The transcript of Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Lynne Cheney, now up on Drudge, borders on the comic. One of the roots of comedy is unconsciousness on the part of the protagonist and the CNN standby is sure unconscious in his pronouncements. He reminds me of no one so much as Monsieur Jourdain in Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Herewith, some dialogue:
WOLF: All right. Well that was probably the purpose, to get people to think. To get people to discuss these issues. Because —
CHENEY: Well, all right. Wolf, I’m here to talk about my book. But if you want to talk about distortion —
WOLF: We’ll talk about your book.
CHENEY: Right, but what is CNN doing? Running terrorist tape of terrorists shooting Americans. I mean, I thought [Rep.] Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question, and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?
WOLF: The answer of course is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about that.
CHENEY: Then why are you running terrorist propaganda?
WOLF: Well all do respect, this is not terrorist propaganda.
CHENEY: Oh, wolf.
WOLF: This is reporting the news. Which is what we do, we are not partisan.
Not partisan, sir? Let’s start with the most obvious – the only not partisan person I’ve ever met is either dead or in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s. Everyone is partisan, almost since birth. Partisan and biased. It’s part of the human condition. And this bias often increases with age as the pressures of making a living and surviving shape us. We join cliques of like-minded people where we are cosseted and promoted. That is why people like Blitzer almost never vary their opinions. He is as predictable as a cyborg. I once substantially agreed with those opinions – now I have different opinons (biases) of my own. This is an accident of my own development. But I am partisan and Blitzer is partisan – perhaps even more than I am. After all, he works for a company whose chief news executive was so biased he was able to pronounce in public that US soldiers were deliberately targeting journalists without being able to cite any evidence of this. That’s partisanship at the level of delusion. And that was the person who gave Blitzer orders.
Of course, Blitzer is only a typical representative of his class. Nothing special or exceptional in any way, except for his success and longevity. Now some people call this class the “liberal media.” I reject that idea and terminology entirely. There is nothing liberal about them at all. They are a rich, privileged class much like the bourgeoisie in a Bunuel movie (or Moliere, of course). What is “liberal” is only a talking point to preserve their perquisites. Perhaps these values were there at some point, but that was decades ago in another universe. Now the real issues are good tailoring and homes in the country. Nothing should disturb that.
This “bad faith” informs everything they do and how they act. (When I write this, I know it infuriates them, but let me admit I am not much better.) Receiving news from Wolf Blitzer is like getting your information filtered through a highly-perfected survival machine. Well, maybe not so highly-perfected, but better than the network news, which is on the way out. (See the implosion of Katie Couric.)
Oh, by the way, Wolf, regarding that video of the snipers, there is no such thing as non-partisan film. Every frame, every camera angle, every editorial choice wreaks of partisanship – and that includes the decision to show it in a theatre or on television. Le caméra stylo, the camera is a pen, as someone quite intelligent once said. If you don’t know who that is, I’ll save you the effort. So stop lying to yourself and to others.