02 Sep 2006

Psychoanalyzing the Mainstream Media

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Roger L. Simon puts the mainstream media on the couch:

what interests me is how the Plame Affair fits into the whole framework. It may be opera bouffe, but it is far from unrelated to the way the press has conducted itself in recent years. Is it so different from Pallywood and the Mohammed Al Doura case, the Reuters photographs, the Jenin “massacre” and so forth – all lies swallowed whole by a gullible Western media? At first glance they would seem far apart, but in this small world one concept draws them all together – narrative. The truth is less important than the weltanschauung of the publication. But we knew that, didn’t we?

So next step – why this phenomenon? Why the acceptance of this narrative whose result is so negative to world history and seems in continuous aid of the destruction of the Enlightenment itself? Is it just Bush Derangement Syndrome? Well, I think that’s a large part of it. But the term (BDS) is too narrow to encompass the phenomenon. A variety of psychological forces are in the mix, but most notable to me is a sense of deprivation. 9/11 stripped the left of its self-perceived idealism that was the mainstay of its “personality.” Forces (like Bush) that lefties once dismissed as reactionary were taking the lead in the preservation of the West instead of supporting dictators as they once did. Furthermore, in the old days the left could take concilation that the enemy (communism) had at least a theoretical rationale – economic fairness to all. The new enemy was more troublesome – on the one hand poor (only seemingly, of course, considering the oil rich) and on the other hand medieval, anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-modern… essentially anti-liberal. What to do…. what to do?

In the beginning the left went along with Bush, but the minute things began to lag in Iraq, they deserted him in a flash. At first glance the reason was political but on a deeper (and I believe more important) level the reason was psychological. The left was in a rush to reclaim its lost idealism (the “it’s about oil” nonsense was but an obvious example of this), to preserve its disintegrating sense of self. Of course the big loser in all this is the truth. Sure Bush made a bunch of mistakes (who wouldn’t?) but it should be obvious to anyone that we are at the earliest stages of a very long war. Nevertheless, a culture of media corruption set in almost instantly that ended up creating absurdities like the Plame Affair. We are lucky this one got unmasked. We will also be lucky if the conclusions drawn in the WaPo editorial stick for that publication at least. We shall see.

Hat tip to PJM.

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