Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.):
The tensions come amid a debate within the GOP on how best to lure new voters. The nation’s shifting demographics have caused some Republican leaders to worry not only about the party’s future but about winning in November, particularly in key swing states such as Virginia and Nevada.
“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
Bolds are mine. I saw a reference to this statement before and simply couldn't believe that it wasn't a hoax. But nope. It's real. Note the verb "to generate" in that sentence. Graham is taking credit for fueling the anger of the white guys, by presenting them with straw enemies.
An odd moment of honesty perhaps?
Then there's Alessandra Stanley of New York Times:
You can agree with everything that Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz say on MSNBC and still oppose their right to say it.
Especially when they and their hyped-up panelists shout that Republican claims are “lies,” or Chris Matthews says that Republicans view welfare recipients as “looters.” MSNBC panelists gave Mitt Romney his due on Thursday but mocked his audience. Mr. Matthews noted that when Mr. Romney called for Americans to give the poor a helping hand, Mr. Matthews said, “He got zero applause,” adding, “I think that’s so telling about tonight.”
Bolds are mine, again. Some of Stanley's points in that piece are valid. It's true that Fox News has pretty much destroyed informative and fact-based political debate, and it's true that others are now following suit.
But how come has Fox been allowed to say utterly disgusting things for years without much criticism from journalists in general? As long as one meta-debating partner (Fox) is allowed to blow farts and breathe fire without any punishment but rather with the rewards of good profits, others will follow suit, right? Unless rudeness and bias are only OK when carried out by Republicans?
Then there's that whole bit of opposing someone's right to say nasty things. I have never seen that applied to Fox News, and if it were there would be very loud yells about the freedom of expression.
I guess my point is that if there ever was an idyllic era of polite and fact-based political debates in the American media, that era has been broken by the political right, a long time ago. The intermediate outcome has been an odd one where your average political debate has consisted of a few fire-breathing monsters from the right, high on angry testosterone and furious at the whole world, and one vewy scawed pseudo-liberal whose point has been to act as a stupid mouse for the cats to play with.
Whether having monsters on both sides is better than the mouse-torture games depends on the spectator. But the process towards general monstering appears unavoidable if the right are allowed to practice it.