Monday, May 23, 2011

A U.S. shift to more reality-based journalism?

This really is a brilliant little post. Pointing to a "pro-reality" shift in U.S. media away from years of the press giving Republicans freedom to roam with "delusional" ideas such as birtherism, climate change denialism and their economic theories in particular. This shift of late, which is seeing the Republicans get a harder time from typically Republican friendly outlets, is said to have become more marked recently in the wake of a number of events, including Obama releasing his long-form birth certificate, the killing of bin Laden, another significant climate change report's release, #rapturefail and the current economic debates in the U.S. that feature irresponsible Republican ideas. Suffice it to say, it's an optimistic post for those of us on the progressive side.

Optimistic for those of us beyond American borders too. Here's an interesting point made about what it might mean, say, to northern neighbours that witness a lot of this brewing conservative theory down south only to hear echoes here, as if a signal has been received from the mother ship that legitimizes its correctness and green lights importation to our fair nation:
What of the implications beyond the US? In all the English-speaking countries, there is a large section of the conservative commentariat (most obviously, but not exclusively, the Murdoch Press) whose business consists mostly of importing and retailing Republican/conservative/propertarian ideas. If these ideas become the subject of consistent ridicule in their home, they will be steadily harder to sell abroad.
That is a pleasant thought. In the meantime, check out the fallout in Australia at the moment where a Koch tea party-trained organizer is drumming things up over climate change action and their politics is said to have become more toxic than ever, drawing inspiration from the U.S. The opposition leader is playing tea party populist too. The U.S. toxin travels, no doubt about that.

For those who think, well, at least the Harper Conservatives aren't as bad as the Republican delusionals, they're not discrediting anyone's birth certificate or anything..."Just Visiting" was another form of birtherism, just by degrees, really. Both campaigns were about creating the less patriotic alien enemy. Then, you can go down the line with the Harper Conservative shtick, think about all the experts they choose to ignore, think about the unreal scale of attack politics executed over the past five years, think about climate change action obstructionism, and yes, think about the disputed economic plans of this government who believe they can cut their way back out of a structural deficit and who have imported holus-bolus the American anti-tax orthodoxy.

If the mother ship breeding ground for Conservative think becomes more discredited, it may have some impact here. That would require a whole other analysis of the state of Canadian media, however, and where might some of that heightened scrutiny of Harper policy come from. Maybe some other day. Anyway, it will be interesting to see whether this supposed shift in the U.S. is sustained. The CT post might be a tad optimistic but it's worth noting.