On Tuesday night, CNN asked me to appear on live television to discuss the results of the New Hampshire primary. During the course of the discussion, CNN anchor Piers Morgan referred to me as being “notoriously evil about almost everybody.”
Afterwards, Piers apologized to me, saying that his British sense of humor had got lost in translation–and I accepted. I have to take these blows, regardless–I’ve accepted that as the cost of what I do. However, the unabashed bashing of the Tea Party and its supporters–who have again been accused by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the mainstream media of causing the Tuscon massacre a year ago–really needs to end.
Piers’s comment actually revealed more about the American media than it did about British comedy. I suspect that precisely because he’s not plugged in to the grassroots, Piers has to rely on cues from his colleagues. When he described me as “notoriously evil,” he was partly relying on the shorthand slander that is a substitute for real thought among many of his MSM colleagues. As the late, great Christopher Hitchens–a Brit who embraced this country in the fullest way possible–said in his autobiography, Hitch-22: A Memoir (p. 224): “[O]nce a bogus story has been printed for the first time, it will be reprinted again by the lazy and/or malicious.”
Case in point: last April, on the promotional tour for my book, Righteous Indignation, MSNBC’s token Brit Martin Bashir wasted nearly fifteen minutes of the world’s time trying to play a racist-by-association game with me by pointing out racist things that complete strangers had done or said (as if I had somehow done or condoned them).
Bottom line: the British news hosts don’t know American politics so well, certainly not at the blogosphere-grassroots level. So they are overly dependent on the coaching of the producers, the network brass, and the chattering classes of celebrities. The fact that Bashir and Morgan felt comfortable inviting me into their studios and attacking me worse than they’d attack a serial killer, or Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, shows how my focus on media bias and its motivations gets under the MSM’s skin. Conservatives are finally fighting back after years of “knowing our place” as media punching bags. And Piers–a decent guy, I believe–walked into a mess he did not quite understand.
I’m a happy warrior. As a fierce advocate of free speech, I have no problem with a good old-fashioned impassioned back-and-forth on the issues. What I object to is the double standard to which conservatives are consistently held. The notion that the most vile things in the world can be said about the likes of Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann (and their spouses, by the way) is in the zone of acceptability, but that someone who mocks Michelle Obama’s nanny-state agenda is somehow racist, is completely absurd to me. And once radical pressure groups like Color of Change have their way with mainstream ABC, they’ll enforce their censorship at left-wing MSNBC, repressing their own “progressive” allies.
Saul Alisnky’s Rule #12 is: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” I am the target they’ve picked, and whom they’re attempting to freeze as “notoriously evil”–because they are afraid of basic fairness, transparency, and principle. I’m a family guy who loves 80s music (much of it British, by the way), follows National League baseball and goes to parent-teacher conferences. I’m a conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party because of the profoundly positive values I think they represent, not because they are anti-anything.
I am, however, anti-bullying and anti-racism–and that’s why the smug sanctimony around issues of race, which so many liberals use as a cudgel, infuriates me. I hate racism and I see freedom as its true antidote. I see how the institutional left uses race, repression, and the soft bigotry of low expectations to keep power–and no, I won’t shut up about that, no matter what names I might get called.