National Public Radio, continuing the mainstream media practice of year-end lists that target Republicans, discussed contenders for the American Dialect Society’s “Words of the Year” today, including three neologisms that targeted Republicans and the Romney/Ryan campaign in particular–and none against Democrats.
One was “malarkey,” an old Irish-American word used by Vice President Joe Biden to launch (false, though NPR never mentions that) attacks against Rep. Paul Ryan during their debate in the fall campaign.
Another was “forty-seven percent,” which recalled Gov. Mitt Romney’s self-destructive statement at a May fundraiser that voters who paid no federal income tax were more likely to vote for his opponent.
The third phrase was “double down”–a phrase used in a variety of contexts, but one that NPR and the American Dialect Society’s Ben Zimmer chose to illustrate by citing former President Bill Clinton’s misleading statement that Romney would “double down on trickle-down” economics. (NPR and Zimmer left out Romney’s own innovation on the “trickle-down” theme, when he accused President Barack Obama of “trickle-down government.” It is not a phrase Romney invented; neither did Biden invent “malarkey,” though he certainly provided many examples.)
When they turn to politics, the mainstream media’s year-end lists seem invariably to illustrate the liberal bias that they persist in denying. CNN, for example, just released its list of the top five political fumbles of 2012–and four of them were committed by Republicans, though certainly Democrats provided lots of material as well.
The mainstream media seems locked into the mindset that its purpose is not just to report facts and analyze trends but to do so in a way that assists a struggle against an imagined establishment of wealth and power that is personified by Republicans. They miss the fact that after eighty years of expanding government, and a highly successful campaign of infiltration and activism, the media have become the cultural establishment.
They are the enemy they seek, which is why more Americans are turning off, canceling, and tuning out.