The People and Their Enemies
If the tax day tea party protests accomplished nothing else, they did this: they tore the mask off the mainstream news media and revealed the media’s naked hostility to the ideals of our founding fathers. For years, those of us who hold to those ideals have felt that the news media were biased against us. Now we see we were wrong. They’re not biased. They’re openly on the attack.
Saying the media are biased is like saying the British were biased against the colonial forces at Bunker Hill. It’s as if one minute man turned to another and said, “I think those redcoats are shooting at us because they lack objectivity.”
I think they’re shooting at us because they’re trying to kill us.
Never was this more clear to me than on Friday, the first of May, when I had the pleasure of participating in an extraordinary hour of television: Glenn’s live and free-wheeling discussion with a studio-full of regular folks who had turned out on tax day to protest the recent unprecedented expansion of government and the cost that they and their children are going to have to pay for it.
These were the very people columnist Paul Krugman called “crazy,” in the pages of the New York Times; the people Susan Rosegen of CNN labeled “offensive,” and that actress Janeane Garafolo called “racist,” on MSNBC. As for the rest of the mainstream media, well, they tried to ignore them at first and, when their sheer numbers made that impossible, they tried to mock them with the sort of low jokes you usually expect to hear in a middle school locker room or on The Daily Show.
And yet when Glenn gave them a fair chance to speak for themselves, what did these crazy offensive racists want to talk about? Their businesses. Their families. The constitution. The founders. And they wanted to try to answer Glenn’s question: what is the media missing about them?
“The media is missing, first of all, objectivity,” said a woman named Nicole, as her fellow tea-partyers burst into applause. “I think that is the biggest thing that they’re missing… All of us who attended the tea parties were all ethnicities, all political backgrounds, all income ranges, and we were all there because we’re all frustrated.”
Then there was Kathy, who had given CNN’s shameful Rosegen a piece of her mind at the tea party in Chicago. She told Glenn: “They don’t understand anything, and I mean anything—the media. They absolutely only talk to each other, so they are living in this bubble. And the only thing they know is the ideas of the people that they hang out with in the big cities all over.”
But as I listened to these two well-spoken and intelligent ladies—as I listened to all the people in the studio that day—I was not convinced the media were missing anything. I think the media understand exactly who these people are—and I think they oppose them and I think they fear them and I think they want to shut them down.
The mainstream news media are populated by elites who support government by the elites, for the elites. Their idea of government is an idea as old as Pharoah: the idea of a mighty state collecting the riches of the populace and redistributing them as it deems virtuous and just.
The people in Glenn’s studio have a different idea. It’s a newer, more radical—you might even say revolutionary idea. It’s the idea that the people can govern themselves, can choose for themselves how to spend their time and their money. It’s the idea that each person can decide for himself where virtue lies, guided by his God, not his president. It’s the idea that the constitution sets the rules and the government has to act within its boundaries, leaving the people free.
The media—and every other lover of the almighty state—hate that revolutionary idea. They hate it enough to slander and mock the protesters who turned out on tax day to support it. But despite the media’s best efforts, the protesters turned out again in Glenn’s studio to explain themselves. And I believe they are going to turn out again and again. Because they’re the people, and the country belongs to them.
Andrew Klavan's new thriller for young adults is called "The Last Thing I Remember."