September 10, 2009

An Inexorable Pull of Echo Chamber Snark?

Justin Katz

Putting down his column about the race for attorney general of Rhode Island, I thought about what an improvement the Providence Journal's Ed Fitzpatrick is over his predecessor. And then he had to go and write a bit of got-a-laugh-at-the-cocktail-party received wisdom like his reaction to the story of parents opting their children out of the President's speech to school children. His general position is hardly indefensible, and for the most part, I agree with him, but there's a big ol' blob of the goo that dribbles out from a bias of which mainstream media types remain amazingly unaware:

After listening to right-wing talk show hosts, Web sites and Republican Party officials, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Mr. Obama tells my first grader how to use condoms and exchange needles. I think Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer spoke for all of us when he said he was "appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology."

A state party chairman is now a representative of an army of right-leaning Americans? Clearly, Fitzpatrick didn't (and doesn't) actually spend much time reviewing the content of radio talk shows and conservative Web sites, because there is no way he would have failed to be cognizant of the fact that complaints arose most especially from the classroom discussion suggestions. And if he had encountered such points, he would surely have used his prominent space in the state's major newspaper to explore more intricate themes, rather than riff on that unwashed class of right-wing "others."

Instead, because he hadn't bothered to investigate the other side, he proved himself of a kind with Bob Kerr, who used his similarly prominent space toward almost the same ends, with a very minor variation in hue.

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I was torn.

On one hand, if BO gave the speech I believe he really wanted to, it wouldn't serve his cause. So I wanted it.

On the other hand, afterward, a large percentage of the teachers would maunder on for 15 minutes or so about how dreamy he was. Further waste of taxpayer dollars. So I didn't want it.

Decisions, decisions.

I loved the picture of the teacher reading the speech to her students after the school TVs failed. Did they look like a captive audience or what?

Posted by: chuckR at September 10, 2009 5:08 PM
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