The Horror

Howard Kurtz of the *Washington Post* offers a perplexing translation of the dissatisfaction of “the left” with the Mainstream media. Take a peak:

>Trust me when I say that many liberals are really ticked off at the MSM, even though the nature of their criticism is very different from their rivals on the right. The anger that liberals feel over media coverage of President Bush and the war is tinged with deep disappointment over journalistic shortcomings and a hope, however vain, that things can be improved. *Why aren’t you on our side?*

The odd thing about Kurtz’s otherwise shallow two-party analysis (e.g., on the right they scream journalists and supreme court justices should be hanged until dead, but on the left, there is also criticism of journalists) is the partisan translation of the left complaint. But that translation hardly follows from Kurtz’s own description of the left complaint. The problem, according to Kurtz’s imaginary lefty, is journalistic shortcomings.

Here’s an example. Last week, for instance, a reporter for the *New York Times* claimed Hilary Clinton said democrats were “wasting time” with their obsession with gay marriage and so forth. The only problem, as you can read for yourself in detail here, is that Clinton wasn’t talking about democrats at all, she was talking about republicans. The clueless but famous journalist completely misrepresented Clinton’s words. That’s a journalistic failing.

So, back to Kurtz’s wacky claim. The argument of the left is that such journalistic failings constitute a problem. How he derives “why aren’t you on our side” from that is a mystery. The question, rather, should be, why don’t report the truth to the best of your knowledge (i.e., do your job)?