For a number of years, the little-heralded queen of the liberal blogosphere has been the California-based Digby, whose posts on the uproar of the day are often so perfectly constructed that other bloggers simply put in the hyperlink and write, "What Digby said," rather than mess it up with our own inferior commentary.
I've resisted that temptation on most things, but when it came to Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show"'s disppointing tepid "view from nowhere" on the protests in Wisconsin, I realized that anything I tried to produce what just be a lesser version of what Digby said:
The interesting thing about all this to me is that the left's original critique of the mainstream media was that they affected this pose of being "objective" with this he said/she said . ( Jay Rosen has developed an entire thesis about it, called "the view from nowhere.") And Stewart isn't doing that exactly, even though he takes great pride in drawing an equivalence between the politics of Fox, which is owned by a giant corporation with an explicit, coordinated partisan goal and the "politics" of MSNBC which is also owned by a giant corporation and has allowed a couple of liberal voices to speak in public for purely pecuniary reasons. Instead, he's telling liberals (nobody else cares what he thinks) that it's more important to behave in a dignified, fair fashion than to stand up for your beliefs in a way that could be perceived as unseemly or one-sided. That makes you as bad as the other side.
Except, of course, it really doesn't. It's really about what you're fighting for. Tea partiers were trying to stop the federal government from reforming our health care system so that middle class workers will not go broke or die if they get sick. The Wisconsin protesters are trying to stop the Republican governor from making it illegal for them to belong to a union so that they can live a decent middle class life. Can we all see the pattern here? I'm sorry that people are misbehaving and failing to have the Oxford style debate that Stewart seems to think we should have, but this is a big argument that's taking place and I'm fairly sure that it's not going to be resolved by having some elite representatives of both sides sitting around Charlie Rose's table hashing it all out and then going out for drinks afterwards.