Conservative Affirmative Action Again

by Henry on October 24, 2005

Noam Scheiber has a brilliant plan.

Our boss, Peter Beinart, has a theory about how to undercut the conservative punditry’s assault on the mainstream media: coopt it. The basic idea is that most of the conservative animus toward the MSM comes from feeling spurned by it. If that’s true, then the easiest way to fix this would be for establishment media institutions to hire lots of bright young conservatives. … I agree. But that George Will column Jason linked to earlier suggests another reason why the mainstream media might want to start hiring conservatives, at least conservative opinion journalists: It would allow conservatives to say and write what they actually think, which is usually both interesting and important. As Ryan Lizza noted last week, many of the conservatives who’ve spoken out against George W. Bush lately—people like Bruce Bartlett and David Frum—have done so at considerable risks to their livelihoods. That’s because the conservative “movement” is incredibly centralized and hierarchical. People who work at conservative think tanks or receive conservative foundation money, even people who work at conservative media outlets, risk having the plug pulled if they deviate too far from the party line.

But then I would say that, wouldn’t I. Entertaining as it is to see something like my April 1 squib recycled as a quasi-serious plan of action, it can’t compete with Chris’s experience last year, of being (perhaps unintentionally) directly plagiarized by William Gibson. Now that’s real geek street-cred.

{ 12 comments }

1

grackel 10.24.05 at 2:37 pm

two people citing the same source is plagiarism? So, then, severat CTers have plagiarized each other by linking to the Guiness ad? Gee, I dunno.

2

Barry 10.24.05 at 2:38 pm

Can’t **somebody** get a time machine, go back in history and wipe out TNR? I mean, get Osama fist, and Hitler, but TNR has got to be at least third.

3

P ONeill 10.24.05 at 2:42 pm

It depends on what the meaning of “conservative” is. The Sunday morning talk shows are surely as MSM as it gets, and yet between the cast of Russert, Stephanopolous, Cokie, McLauglin, Matthews & Schieffer, I have a hard time seeing exactly who the liberal is. The Washington Post op-ed page has Will & Krauthammer in regular slots. Heck, “even the liberal” New York Times has Brooks and Tierney. So who’s not getting enough air and column inch time, according to Beinart? Jonah Goldberg?

4

Henry 10.24.05 at 2:46 pm

grackel – take a closer look. The Gibson post not only takes the same two paragraphs from a 100 page document, but recycles Chris’s introductory sentence verbatim. Now this isn’t anything to get bent out of shape over, obviously – it’s either unintentional or trivial. But it _is_ fairly clearly a direct transcription of Chris’s post with a couple of tiny changes (the URL and description have gone, as has an indication that the first letter in the second paragraph wasn’t capitalized in the original).

5

yabonn 10.24.05 at 2:47 pm

to hire lots of bright young conservatives.

Insert some obvious snark here.

… It’s a joke, but i’ve heard quite a few times that tune from the ever-surprising u.s. left. Something like “The right has a stiffling control of about everything that matters in this country, and i’m going to cave in to them on that little detail, but these two facts live in different universes, and it’s only because i’m reasonable”.

Still trying to find exact words for that, as you see.

6

P ONeill 10.24.05 at 3:05 pm

Still trying to find exact words for that, as you see

I’d start with diagnosing a condition with a name like Crimsonitis, since it is strongly correlated with attendance at Harvard University.

7

Seth Finkelstein 10.24.05 at 3:40 pm

I dunno … hiring professional raving dogmatists, so that they might be free to denounce those on their side who are generally of the same ideology, but slightly more politically pragmatic and not quite completely rabid – that’s either a move of Machiavellian brilliance, or a blunder of Pyrrhic proportions.

8

bza 10.24.05 at 3:42 pm

I’d start with diagnosing a condition with a name like Crimsonitis, since it is strongly correlated with attendance at Harvard University.

I’d like to point out that Scheiber did not attend Harvard, and that Beinert is in fact an Eli.

9

Doctor Slack 10.24.05 at 4:27 pm

The “MSM” has been trying to appease movementarianism for ages (and hell, not just the “MSM” — Salon still publishes David Horowitz’ tripe, doesn’t it?). The effect of this is never to restrain or undermine the conservative machine — it simply extends its reach and make it easier for the RNC to cow a larger range of people and organizations. That’s an obvious enough dynamic that even a TNR hack should be able to figure it out by now… or not.

10

Shelby 10.24.05 at 5:20 pm

So the MSM should “start hiring conservatives, at least conservative opinion journalists: It would allow conservatives to say and write what they actually think”?

Or, the conservatives could start blogs, and get jobs outside politics.

11

Anon 10.24.05 at 6:17 pm

I’ve long been convinced that Salon’s choice in conservatives indicates that their actual intention in publishing these things is to discredit conservatism.

12

sara 10.24.05 at 8:42 pm

Let Time magazine hire Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale) away from WorldNetDaily, and let the boy spout on about revoking women’s voting rights. Either the End Times are nigh and all liberals should leave the country, or the public will see what asses Beale and the other wingnuts are.

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