Anchoress, why aren’t you writing?

I’m getting all these emails…

“Anchoress, you depressed?”

“Anchoress, your computer on the fritz?”

“Anchoress, why aren’t you writing…”

Aside from being busy, as indicated yesterday [edited for clarity] I have felt disinclined to write. I feel like I have nothing constructive or positive to say.

I’m not writing because…well, it’s all beginning to feel a little futile, isn’t it? The daily grind of news is essentially the same. Bush is an antiquated manly sort who is also bad, evil, incompetent, hitler, a terrorist etc, etc. How will Democrats regain power (without resorting to buying votes or engaging in detectable fraud) – because nothing in the world will be right until they do? Iraq is (is not) in civil war. It’s not, really, but we want to report that it is, and so “truthiness” is the order of the day. The economy – near full employment with the strongest job market in yearsis terrible.

Nothing good will show up in the news until Bushitler is out of office and the Dems are back in. Nothing. Good news has been disallowed. If you want to find good news, you will have to look for it yourself.

Bad news, though, is so welcome it even gets made up.

Once the left is back in power, however, Iraq will miraculously become a stunning success story, the economy will be “booming“…oh, and the homeless will disappear again – poof! They’ve been at our soup kitchen at church through every president for the last 20 years, near as I can tell, but they don’t exist when the right party has the White House. When the right party has the White House, then the liberation of millions of tyrannized people, the opportunities for women who had previously been denied them…all of that will become newsworthy. It will be celebrated. Oprah will do a show. When the right party is in office, the thousands of recently released Iraqi documents and what they reveal will also suddenly become newsworthy and credible. When the right party is in power -when they have the house and senate – the 22nd amendment will be repealed, and the left will remain entrenched in the White House forevermore, thanks to the compliant press who will spike any news it doesn’t like or which doesn’t help the cause.

When the right party is in office, TNT will be on order for Mount Rushmore. We’ll need more heads, of course.

It’s just boring and tiresome, that’s all. This has been the structure for the last 5 years, and I’m tiring of it. The press is lost. They are so beholden to their hatred of one family and their irrationally exuberant love of another that they are at best only useful for VERY breaking news. Within hours of any story the Bush-bash narrative, complete with emotional manipulation will kick in, and then they become useless. At worst, they are the willing, incurious, glassy-eyed ushers of an incipient tyranny.

The public was much better served by jounalism when the profession was populated with hard-drinking, grizzled, high-school educated cynics – people who began as cub reporters and who knew how to bang out a story for better or worse and get on with it, without becoming themselves part of the story. Were some reporters biased? Sure they were, and the class wars card has always been played in the press, but reporters used to be less fastidious with themselves, less preening, less inclined to worship at the altar of the ivy-league masters of the universe, less ambitious to be anything more than writers who wrote…and therefore they usually took themselves less seriously, and the issues of the day more seriously.

Once upon a time, even if the truth was inconvenient, it got printed. Those days are over.

It’s tiresome, as I said. It is tiresome to see every theater and restaurant full, every payroll docket full, and still read that some people think the economy is in bad shape, even as housing starts gain and sales increase they finance their huge houses at 5.25%.

I can remember when the economy was bad. I can remember the Carter presidency, when people couldn’t buy houses, because mortgage rates were 17%. But today, people seem to think this economy, wherein they buy $4.00 cups of coffee and dispose income left and right, is bad.

It’s tiresome to look out and see people simply buying whatever line the mediachorus sings them. It’s not new. There have always been people who get all of their news from a soundbite and a headline, without looking further. I hate to say it, but when I was very young and immature, I’d basically get my news and my opinions from the op-ed pages and parrot them back. I seemed so very, very “smart” back then. It was easy to be smart and sophisticated when I was simply repeating the narratives of the so-called “smart and sophisticated.”

Now, I repeat back nothing…I believe almost nothing…and I’m a bumpkin.

