Blunder on the right

Watershed moments don’t announce themselves, and they’re not easy to spot in the flickering news of the day. But I think in recent weeks something of historic importance has been happening to the U.S. right-wing media establishment: It’s in trouble.

Consider first the continuing scandal enveloping the Rupert Murdoch dynasty. Their giant News Corp. owns two key conservative organs: The Wall Street Journal—whose editorialists are among the most influential ideological forces on the right—and Fox News, which pioneered the reinvention of cable news as a partisan mosh pit.

Second is the broad outrage over some unusually vile utterances by the movement’s biggest media star, Rush Limbaugh, which is shaking his unrivaled, decade-long dominance of talk radio.

And third is the passing of Andrew Breitbart, 43, who in his brief career as an online provocateur had become a leading right-wing media celebrity, but whose death notices couldn’t help but recall that his notoriety rested on stunts that were deceitful and cruel, when not downright fraudulent. Continue reading “Blunder on the right”