The New Postmodernism (or A Short and Hypocritical History of Media-Bashing)

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

E.J. Dionne has a must-read about conservative media-bashing, using the Newsweek-Koran outrage as a launching-off point.  The key graf (for me) is this:

Conservative academics have long attacked “postmodernist” philosophies for questioning whether “truth” exists at all and claiming that what we take as “truths” are merely “narratives” woven around some ideological predisposition. Today’s conservative activists have become the new postmodernists. They shift attention away from the truth or falsity of specific facts and allegations—and move the discussion to the motives of the journalists and media organizations putting them forward. Just a modest number of failures can be used to discredit an entire enterprise.

Here’s a specific example of the then-and-now transition of the neo-con reception to media:

Back when the press was investigating Bill Clinton, conservatives were eager to believe every negative report about the incumbent. Some even pushed totally false claims, including the loony allegation that Clinton aide Vince Foster was somehow murdered by Clinton’s apparatchiks when, in fact, Foster committed suicide. Every journalist who went after Clinton was “courageous.” Anyone who opposed his impeachment or questioned even false allegations was “an apologist.”

We now know that the conservatives’ admiration for a crusading and investigative press carried an expiration date of Jan. 20, 2001.

Ain’t it the truth?  Read the whole thing.