I can link to so many stories pointing to the good news, and I can link to so many blogs analyzing good news and pointing out responses to “Bush Lied” that people – were they thinking, were they interested – would be happy to hear. But my sources would be from the “wrong” sources, just like Condi Rice is the “wrong sort” of black woman to be considered worth celebrating.

I blame President Bush for some of this, but not all of it. The press has been veering out of control for a long while – he didn’t create that reality – but he hasn’t helped by refusing to allow these folks to party at the White House, by refusing to “apologize” every time they thought he should, and by – let’s admit it – sometimes coming off as too arrogant for his own good.

I don’t think it’s actually arrogance, though, so much as keen distrust and self-defensiveness in the face of a very hostile media body.

What we see now, of course, is the endless daily assault on the president and his administration by a press that has no interest in what might really be going on – anywhere – they’ve lost interest in Iraq, in Islamofascism, in terrorism, in trade. They have only one interest: tear down this president and elect enough Democrats to impeach him next year and get a Democrat into the White House the year after that. That is ALL they are thinking about, and it is reflected in every “report” they file.

I will never forget it, because I heard it with my own ears – Ellen Ratner talking to Linda Vestor at Fox News, in the beginning of the invasion of Iraq: “We’ll just have to hope Iraq goes badly so we can get back the White House.”

At that moment, I knew that no matter how well the war might go, it would never be reported as anything but a disaster.

And so, we’ll watch the press do all it can to help the Democrats take back at least the house in ’06, perhaps the senate. The house, of course, is imperative, for impeachement. With the press on their side, carrying water for them, the Democrats know they need not have an actual message. They’ve admitted that they don’t intend to actually put out a plan or offer ideas.

Vote Democrat in ’06 – or sit out your GOP vote for your principles – at this point, it’s essentially the same thing. Get ready for it, though.

- Impeachment of the president, possibly the vice president.

- Hello International Criminal Court, here are some soldiers and administration officials for you to try and convict.

- The collapse of the “Arab Springtime”

- Increase in taxes (it’s all they know)

- Increase in internet regulations and a curtailing of free speech (“We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values … Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?” Mrs. Clinton said.)

- Celebrate the United Nations (Hello, SecGen Clinton!)

- Withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, whether it’s smart or not

- Increase in terrorism on our shores (America is the “weak horse” again, Osama, baby!)

- Hello Kyoto? Bush’s alternative never got any press.

- Don’t expect to see any blacks in leadership positions. The “black friendly” party couldn’t manage this while they were in power, and once they’re back in power, we’ll be treated to lots of rhetoric, but you will not see the rise of the black Democrat office holder in any sort of leadership position. You’ve got Barack Obama, what more do you want? Everyone will kiss Oprah, and they’ll let Maya Angelou tell a poem, though.

We are – sadly – not really getting the leadership we deserve. It’s partly our fault, but not completely. It will only be all our fault when we stop fighting back.

Speaking only for myself, though…I’m feeling pretty weary. So, I’m ranting. It’s better than being bored.

UPDATE: Apparently while I was ranting the president was jawboning the press, for what it’s worth.

Bush is a lot tougher than I could be in the face of so much hate:
President Clinton endured some hate – and some unfairness, it’s true – but he at least had the consolation of knowing that good news occuring on his watch was allowed to be passed, unfiltered, into the national consciousness. His good news was not ignored or distorted or spun into “bad” news. That does make a difference. And there is some reason to believe that had Clinton taken the same actions – over the course of the last 4 years – that his successor has taken, the narratives surrounding those actions would be quite different. That makes a difference, too. I believe it makes the difference between most folks being able to live under a seige of bitterness and constant recrimination, or crumbling under it.

President Bush does not even have that small consolation, though, of any good news being talked up and even celebrated. Everything is bad, everything is a lie, everything is evil, and everything is his fault. Always. Everywhere. And somehow…he does not crumble.

Perhaps that – more than anything else – is why Bush is hated with such an unhinged derangement: he will not collapse. He will not lie down. He will not surrender to the press and the critics, or change the person he is, or simply go away.

