Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The F is Back in Freedom!

USMC to CAIR: Durka durka, Muhammed jihad!

And Cpl. Belile's got a record deal!

* UPDATE *
Michelle Malkin has Josh's e-mail, and LGF notices that Reuters is taking steno for CAIR.

In case anybody hasn't noticed, I have a day job in the news business. What gets me about the Reuters story -- or the somewhat less egregious Associated Press story -- is how astonishingly lazy and ill-informed these reporters are.

At 2:41 p.m., Malkin posted an e-mail from Cpl. Belile in which he frankly shares his side of the story and reports that he is planning a professional recording of the song.

Can Reuters or AP be bothered to Google "Hadji Girl"? Among the top 5 hits returned are LGF, BlackFive and Hot Air. Hey, Clark Kent, do you think that might indicate that conservative bloggers have been very interested in this story? And do you think they might have something fresh about this new development?

I wonder how many Reuters or AP reporters have DailyKos or Wonkette bookmarked on their Web browsers? And how many bookmark Malkin or Drudge or NRO? If MSM coverage is biased there must be reasons.

Chief among these reasons, I would suspect, would be a lack of curiosity: They simply don't care to learn anything about what conservatives think or say or do. This, I can't understand; curiosity would seem to be a prerequisite to a career in journalism.

Curiosity & conservatism
In early 1995, while doing research into the National Standards for U.S. History, I was looking into the biography of one of the contributors and saw her described as a "Marxist historian." I was intrigued: What is a Marxist historian? So I went home to my Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia and spent a few hours discovering that historical materialism -- a/k/a dialectical materialism -- is the philosophical basis of Marxist socialism. I then read the FY&W biographies of Marx, Engels and Hegel, then went back to the library and spent most of a day reading various writings by and about Marxism: the Communist Manifesto, "The Poverty of Philosphy," the "18th Brumaire," etc.

It happened that the "Marxist historian" I was researching was Elizabeth Fox-Genovese who, with her husband Eugene Genovese, has since become something of a conservative. I read various books and articles by them both ... and only then did I write the series of columns that won the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

What I learned about Marxism during those two or three days of research had a profound effect on me. I had been a moderate Democrat, but once I understood the nature of socialism, its rationale and intellectual underpinnings, I became skeptical of the Welfare State. And once you become skeptical of the Welfare State -- once you read Hayek and understand the mirage of "social justice" -- your days as a Democrat are numbered.

Lazy liberals
It is a silly stereotype that conservatives are conservative because we are ignorant and close-minded. But I've read more Marx than the average Marxist. I've read J.K. Galbraith, I've read Greider and Ehrenreich -- and feminists! Oh, there's nothing so rewarding as slogging through the crack-brained rantings of a feminist ax-grinder like Mary Daly.

But liberals ... they seem utterly lacking in this sort of deep curiosity, the desire to know. They seem lazy and contented in their ignorance and in so much MSM reporting, it shows. I cannot think how many times I've encountered an MSM story discussing federal taxes (tax cuts for the rich!) and been amazed that reputable journalists seemed never to have heard of the Laffer Curve. If the tax rate was to be cut by X percent, the lazy liberal journalist seemed to assume that revenue would decline by that amount -- unaware that the tax cut would spur economic growth so that revenue would inevitably increase instead.

No, you cannot accuse any liberal MSM journalist having frittered away his or her time by reading Hayek or Mises, nor even something as fun to read as Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed. Why, if only they'd pick up P.J. O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores, they'd know more about market economics than 9/10ths of their peers in the press corps.

They can't be bothered to read anything. It's as if they are so smug in the quality of their education as to imagine that there is nothing left for them to learn. I've been in journalism for 20 years and am continually astonished at how seldom most of my colleagues read books. You'd think, for instance, that most educated Americans over 35 would have read Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind or Bork's Slouching Toward Gomorrah. You would be wrong. They are profoundly (and proudly) ignorant.

But I'm rambling now. This was about a Marine who just got some good news, not about the idiots who misreported the story.

Semper Fi, Cpl. Belile -- and if you're ever in Washington, look me up.

-- McCAIN

PREVIOUSLY:
6/20: Sweater Kittenz
6/14: "Hadji Girl" decontructed
6/14: Cpl. American Idol, USMC