There are liberals out there who think the Left needs "its own Fox News," says Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic. But that's a terrible idea. True, Fox News has won "some short term political victories" by shaping public debate and getting other media outlets to cover stories that advance Fox's conservative agenda. Remember how conservatives, aided by Fox, "scared the country into thinking it would be dangerous to house Gitmo detainees in a supermax prison"? But Fox News also makes "it seem as if the GOP has more folks on its right-wing than its center," a skewed perception that can't be good for the party's long-term interests, writes Friedersdorf. So liberals shouldn't want a channel offering unlimited airtime to their own "bazooka-wielding talking heads." Here, an excerpt:
I want to explain at greater length why liberals shouldn't envy the right for its blowhards. Alongside their benefits, let's examine the costs....
Foremost is the echo chamber effect: a bubble where the Iraq War was always going swimmingly, patriotism seemed to require support for torture, and the Bush Administration's domestic agenda never lacked for defenders happy to obscure the manifold ways that it violated even the principles of conservatism. The conservative media isn't wholly responsible for eight years of Republican rule that left the right exceptionally unhappy. But it acted as a consistent enabler of policies that did long term damage to the country and brought about an electoral flameout that handed progressives their biggest opportunity in years.
Read the full article at The Atlantic.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 7 tips for keeping your man (from the 1950s)
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- How the elderly are treated around the world
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
Subscribe to the Week