A Michael Ramirez gem:

And David Warren expands on the “herd of independent minds”:

…I wrote about that JournoList scandal on Saturday, and would like to share the gist of mail that came back to me after that article was linked through the States. I expected to hear from a lot of good, right-wing, Tea Party types, congratulating me for even mentioning the issue in the “mainstream media,” but instead about half the notes from these people were unfavourable.

They thought my dismissal of the affair — I wrote that while it certainly looked like a conspiracy to twist the news, in fact liberal journalists would have twisted it the same way even without methodically consulting each other — was inadequate and cowardly. Nor did they accept my view that the “crime” was not journalistic bias, but instead the journalists’ condescending pose of “objectivity” when delivering news and analysis that is steeply slanted.

The purely political dimension of this was spelt out, repeatedly. President Barack Obama won an election in which he posed as a moderate, and a “uniter.” But the same journalists who knew perfectly well that he was a radical liberal, just like them, with a personal background of association with characters far to the Left, and an agenda bearing little relation to his campaign promises — did everything in their power to conceal this. Instead they acted like attack dogs on his genuinely moderate opponents.

I don’t agree with this view, incidentally. I do not excuse the American people for electing this man. Nevertheless, this sense of “having been conned” is alive and consequential.

Not for the first time, I got a taste of just how angry a large and growing part of America has become, at the “liberal establishment” in the media, courts, Congress, White House, and the nearest public school. At the root of this, it seems to me, is the sense that decent, reasonable, tolerant people, who work for their livings, are losing control over their own lives to something like a “governing class”; are abused, insulted, being taxed to destruction. And, in the final aggravating clinch, the leaders who speak most articulately for them are smeared as “racists” and “rednecks.”

Indeed, were I a liberal politician, even in Canada, I’d be listening up. The pendulum of public opinion is swinging dramatically away from complacency in what I call the Nanny State, because the Left has made the egregious, if very human error, of pushing their luck too far.

Polls, at least in the U.S., show “trust in the media” to be at the subterranean lows of “trust in politicians.” To my mind, it is no coincidence that daily newspapers and other “mainstream” vehicles have endured shrinking audiences and attendant financial woes. The losses are compounded, as each institution comes to terms with the technology of the Web, but that is a side issue. The nimbler players are already mastering that adaptation.

The deeper issue is “content.” People will not read or view what they consider to be a waste of their time, and in particular, will not seek news from sources they believe to be tainted. The exclamation mark is affixed, when the mainstream media sweep the JournoList controversy under the rug — at a moment when their audience is free to read all these appalling e-mails on the Internet.

As I insist, the most damaging thing for a purveyor of news is not bias, per se, but an apparent lack of candour. People want to know “what really happened,” and if it is obvious that Agent A will not tell them, they will turn to Agent B. To my mind, that is exactly why my profession is in big trouble.

It is moreover the reason why every agency in society, which governs itself by strictures of “political correctness,” is in big trouble. People — quite simple, uneducated people, among others — may not have the means to analyse their distrust, but they can sure smell a rat. They may not be able to detect a lie, but they will eventually sense that a writer or speaker has no category for the truth…

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