble the answer, or how harmless the questions (Katie Couric couldn’t stump my pet ferrets, and they eat stuff they find on the floor) you can’t lose the argument.

Trouble is, once you’ve poked that porcupine with a pointy stick, it’s hard to get its quills down again. Tell people, over and over, that the press is the problem, and they begin to internalize and believe it in every instance, seeing bias where there’s only the conflict of facts with their opinions. Joke, as conservative commentators such as Ann Coulter and Melanie Morgan are known to do, about blowing up the New York Times building and hanging the editors of newspapers, and violence against journalists starts to seem not just plausible but justifiable.


6 thoughts on “Column: They Shoot Reporters, Eventually

  1. The press is to blame for an awful lot though. Their relentless cheerleading of a stupid and pointless invasion of Iraq, for starters. Their complicity in covering up the Bush crimes (looking at you NY Times) until after the election in 04. And the list goes on and on. The establishment press is a joke and a fraud that exists only to prop up the Republican brand. They can’t be bothered to do their jobs and actually question the talking points they’re handed by the right wing; all they can do is repeat them over and over uncritically. They’re all Fox News, just to different degrees. I’m getting more and more sympathetic with the GOP t-shirt, frankly.

  2. Aaargh, that GOP T-shirt is reductive and violent and offensive, and places the blame on journalists rather than on “journalism” as you describe it. Which is a critical distinction the GOP never makes. We should. In fact, we have to. Otherwise we’re no better than them.
    I want to fix journalism’s faults, not string up journalists. I mean, Jesus Christ. I’ve met the people they’re talking about killing. It’s not funny to me. It’s personal. I’ve shaken people’s hands that ended up in the hospital for trying to tell people about something going on, no more complicated than that, and you threaten THAT? You are threatening my job, the job I used to do every day and still love and see the value of, the job people I love like my family are still doing, and I am not sympathetic to that at all. That t-shirt doesn’t say “shitty journalist” or “propaganda journalist” or “conservative journalist” or “liberal journalist.” It says “jouranlist.” That’s all.
    Also? A fucking shirt saying anybody should hang is not okay.

    Audio Melanie Morgan and Ann Coulter joking about the method of execution of New York Times Editor Bill Keller.
    Here is Morgan talking about hanging journalists. Note there is no, “If tried and convicted” comment. She figured that one out later after a lawyer told her to tone it down.
    Lee Rogers: “President Bush is very annoyed at the news media and the disclosure of the Treasury Department’s ability to secretly monitor financial transactions of suspected terrorists.”
    George Bush: “For people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America.”
    Steve Taylor, ABC Announcer: “President Bush defending the financial surveillance program as legal and useful”
    George Bush: “What we were doing was the right thing. Congress was aware of it and we were within the law to do so.”
    ABC Announcer: “The idea was to follow the money Mr. Bush said, and now that’s harder.”
    Bush: “The disclosure of this program is disgraceful.”
    Steve Taylor ABC news Washington.
    Melanie Morgan: “Get ’em”
    Lee Rogers: “Yeah, yeah. As Peter Mulhern said earlier, ‘Prosecute!”
    Melanie Morgan: “Yes! Hang ’em!”
    Lee Rogers: “Make grumpy noises, do it.”
    Melanie Morgan: “Yeah.”

  4. Um…Aaaaargh – “I’m getting more and more sympathetic with the GOP t-shirt, frankly.”??? Seriously???? You are advocating violence against a whole job description for the crimes of far fewer? Like Athenae said – it’s the work that needs to be corrected and put back on track – and NOT encourage acts of violence/deadly force committed on the folks. You need to chill the fuck out Aaaaargh. And while you are at it, go back to your concern troll haven.

  5. Oh, bite me Elspeth. Do you think that “Journalism” is something that just happens without journalists behind it? They personally have war crimes to answer for, because this sickass administration couldn’t have gotten away with all their crap if the JOURNALISTS that were supposed to be reporting on it weren’t just enabling it and in the process becoming sick, useless fucks themselves. The Tom Brokaws and David Broders and Washington Fucking Posts of the world need to be in the dock along with Dick Cheney. There’s a shitload of blood on their hands.

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