So, from its "About" page, nearly seven blessed years ago NewsBusters.org was born in a manger to deliver unto us the "immediate exposure of liberal media bias, insightful analysis, constructive criticism and timely corrections to news media reporting," itself the Creation of the Media Research Center's L. Brent Bozell III, who, in the year of our Lord 1987, "set out to not only prove — through sound scientific research — that this bias exists, but also to neutralize its impact on the American political scene."
My favorite phrase in MRC/NewsBuster's tangle of self-righteousness? Through sound scientific research--which is reminiscent of Hofstater's "final characteristic of the paranoid style," which is "the quality of its pedantry," which is, further, "the contrast between its fantasied conclusions and the almost touching concern with factuality it invariably shows."
To wit, yesterday NewsBuster's Noel Sheppard was almost beside his incredulous self over the fact--the horrendous, undeniable fact--that Friday night, on PBS' "Inside Washington," commentator Mark Shields referenced George H.W. Bush's tax hike of 1991. This, for Sheppard, opened a Gotcha moment of splendiferous, factual revelation:
First off, Bush 41 didn't raise taxes in 1991. He did it in 1990.
Liberal media members can't even get their facts straight about their beloved tax hikes.
Yeah, well, Sheppard is just saying, you know, well, liberals' brutal indifference to, and unspeakable ignorance of, history and facts, well, hah! ...
We await word from the Shields compound as to whether Mark will ever again show his face in public.
This leftist disgrace, alone, was perhaps worthy of NewsBuster's inspired, headline news-busting; however exposing such earth-shaking errors is but rudimentary play to the sainted monitors of wicked, liberal secularism. Yes, at NewsBusters they've seen it all, heard it all; they save their headline righteousness for the monolithic left's really cosmic sins. And here one was, from Shields, in NewsBusters' headline form:
Mark Shields: Republicans Haven't Raised Taxes in 21 Years 'And That Is Irresponsible'
The satanic bastard. Seldom have we witnessed a more revealing confession of the dangerously liberal mind: politicians, in Shields' unmistakable opinion, should simply raise taxes on either an annual or some other regular basis, just for the hell of it, will-nilly, pell-mell, helter-skelter. In even shorter form: the mere non-act of not raising taxes is "irresponsible."
Here's what Shields actually said, though, which NewsBusters quotes, I guess because they figure their followers are unlikely to catch the logical segue:
[In] 21 years, Republicans have not voted for a single broad-based tax increase, and that’s become the theology of the party, the ideology of the party, the definition of the party, and that is irresponsible.
So, turns out, what Shields found "irresponsible" about Republican pols is their tediously pious inflexibility: hence NewsBusters' headline subject had nothing or at least little to do with its predicate. Indeed, Shields was broadly condemning Republicans for failing to be conservative--because of their slavishness to an unthinking abstraction.
Sorry for taking such a long road to point out the obvious. But NewsBusters' piece is but another representative notch in the massive paradox of the contemporary right: Real conservatism's truest defenders are on the left.