Lazy narratives and false conventional wisdom
As is often the case, Glen Greenwald powerfully articulates this point of view, and excoriates Instapundit (whom I will not honor with a link) for falling into this lazy and convenient narrative that is false, false, false.
Always be careful when the mainstream media (or anyone else) gets an idea stuck in its head and stops looking at the world to see if that idea is true or not. Listen to these phrases: “Republicans stand for fiscal responsibility”, “Howard Dean is a radical leftist”, “Marriage has always been between one man and one woman”. They are all false: The past 8 years of Republican control have been a fiscal disaster for this country, Howard Dean is a moderate whose one “radical” position (maybe this Iraq war is a bad idea) is now shared by a majority of Americans, and of course in many societies polygamy has been the norm. But they all have that ring of “truthiness”, because they are part of narratives that have been out there so long that many people just nod their heads and move along without even realizing they are agreeing to something, let alone something false.
We in the Progblog (“Progressive Blogoshpere” is a bit cumbersome and needs a handy abbreviation; if someone points me to better one, I’d be happy to adopt it.) believe the media should be at the forefront of debunking these narratives. And we think that too often they’ve been falling down on the job. And so we complain and make noise, and do our best to do the job ourselves.