Saturday, April 15, 2006

Maryscott O'Connor: Poster Girl for the Confused Left

David Finkel for the Washington Post recently described and featured Maryscott O'Connor, blogger of the Angry Left as an icon of the displaced Left. O'Connor is said to describe Bush as a "sociopath" and "the Antichrist". Vice President Cheney is thought of as "Satan," and of the Catholic Church she says: "I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned"

This is the sort of writing the Post excels at--portraying the most marginal of figures as if they were someone of significance--often a symbol or projection of the wishes of the writer or the organization for which he or she may write. I am often reminded of this when the Right to Life March, usually involving 50,000 to 100,000 marchers convenes annually every January in Washington DC, which of course is also home to the Washington Post. Does the Post ever cover these marches with anything but minimal and subdued coverage? Of course not but if 200 fudgepackers show up to demonstrate for gay marriage, it becomes an event worthy of national coverage. If there is any place where the editors of the Post belong it is in a "burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned."

Our media are obssessed with editorializing the news. This sort of reporting is not news, it is policy making, it is politics. A good reporter should simply report what he or she sees. Let the spin fall where it may but don't try to add momentum to things that should have no momentum other than that to which the public assents by common acclamation.

1 comment:

M.A. said...

You should be happy about this piece; it's basically a right-wing hit piece on liberal bloggers. The article ignores the obvious: that there are many different kinds of blogs. Some left blogs are "angry"; so are some right blogs. But the left blogosphere has dozens of policy-oriented blogs that performed brilliantly during the Social Security debate; the policy-wonk bloggers, like Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias helped sink Bush's social security plan by pointing out the problems with it. And Joshua Marshall has turned his blog into a clearing house for old-style "muckraking" on crooked politicians. Then we have the funny, snarky bloggers who are much funnier than anyone on the right, like Sadly, No! and Alicublog. Or how about electioneering strategy blogs like MyDD, or just plain well-written blogs like Digby and Orcinus?

The fact that the Washington Post could look at the incredible variety and diversity of the left blogsophere, and focus only on the "angry left," just shows how clueless and right-wing the Post has become: they constantly accept right-wing frames ("angry left") instead of looking at what's really going on.