Andrew Sullivan and the ‘Myth’ of America’s conservative media

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
March 11th, 2003 • 6:13 pm

More atrocious stuff from the afore-mentioned Andrew Sullivan, this time about the alleged “myth” that the US media doesn’t suffer from a major conservative slant:

What Conservative Media?

It’s only when you actually get a real and open media market that conservative voices find a niche.

The first problem is that what conservative Americans call “leftist” or “center-left” corresponds, at best, to what is called the moderate right in Europe. There is no way that there is a real political left in the US. After all, it’s not without reason that “communist” and “socialist” are still pretty much insults in American English.

Similarly, what American conservatives don’t seem to realize is that the word “liberal”, which they use to describe what they think is the “left” in American politics, is the exact same word that, in Europe, is used to describe out-of-control capitalism American-style.

I am not talking about dictionary definitions here. I am talking about how these words are used in real life on both sides of the Atlantic.

What all this confusion about terminology reveals is simply that US conservative thought is still based on simplistic ideas such as the one that an “open market” with unregulated competition is and always will be the best solution to all of our societies’ woes. This is what is called, in Europe, “ultra-liberalism”. And this is exactly the basis of Andrew Sullivan’s argumentation here. According to him, a conservative slant in the media is what the market wants — and, to him, “the market” equals “the people”.

What Andrew Sullivan doesn’t realize is that it is precisely this pro-market, ultra-capitalist approach that is so revolting to other Western societies in Europe — and that this is precisely the approach that he using to justify the surge of conservatism in the American media is quite telling.

Maybe it is what the abstract entity called the “US market” wants. But there is no evidence that this is what the world wants or needs. The “gap” of incomprehension is not between Europe and the US. It’s between conservatives and the rest of the world. It’s between Nike executives getting tax breaks from the Bush administration and the rest of the world (including the sweatshop workers that are producing Nike’s $100 sneakers at a cost of $2 a piece).

Why u giving people what they want, when u oughta give them what they need?”

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