Saturday, March 02, 2013

Ammo For Glennzilla

Glenn Greenwald sez:
I'm currently writing a book on how media outlets constrict the range of political debate, using (in part) the marginalization of Chomsky as a window into how that works.
MOAR like an Overton Window into how that works, amirite? A semi-revealing quote from Howie the Putz's self-serving, wingnut-petting tome Hot Air: All Talk, All The Time:
"Mike looks absurd saying 'from the left' every night," says Christopher Hitchens. "It's hypocritical on the part of both him and the network." Kinsley concedes that he does not uphold the liberal banner the way [Pat] Buchanan champions conservatism. In fact, he calls himself "a wishy-washy moderate." But he insists it's not necessarily bad for liberalism that he is less ideological than his right-wing counterpart. "Certainly real hard-core, left-wing opinions don't get on Crossfire, just as they don't get on other shows," he says. "This is partly because a reflection of the range of American political debate, from extreme right to moderate left. And it's partly a knee-jerk reaction by television producers."
Further context and citation at the link; I'm not gonna paste and re-paste my own stuff lest I become a boring self-quotation machine like the inexplicably admired ex-Randroid Arthur Silber. Also, Glenn might want to check on concentration camp-enthusiast Josh Trevino's hilarious notion of what is and is not a proper representative of the left in the media or, indeed, anywhere in decent society.

Also, too: The previous post.  

Also, too, as well, cf. Chomsky: Somewhere out there on the internets is a very old interview with Chomsky by a rabidly hostile David Frum; I'll try to find it. Frum likes to affect moderation now but he used to be as frothy as Santorum as Erich von Erich, but as I recall even adjusting for era and context it was obnoxious. And who can forget what happened when Chomsky's blog at ZMag first allowed comments? At that time it was the longest comment thread I'd ever seen and it was 90% blargery -- with no small portion of antisemitism -- thanks to the "there it is, go get 'em" links posted by the allegedly philosemitic Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler and LGF.

Friday, March 01, 2013

2002 Was A Neocon-SensibleLiberal Hell

Back in the old days, TAPped posts were unsigned; the following is typical of the site and the era:
December 02, 2002 WHO IS THE LEFT? REDUX. We here at Tapped often complain about the way in which certain figures and groups -- World Bank protestors, Noam Chomsky, etc. -- are cast, in the debates over war, terrorism, trade and justice, as an entire side in the debate. This discussion between Katha Pollitt and Christopher Hitchens, stemming from this Pollitt column calling Hitchens on doing just that, is well worth the read but also unintentionally revealing. We praised Pollitt's column at the time, but in this debate, she and Hitchens are still arguing over who gets to play the irrelevant left-liberal. Hitchens makes the same mistake as ever, citing Ramsey Clark, Alexander Cockburn, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Michael Moore and others as "the left." (This particular "left" is as small as the right suspects.) But even Pollitt, in her otherwise eloquent response, cites Tony Kushner, Patricia Williams, Marc Cooper and Ellen Willis as the real, credible liberals with whom Hitchens should be crossing swords. We don't have much of a problem with any of these folks. But if Pollitt is right, then liberal politics is indeed relegated, as conservatives insist, to a ghetto of radical academics, novelists, filmmakers and polemicists. Not to be snotty, but the men and women who shape policy and politics -- and, thus, people's lives -- in America don't care much about what Hitchens' and Politt's "left" have to say. (The fact that those who run the country don't take the left seriously is, sadly, a point of pride among too many progressives.) Yet there is a credible left -- those on "the left wing of the possible" who have engaged the political process and seek to influence real policy. Eric Alterman has a good list of them here. Posted at 03:25 PM