Not the same, and one of them is rotten. 

Holy shit, Wolf!  Who knew you were such a party animal?  I’ve never heard anyone make armpit fart noises good as you.  Screw Belushi:  Woodward should have written a book about you!  Great to have you in class.  

But now it’s time to help you prepare for the final.  Just in case you got lost in the details lately, I need to be sure you see the big picture.  This part might show up in the essay section of the exam (hint, hint!).

First, let’s recall how we began this unfortunate odyssey:

Last night we talked about how woefully unprepared Wolf Blitzer was to counter Hugh Hewitt’s contention that the lefty blogosphere is a "fever swamp."  As Atrios noted, in these situations nobody ever brings up the fact that right wing blogs are a "racist freak show."  Obviously Wolf needs educating.

Okay, pay close attention, because I’m not going to repeat this:  all partisans are not created equal.  Partisan fruit grows from different kinds of trees.  Right versus left is not just a matter of apples versus apples:  it’s apples versus oranges. 

You’re nodding; that’s good! 

But wait, there’s another thing, and it’s a really big one.  Pay attention!  The apples on the right, however shiny, conceal a slimy, rotten core.  Yech!  That’s right: bigotry and racism. 

I never cease to marvel at the quickness of your mind.  

Okay, do your John McLaughlin for me again.  "From the left!"  That’s perfect!  Wolf, yer killin’ me here.  Okay, deep breath. . .   Here’s what we have on the left: 

Today’s progressive movement, especially in the blogs and grassroots, stands for honesty, accountability and truthful discourse, working to propel the interests of working and middle class people typically lacking institutional power or representation.

Hit it, Wolf:  "And on the right:"  (Awesome, dewd!)

The conservative movement is infested by rabid racism down to its roots, requiring it  to engage in the politics of diversion to mask its true intentions.

See?  Now you’re getttin’ it.  Your eyes just lit up like Jon Stewart interviewing Sharon Stone.  Keep yer hands where I can see ‘em, sport.

Ok, next:  all of this has really really really really big implications for how you and other journalists (cough!) should do your jobs. 

Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not asking for a pass for the left.  It’s not the media’s job to do the left’s job for it.  Historically, the left’s problem has been a lack of coherence and organization through which to make its voice heard.  That means the left’s major organizational challenge is. . . just getting fucking organized.  Hey, that’s our problem, not yours.  Boo hoo.  You should still ask tough questions to left leaning partisans, sniff out their agendas, find out who’s paying them, etc.

On the other hand, the right’s major challenge is not getting organized.  Hell, they don’t step in the  elevator before sussing out who’s the top.  No; the right wing’s major organizational challenge is concealing their true agenda

How do they do it?  Right wing, moneyed interests invest in identifying young activists (invariably bigots, cultural eliminationists and racists) who can clean up (reasonably) well.  Then they send them to Wingnut Finishing School before installing them at The National Review, the Heritage Foundation, staff jobs on the Hill or publishing them through Regnery.  The Southern Strategy never died.  It just learned to tie a bowtie.

The significance of all this? 

For at least a generation, the racist right wing has been financing an elaborate con on you and your peers in the establishment media, not to mention non-racist American voters. 

Sure, they use a lot of coded language in public to comminucate with their base, but they present a simulacrum of respectability sufficient to fool enough other people to win elections.  They have to do this, because their actual, natural base is too small and weak to win without lying.

I know.  It’s a painful truth to confront.  You’ve all been had.  Fortunately, we’ve set up a special wing at Smithers for any media types feenin for that right wing racist bullshit crack. 

As seemingly respectable conservative pundits and politicians sip cocktails and swap fag jokes in the Green Room, you must remember they are fruit (heh, no pun intended, but now that you mention it. . .) from a tainted tree, no matter how personally likable and fair minded they seemed at Signatures

Progressives are far from perfect, but you can say this for us, at least in the contemporary era:  we’re not trying to hide who we are or conceal our agenda.  We’re just trying to get our shit together well enough to make a difference, and we’re playing some serious catch-up. 

Conservatives pervade the establishment media and Sunday talk shows while propelling a overarching narrative of character assassination against us on the left in order to divert your attention from who they are, how they fail, how they cheat and whom they hate.  David Brooks does it as much as Anne Coulter does, only with less bite and more cellulite.  When you let them, any of them, change the subject, asking the questions they want you to ask, you’re falling for the con.   That’s what got us started on this whole unseemly Origin of Species.

I’ve already asked you to be sure to ask tough questions of left leaning partisans, sniff out their agendas, learn who’s paying them, etc.  But here’s the thing:  you have to be especially diligent at this when dealing with the right.  That’s not easy, because they sometimes disguise themselves as neutral advocates, even as journalists.  The right has invested all it has (which is a lot) to ladle shiny tinted wax over its rotten racist core.  Nevertheless, you in the establishment media have a duty to serve the public and report the truth.  Your duty is not merely to your corporate bosses, who may in fact be in on the con

Whoops!  There’s the bell!  Dammit, where did the time go?  Don’t want to miss Colbert.  We’re all done here.  I’ll miss ya’ Wolfie.  I mean that.  Really.  Yep.  No foolin’.  Hugs!

This closes our Right Wing Racists tutorial.  Next come your exams.  I kinda fooled ya, though.  Heh.  I kid.  I’m such a kidder.  Anyway. . . the test is not a written one.  The test is how you do your job.  We’re going to test you:

Every.  Fucking.  Day. 

Yes, your education comes with our personal guarantee:  we’ll never leave your side.  We’ll always pay attention.  We’ll always be there to share your special moments, like when you repeatedly pushed your stint on Johnny Carson into coverage of his death.  You’re a classy guy.

Yes, Leslie, you can be sure we won’t abandon you.   Just ask proud graduates Deb Howell and Jim Brady

Previous posts in the series:

Matt O. has also been compiling racist quotes from right-wing websites over at The Great Society.