UPDATE II: I didn’t see the presser but Hugh says it was a corker. Ian has video. And Laura Lee has a terrific metaphor that cheered me up! :-) More on the desires of the MSM to see us fail in Iraq by Hugh. Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds has some advice for the print media.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • pendell

    I would suggest reading Carl Sandburg’s “Lincoln: The War Years”. The press treated him pretty much the same way. He was a “gorilla”, a “buffoon”. He was mercilessly caricatured. Some newspapers went so far over the line that General Ambrose Burnside had them shut down. This turned out to be a cure worse than the disease — the outrage it caused damaged the war effort more than allowing them to print statements which were, quite frankly, treasonous. The paper was re-opened and allowed to bray for the remainder of the war.

    Today, of course, Lincoln has a statue and a monument on the Mall and only historians remember the names of his vicious detractors.

    Envy, hatred, and slander are the tribute small-minded men pay to those greater than themselves. It was so then; it is so now.


    Brian P.

  • TheAnchoress

    It’s a different world, information is distributed differently, globally, the academies are run ideologically and history is re-written on an daily basis. I think things are different. Good post, but I think things are different.

  • Big Sissy

    Do you ever tire of the spiritual stuff?

    Is there a type of writing or subject that you find more uplifting than others?

    Just a thought…

  • TheAnchoress

    Kind of an odd question to put at the end of a political rant…

    No, I never get tired of spiritual writing. It is my best writing. The rest is just rants and such.

    The spiritual is me. It sustains me. It is the river toward which my roots continually reach.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    W’s refusal to crumble is all the more proof that he is a believer, and that he is sustained in his faith. Jesus Himself told us that, when you do the right thing, the world will hate you and seek to destroy you.
    W also knows that there are more important things in this world that George W. Bush, and he is OK with that. Its fine with him that his opponents hate him, and even if it disappoints him that his “friends” abandon him and maliciously join in on the attack at times (Yeah, I’m talking about you NRO and Sean Hannity), giving aid and encouragement to those that hate him, still, he is determined to do the right thing. And thank God that we have him at this point in the history of Western civilization.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    (argh, proof-read before you send!!!)
    That should be, “W also knows that there are more important things in this world than George W. Bush . . .”

  • March Hare

    You raise (as usual) a couple of interesting points.
    Was news coverage better before it became “journalism” and you had to have a degree? When every reporter had to serve an apprenticeship (even if you went to college and had a fancy diploma with a degree in journalism or English or PoliSci or whatever)?
    Were lawyers better when they had to “read the law,” (like Lincoln did) rather than go to law school and pass the bar?
    I remember the Carter years. Hubs and I bought our first house in 1980–and thought we were getting a bargain when the interest rate was ~only~ 13.25%. No one, not even Greenspan, thought the mortgage interest rates would be in single digits again. We bought a larger house in 1986, when interest rates were 10% and have refinanced that house twice since, taking advantage of lower rates.
    And wasn’t it during the First Oil Crisis in 1975 (when I graduated from college) that the economy was considered “fully employed” when the unemployment rate was 8%?
    Not only is the press biased, they have no sense of history–recent or otherwise!

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  • Sigmund Carl and Alfred

    Superb, superb, superb.

    You reinforce the very real notion that ‘progressive’ ideology is by definition, fluid ideology.

    Unless and until liberal hypocrisy is taken out of the equation (to be clear, I am referring only to the hypocrisy and not to the true liberal ideologies that there are moral stands that must be taken), liberals will only find themselves further marginalized from the mainstream.

  • March Hare

    But wait–here’s some good news, actually reported by the MSM I also note it on my blog:

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  • benning

    What you ranted about is right on! But, having said that, why on earth do you think this will change? As long as you live, this is the Meme of public life in the United States – barring an Islamist takeover, of course! – and the MSM will be the ugliest part of it.

    “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    Simply rejoice that Helen Thomas is still available for our viewing enjoyment! Where else do we get to exercise our eye-rolling, head-shaking, and snorting, all at the same time?

    Rant on, Ma’am! We love it!

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