What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 27, 2009

Adrian McCoy Writes About Quinn, Rose, and MediaMatters

This past Sunday. The article begins with:
Media Matters thinks Jim Quinn's hot-button speeches can be hazardous to listeners, so he gets a "radioactive" rating from the watchdog group.
Here's the "Radioactive" page at Mediamatters.org. It links to the many many embarrassing things Quinn (and Rose - we can't forget Rose, can we?) has said on the public airwaves.

McCoy touches on one:
Media Matters called Quinn to task for several comments made on his program. In one show excerpt posted on Radioactive, he said: "You know, if you were a slave in the old South, what did you get as a slave? You got free room and board, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just, you know, tomorrow's slave. ... Can I ask a question? How's that different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is a difference: The slave had to work for it."
Here's Mediamatters page on that particularly idiotic rhetorical flourish. The part that McCoy didn't quote is what Tennant said immediately after Quinn favorably compared Welfare to slavery. She said:
Ah, the truth stings, does it not?
Tennant, a self-professed Christian had no trouble agreeing. The meek might not, I guess, inherit the Earth. But what do I know, I'm just an agnostic.

Hey, but did you know that the three days later he defended his point with:
Now, naturally, the point that I was making was that there are two forms of servitude: There's the servitude that you can be forced into, and there's the servitude you can be coerced into, I mean, the horrors of slavery notwithstanding -- naturally, that was my point.
And then:
[W]hen you think about it, the slave had more personal nobility than the welfare recipient, because he or she had no say in their station in life. The welfare recipient actually volunteers for it. It is the liberal plantation.
The world according to Jim Quinn. After a profoundly illogical charge by Quinn himself:
"Media Matters is not just a bunch of liberal bloggers exercising their First Amendment rights," Quinn warns, citing the nonprofit organization's financial support from wealthy liberal donors. "Any critique of media speech by Media Matters for America carries with it the implied threat of government censorship."
We reach the only I can find in McCoy's reporting. It's here:

Like many conservative talk hosts, Quinn and Rose raise the issue of a possible revival of the Fairness Doctrine. "It is a weak argument that suggests that speech may be stifled without the doctrine," Tennent says. "It's virtually impossible in today's environment to deny access to certain viewpoints -- or to find outlets that air them."

On the Quinn and Rose War Room Web site (http://warroom.com), there's an online petition opposing the Fairness Doctrine that listeners can sign. The petition encourages listeners "to urge Congress and government officials to reject any and all efforts to censor, limit or restrain the right of conservatives."

But [Media Matters senior researcher Julie] Millican maintains that Media Matters isn't out to silence or censor these talk hosts. "It's important to keep an eye on what's being said on the public airwaves. People should be aware of what's out there. They can say whatever they want to say. But people are entitled to know that's what being said on their airwaves, and they're entitled to be offended about it."

Uh, wait. The "Possible revivial" of the Fairness Doctrine? By whom? Perhaps McCoy should have checked this page at Mediamatters.org. Where it quotes Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly:
I've been fascinated of late with the far-right hysteria about the reemergence of the "fairness doctrine," because conservative activists are gearing up for a knock-down brawl against an enemy that doesn't exist. Everyone from obscure right-wing bloggers to Rush Limbaugh to Washington Post columnists are prepared for a fight that isn't going to happen.

And yet, the nonsense doesn't stop. Perusing the news this morning, there are still more conservative columnists railing against the "plan" to bring back the fairness doctrine, and unhinged propaganda about the "unprecedented government assault upon the First Amendment" that is allegedly on the way.

The New Republic's Marin Cogan asked around, trying to find Democrats who actually support bringing the fairness doctrine back, or media-reform liberals who might push for action on this. Cogan couldn't find any.

Benen adds that even Barack Obama opposes reinstating it.

Or McCoy could have checked this blog or even the Post-Gazette itself. Brian O'Neill wrote:
The Fairness Doctrine is not going to be reinstated, nor should it. Never mind that a restraint on free speech would be a betrayal of core liberal principles. It won't happen because President-elect Barack Obama has no interest in it, few Democrats in Congress care about it, and they all can read a map.
So why does Adrian McCoy write about a "possible revivial of the Fairness Doctrine"?

Fact-checking. It's all in a day's work.

AND A CORRECTION: I misread the mediamatters posting. For the record, Rose Tennant DID NOT say, "Ah, the truth stings, does it not?" after Jim Quinn (favorably) compared slavery with being on welfare. That was Jim Quinn himself.

There's no record of her agreeing with that rather grotesque statement. I would hope she disagrees with it but that's completely beside the point. The point is I should have gotten it right the first time.

My bad.


Sherry said...

it's 1 thing to make a living, it's quite another to make that living by spewing crap like that and helping to perpetuate hurtful sterotypes.

they should feel shame but instead they are actually proud of themselves.

Clyde Wynant said...

I sooo miss the "good old days" of radio and TV, in which this dreck couldn't find a voice anywhere.....

What's happened, more than anything else, is that many older people still believe that "if it's on the TV or radio, it must be true."

They grew up when regulation was in place (including the dreaded Fairness Doctrine) and they don't realize the sea change that occurred over the years. Thus, when they hear butt heads like Quinn or Rush spouting crap -- they believe it.

And, as I so often say, these people are only doing it for the almighty dollar. Their "beliefs" go as deep as their wallets -- which are usually right next to their brains.....