In the New York Time’s response to why they printed and Op-Ed piece by Obama but rejected the one submitted by McCain one can clearly see how the conservative agenda fails to meet the Time’s idea of news. The Times claims that Obama’s piece was news because he was clearly stating a plan to pull troops out of Iraq whereas McCain’s piece did not meet the standards because he holds to the position that troop reductions must be based on the situation on the ground. The conservative line on the war in Iraq maintains that troops must stay in the region until the proper moment for reduction presents itself. But to the liberal journalist, that fails to meet the definition of a position.
If you have ever wondered why the cries of liberal bias from conservatives never make their way to the general public though major media outlets, you have never sat down to a beer with a journalism student. If you find yourself in such a position, ask him or her to tell you why claims of bias are unfounded, but make sure you clear your schedule for three hours. This student will lambaste you with 3 years of indoctrination, the delicately memorized words of the ultralibs who control the Peabody Awards, and then you will be faced with the horrible prospect of giving your own unpracticed dissertation or letting him or her believe he or she has won. Conservatives face a theoretical mountain when speaking to liberal elites not only because our belief system resists ideology but also because our opposition has had hundreds of years to make its guiding principles the only acceptable terms for discourse. In essence, a conservative can’t win an argument on the media because the majority of those in the industry reject the very structure of our arguments.
Without getting too technical, I will try to explain the core of the argument. Conservatism, while often presented as “clinging to the past,” is actually more accurately described as a doctrine that rejects the jump towards physical action in response conceptual problems. In other words, the conservative line suggests that reaction to stimuli tends to be more destructive than non-action. It is a doctrine of phenomenology that pushes the main argument against the “grass is always greener” mentality in life and politics. Of course this quick-fix definition doesn’t do justice to the movement as a whole, but it does apply to the Iraq situation. McCain’s opposition to attempts to end the war based on factors unrelated to the war itself presents a simple conservative argument. In this case, the situation on the ground becomes the metaphorical constitution and the pressure to leave the region constitutes the liberal position that quick action can bring an end to negative aspects of the conflict. But this doesn’t strike our liberal friends as reasonable.
In the end conservatives must admit that we have been outplayed by the liberals in terms of education and journalism (which are empirically intertwined.) In nearly every journalism school across the country one will find that the ethical values in journalism conflict with the ethical values of the conservative movement. Obama can argue all he wishes that the war needs to end and quickly, and the Times will print every piece. Any conservative rebuttal will slam against the brick wall of liberal (or “progressive”, depending on how honest the outlet is willing to be with itself) ideology. To the Times “news” is only “news” if it is new in both a temporal and an ideological sense. If conservative are to make a place in journalism for ourselves, we must attack our opponents at every pass and push to use our limited media influence to make sure that our stances are heard. McCain should have learned in February that the NYT was not his friend, but now he has been bitten twice and I am still not sure whether or not he is shy.
Fox News is number one in cable news for a reason: for 50 years people were forced to accept the concept that liberalism and pessimism ARE news. Since its conception Fox has given the other side of news that CNN has ignored, and it has proven refreshing to conservatives and liberals alike. The truth is that objective journalism would probably reside in the exact political center between Fox and CNN, but to liberals in the media this idea would seem preposterous. To the average journalist Fox isn’t news because: it ignores the liberal guidelines they spent 3 years studying; it often sides against ideas of social justice; it presents inaction as a viable response to stimuli, and it gives interpretations that don’t adhere to the principle rule that all interpretations are valid except for those who don’t agree that all are valid. To the liberal elite at the NYT, the entire McCain campaign isn’t news and never will be.