NOTE: When I use (and I think when Crabby Apple uses) "Conservative," "Republican" or "right-wing" I mean activists, and not necessarily the lay-public.
Crabby Apple Mick Lee (INDIANAPOLIS, IN USA) had this to say [excerpt]
So we come to David Brock and this book. How can you explain the huge presence of conservatives or right-wingers in the United States? Well, in reading Mr. Brock's book we are told the following:
· There are actual very few "conservatives" in America. Instead a sizable part of the population has been duped into voting and thinking against its own interests.
· The phenomenon of liberal media bias is in fact a myth. The mainstream media is actually influenced by wealthy benefactors who use it as a front group for the Republican Party.
· The right-wing has corrupted the democratic process. With the use of its money and media influence, the right has won elections and legislation that would never have survived had the political process been allowed to remain free and honest.
· Right-wingers are a duplicitous and nasty bunch.
· Behind all this is one central "fact": there is a right-wing plot to brainwash and dominate America.
In other words, we are offered "fanaticism" as truth in this book. At no time is it entertained that in America we have a lot of different people who not only disagree about what the solutions are-but we also disagree about what the problems are. Nor is there any attempt to understand "conservatives" as they understand themselves. Instead, "conservative beliefs" in as much as they are explained at all are described in terms of liberal assessments of reality.
This list, prior to the last paragraph, is pretty much what the book leads you to believe. And yes, there are value judgements along the way, as Mr. Brock doesn't have a high opinion of this type of political activity--having once been a part of it. But the last paragraph is not what the book is about.
In the book, Mr. Brock lays out a timeline showing the existence of a concerted effort by conservatives to inject their politics into mainstream news, over a period of more than 40 years. He says who was in on it, and how they did it. Exhaustively. Unless he concocted a huge list of erroneous "facts" (something I have not seen alleged), his value judgements are irrelevant to the FACT that such a thing happened. If you don't like his political viewpoint, or his tendency to add pejorative adjectives to people and corporations, that is a valid criticism.
It would be very hard to conclude, however, that there are two sides to the facts of this story:
• Conservatives view media that is not right-leaning automatically left-leaning
• Conservatives, when given the platform in mainstream media, lean much, much further in their direction than liberals ever have
• Conservatives mounted a complicated, almost incestuous invasion of the media, through right-wing "think tanks," niche publications, former and current politicians, and monied corporate interests
• Prominent conservatives in mainstream media are much more likely to be dishonest, misleading, disparaging of the other side, and to "create their own reality"
• Conservatives have a network in place to feed their propaganda to the media that liberals don't even come close to matching
• Liberals have no real counterpart to this network. For every Michael Moore, there are TEN Ann Coulters (ok, maybe not Anns--how about Mike Gallaghers?)
• People in the media (whatever their political stripe) are aware of all this, and yet it is so vehemently denied by conservatives, it is almost unaddressed
There's much more, and as I've said, I'm only partway through the book. And I know this probably sounds like tinfoil-hat