“People on the left and people on the right live in parallel universes,” he mused. “No longer do people get their information from a common media source, and then diverge in how they interpret it. The left is on MSNBC and on the blogs. The right is on Fox and on talk radio. And what happens is, people know different facts. These are echo chambers. People hear agreement with themselves.”
The point he was trying to make: Voters needed to share some of the blame for how lousy their government had become. They hustled moderates out of office, and they demanded crazy things of people like Frank. Still: sad denunciations of our polarized media? Really? Didn’t Evan Bayh cover that when he retired?
The progressive blogs and MSNBC are opinion journalism. Fox and Limbaugh are partisan disinformation and misinformation in the proud tradition of the Soviet Union (who raised lying to an art). And yes, there’s a huge difference. Opinion journalism is the op ed pages on a good day. Disinformation and misinformation is the garbage “journalism” that Rupert Murdoch reeked on the rest of the world – think British tabloids at their worst – before he imported his filth to America, under the warm embrace of the Republican party.
Let me give an example that illustrates the difference.
Opinion journalism is what this blog did when it reported that the Obama administration had authored a legal brief invoking laws against incest and pedophilia to justify its defense of the indefensible “Defense of Marriage Act.” In part due to our diligent reporting on the topic, in the face of a rather large and long-standing misinformation campaign which falsely claimed, among other things, that the administration’s defense of the anti-gay law was just and could simply never be reversed, the administration, to its credit, finally stopped defending DOMA, and in fact is now actively fighting against the discriminatory law in court. That’s blogging.
Disinformation is what Cong. Frank tried to sell his own community after he first denounced the administration’s abominable brief, and then just a few hours later proudly defended it, claiming (incredibly) that he hadn’t actually read the brief when he first spoke out against it, but now that he had read it, he thought it was just peachy.
The world would have been a better place a lot faster had Barney Frank acted more like a blog and less like Fox News when his own community needed him the past three years. So spare us the false comparisons.