Sunday, April 18, 2004

Sorry Lefty, You're Missing The Point

First, on the media:

National Review is a magazine that targets folks who are already on the right (ignoring the few in the center and on the left who read it just to get a sense of what the "other side" is thinking). The same can be said of Limbaugh and much of talk radio. These publications/outlets openly broadcast their bias. Ordinary Americans do not tune in to these sources to get what they believe will be neutral fact reporting devoid of opinion. It's no surprise that our ideas dominate these forums that we created simply to be heard in the first place.

The problem is that CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times (and pretty much every other major paper besides the Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The Washington Post) do not openly admit their biases. Ordinary Americans ARE tuning in to these sources and expecting to get bias-free news. Fox News may be an exception, I will certainly say that I can't discern any routine liberal bias at FNC. (But on the other hand, although this is a matter of opinion, I would say that I've never witnessed FNC carrying water for the Republicans/conservatives nearly as much or as blatantly as I've witnessed the other outlets doing the Democrats'/liberals' bidding.)

Now, I must say, I rather object to the use of the term "whining" in this context. If it is considered "whining" to hammer home the point that these news sources are not the solons of impartiality that they pretend to be, then I guess I'll just have to live with that description. This is a campaign by conservatives, and an entirely appropriate one at that, to delegitimize the mainstream media's monopolistic hold on a large segment of the American people. This isn't "being a victim," this is waging war.

A truly unbiased media is an almost impossible goal. Instead, conservatives have built their own institutions while trying to inform the public that the other outlets are not agenda-free. In my view, the optimal outcome would be a return to the early days of the republic when newspapers self-identified as either Federalist or Jeffersonian papers.

Now, on to Federalists and law schools:

"Face it, we are the elite in Washington, D.C."??? I'm not sure how you would define "elite," but I would generally say that it doesn't include being a very small minority in a town dominated by liberal thought, even if you're a somewhat influential minority with the current administration. I would also say that being nearly instant targets of Senate filibusters might be a factor that weighs against calling us "the elite". "The resistance" would be a better label in my opinion.

"we are well represented at most of the top schools – if not in the faculty at least in the student body.
And if you don’t have the guts to challenge the liberal line in class discussion, whose fault is that?"
The Federalist Society is not simply about "speaking up in class." Ask yourself, if you're a green 1L in your first semester, mostly ignorant of legal doctrine, whose opinion will carry more weight in your mind? The guy at the front of the classroom who has been there for 10 years and will write your exam? Or the student in the back row who argues with him?
The Federalist Society is about changing legal culture. It's about approaching legal problems and legal thoughts from a direction other than the left. In the context of law schools, it's about getting recognition for ideas that haven't been in the mainstream for 50 years.


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