As right-wing apologists on the blogs and airwaves dutifully defend the get-out-of-jail free card for White House convict Scooter Libby, they also continue to flog this fairness doctrine non-issue at the same time.
For three weeks now radio hosts have been unable to resist the temptation to dwell on this very remote threat of radio regulations. One of their self-serving arguments is the right to free speech, which I actually agree should encompass right-wing radio just as it should allow Larry Flynt’s products. I will also agree that making diverse political views available is ideal, so I don’t want to shut up even the simplistic demagogues who hide behind call screeners.
But the amusing point made by right-wing radio folks is the pretense that what they do is worthwhile, even virtuous. Discussing the proposal for a renewed fairness doctrine has been foreplay in a right-wing radio orgy of self-love. WTMJ, the biggest stick in the state, has ardently stroked itself. I mean, can anything engorge the masturbatory gland of Charlie Sykes more than Charlie’s chance to pretend that he is a victim?
What’s laughable is to then hear in the same week the right-wing talk about the Lewis "Scooter" Libby affair. I don't see any reason to think the work of right-wing opinion-shapers is worthwhile or virtuous when they do such a shoddy job defending President Bush, which is basically what they are paid to do. The worst example of this shoddy work is using the Marc Rich deal to excuse the Lewis Libby deal. So the best they can come up with, now seven years into the Bush era, is the same tired “Bill Clinton did it too” card?
I'm fairly sure that the right-wing's message machine is not the second coming of Thomas Paine.