It's obvious why the "progressive media" ridicule every "dumb thing" that Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Glenn Beck say, says Michael Lind in Salon. Such taunts boost ratings and feel good — but the left might want to give it a rest. This "constant mockery of these bloviating right-wing demagogues" wastes "precious center-left media time." With the economy "still in a coma," and the Middle East in revolt, liberal journalists like Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews should focus on the relative superiority of the Left's policies, and reserve their attacks for the "crazy" conservative leaders who wield actual power. Besides, writes Lind, the relentless "snickering" just makes liberals look like snobs. Here, an excerpt:
Mockery of Palin, Bachmann and Beck may backfire on the left by making conservative and libertarian politicians with equally nutty ideas but more statesmanlike gravitas appear to be more moderate than they really are. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, has ideas about the budget and social policy, like voucherizing Medicare, that are just as crazy as anything spouted by Glenn Beck. But he looks dignified in a suit and speaks the language of policy wonkery, so he gets respectful attention, while liberal pundits pummel right-wing media blowhards and less influential politicians like Rep. Bachmann who, unlike Ryan, do not have their fingers around the levers of government.