On his Twitter, NYU prof Jay Rosen wants to know why the McCain campaign did its best to piss off the media. He's referring to an interview with Columbia Journalism Review, in which Weekly Standard writer and McCain campaign blogger Michael Goldfarb described his role with the campaign

I was a cudgel. I pissed off the media. They were furious about it. That was the effect the campaign was looking for.

Now that Goldfarb has said so in so many words, it seems obvious. The liberal media was a constant campaign theme, and now that Sarah Palin has pretty much started running for president in 2012, the theme goes on. 

Rosen demands (repeatedly) to know why anyone thought waging a culture war on the media was a good idea. Rosen doesn't understand because he's in the "oppressor" class. Conservatives think of themselves as the voiceless down-trodden whose words were once stamped out by elite oppressors who held all the power. This resentment lingers, and any pushing of the "liberal media bias" button dredges up all the resentment again. It's like any kind of class warfare. Even after the actual oppression has passed, the memory of the oppression lingers and clever people can manipulate that resentment to stir irrational reactions. 

I say "irrational" because really, the oppression has passed. The "liberal media bias" argument should no longer pack the same punch becauses alternative news sources have decimated the mainstream media's power. People have more options than CBS and CNN now. They have blogs, web magazines, YouTube, sassy Internet publications like yours truly. The playing field is so much more level than it used to be. 


About The Author

Alisa Harris

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