Ed Driscoll

Paul Krugman and Christiane Amanpour: Centrist Punditry Defined

As Ace of Spades noted a couple of years ago, the MSM loves to get attacked from both the left and right, because it allows them to claim objectivity, when in reality, they’ve actually triangulated themselves into the center-left:

Liberal media outfits do loves them their unhinged-leftist hate-mail. Because they use it again and again as proof positive that they must be reporting straight down the middle to incur so much wrath from the left.Although Allah points out the speciousness (and convenience) of that claim, let’s also note that most of the liberal media’s criticism on the right comes from mainstream Republicans representing the great mass of right-leaning thought, whereas those who think the WaPo is a part of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine are unabashed, unhinged lefties, “undecided” voters only the sense they’re undecided between Ralph Nader and Hugo Chavez.

Which means that the criticism of the paper comes from the hard left and center-right, which means, in turn, the paper is somewhere in between. And what is in between center-right and hard left? Ah yes: establishment liberal. Which is what everyone who’s not batshit crazy understands the WaPo is, its support of the Iraq War notwithstanding, and its quite-praiseworthy attempts towards true political balance notwithstanding. Yes, the WaPo is less blatantly agenda-driven than the NYT, but it is still, on the whole, establishment liberal, and its reporting reflects that deep institutional bias.

And by that standard, Paul Krugman and Christiane Amanpour are the MSM’s new centrist flag bearers. As we noted last month, Amanpour’s debut on ABC’s Sunday morning This Week chat show was absolutely savaged by the Washington Post’s longtime liberal TV critic Tom Shales. And in a post this weekend on Commentary’s Contentions blog, Jennifer Rubin agrees: “ABC News execs have a choice: report the commercial sales from ‘This Week’ as an in-kind donation to the Democratic Party or get a real journalist in that chair.”

I’m not sure how much of a donation it would be though: given that Amanpour’s ratings have cratered, I suspect those commercials are going for bargain rates. Perhaps ABC sees her as the chattering class equivalent of Spinal Tap: her audience isn’t shrinking, it’s merely more selective.

But if they actually want to do something about the hemorrhaging, hey, it’s not too late for ABC to track down all the graphics created for Jake Tapper’s brief but highly respected run as host, and drop them back into the Chyron…

Which brings us to Paul Krugman, he of the three-inch salute and economic “miracle of the 1940s.” Bipartisan consensus on his behalf was spotted by Glenn Reynolds, who links to Howard Kurtz, also at the Washington Post, who writes,  “White House officials view Krugman as an irritant who has become predictable and whiny in his criticism.” As the Professor adds, “I think people felt that way in the Bush Administration, too. . . .”

Paul Krugman and Christiane Amanpour: They’re simply too hip and on the cutting edge for those left behind on the right and the left to appreciate. Every week, they meet and surpass the high benchmarks the MSM have set for themselves. And really, isn’t that sort of quality what you’ve come to expect from our veteran legacy media?

Related: Needless to say, most of the right half of the aisle are no fans of President Obama. Increasingly though, neither is the far left — particularly the far left side of the Blogosphere. I wonder if that’s causing Obama to think that he occupies the center as well?

(Which from the point of the MSNBC control room, probably makes perfect sense.)