Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Why are there labels attached to what should just be called “the press”? If someone is going to identify them as conservative media, what does that mean? Does that mean they are conservatives that participate in media, or does that mean they are media that participate in conservatism? Which is it? There is a distinction. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Folks, I’m going to say this to you in the clearest manner in which I can say it. Why are there labels attached to what should just be called “the press”? If someone is going to identify them as conservative media, what does that mean? Does that mean they are conservatives that participate in media, or does that mean they are media that participate in conservatism? Which is it? There is a distinction. You can be a conservative and participate in media. Andrew, I can give you a great example of a conservative that participates in media that is not a hack, is as honest a man as I know, and is a brilliant writer and makes his points while being, I think, conservative. I don’t know that he has to do it and try to speak like or cater to a conservative audience. Do you know who I’m talking about?
AG: I’ve got a couple different ideas.
AG: I would say you could go Krauthammer, George Will, Napolitano or Pat Buchanan.
Mike: Those are all not who I was thinking about. I was thinking about Tim Carney. Tim Carney is as bipartisan a critic and a critical thinker as anyone that writes today. Judge Napolitano wouldn’t then be conservative media, would he? He’d be libertarian media, right?
AG: Yeah, but I would probably put Carney in that same libertarian / conservative — it’s tough to differentiate at times.
Mike: Carney had the intellectual honesty to write what he believed was going to happen prior to election day 2012, did he not?
AG: He definitely did.
Mike: The reason I cite Tim Carney is because Mr. Carney is not in media, at least I don’t think he is, so that a particular political party wins elections. Before I get into this Erick Erickson piece about “Conservative media failing to advance ideas and stories,” I would just ask that question. Are you a conservative that participates in media or are you media that participates in conservatism? Because the line now has become blurred and there was little distinction for most people between the two, I think that’s where the confusion comes in. I would also state to you that when Erick Erickson says conservative media is failing to advance ideas and stories and not concentrating on the essentials of reporting, I think they actually are concentrating on the essentials of reporting. Then they take their reporting and poured it through a particular view. That’s not reporting.
If we break it down, what is journalism? What is the derivative? What is the word we’re deriving journalism from? I think in English we’re going to say journal. What’s a journal? A journal is a chronological recording of events, whether it’s monetary events. You may have an accountant’s journal with debit in, cash out or whatever the case may be. A journal of events like in the congressional record, what happened at 8 a.m., what happened at 8:20 a.m., so on and so forth. A journalist is merely one who provides journals of events. You can be a journalist in the purest sense of the word and you would then be writing a recap of the events. You don’t add any color to them, no political opinion, no “I think this part of the event was right and this part of the event was wrong.” You’re just providing a journal of the events. That’s what a journalist ought to do today.
We don’t have very many journalists, ladies and gentlemen. Instead, what we have are editorialists. What is an editorialist? An editorialist is someone that’s going to do what? They’re going to take the same journal and they’re going to editorialize on the event, meaning they’re going to edit them. They’re going to put them in what context they think the events ought to be viewed in. There is a vast difference between a journalist and an editorialist. What we currently have an oversupply of is editorialists and editorializing. There are few journalists, and I mean precious few. Andrew, given my definition, can you name a journalist?
AG: A guy like Brett Baier is a journalist.
Mike: Not when he’s hosting Special Report roundtable he’s not.
AG: I would definitely say he’s a journalist there.
Mike: When he’s doing the Special Report roundtable?
AG: I don’t think he takes a —
Mike: I don’t know that I agree with that. I think when he does the special report part of Special Report I might say he’s a journalist.
AG: There was a big kerfuffle yesterday and the day before because Sean Hannity, on his TV show, had Representative Ellison on. Keith Ellison went off on Hannity for being a yellow journalism and having no journalistic standards. Sean Hannity is not a journalist. He’s an editorialist but he’s not a journalist. There is a distinct difference there in terms of —
Mike: He’s definitely an editorialist.
AG: It was testy back and forth between the two of them about journalism and point of view in reporting. I would think Baier is a reporter more so than a Sean Hannity-esque host.
Mike: Fox News did hire John Roberts away from CNN. John Roberts is, I think, a journalist. Some of the men and women from time to time you may see on 60 Minutes could be —
AG: What’s Cavuto?
Mike: Cavuto is definitely an editorialist.
AG: He’s not partisan —
Mike: No, he’s not partisan, but I still think he’s more of an editorialist than he is a journalist, although he tries to present himself as a journalist. What does Shepard Smith say all the time on Fox News? “From the journalists at Fox News,” doesn’t he say that?
AG: He closes it every night before throwing it up to O’Reilly with “We’ll do it live.”
Mike: I’m not going to make a distinction here and say I prefer one or the other. I’m just trying to illustrate here that there are few journalists. There are lots of editorialists and few journalists. If Erickson wants people to report about ideas and stories, I have a suggestion for an idea and a story. Why don’t you cover all parts of conservatism? There’s no one in the big, commercialized conservative media movement that will even throw a bone unless it’s an occasional sop to John Stossel that there are libertarians in the conservative movement, that there are [r]epublicans in the conservative movement. There are thousands upon thousands of traditionalists — I think them to be part of the conservative movement — who are not even acknowledged.
How many of the people that work in journalism at RedState have ever even heard of Professor Claes Ryn? How many of them have ever even heard of Professor Brad Birzer? How many of them would even acknowledge that there is a man that goes by the name of Kevin Gutzman or there is a man that goes by the name of Tom Woods? Are these people just to be ignored? The irony is that there’s so much you could report on and so much you can cover that goes on in these United States, and a lot of it is good stuff. There’s a lot of stuff that liberty people and groups are doing out there. For example, how much was it reported yesterday that Jack Hunter spent four hours, I think, answering questions via a video feed with Young Americans for Liberty? Did you know that Jack did that?
Mike: The only reason I knew is because he sent it to me. Go to RedState and see if that event was covered. Did they cover Jack Hunter talking about the Constitution, talking about conservatism, talking about the South Carolina conservative and Kentucky conservative he currently works with? My point is, and we talked about this a little bit yesterday, is that commercialism has totally trumped morals. At some level, truth is not an industry. At some level, truth is part of that thing we call the Transcendent. Until we’re willing to confront that and then re-embrace it — at one point in time there were many men that did embrace it — then you’re going to have editorial journalism, which is not journalism at all, and you’re going to get the result you have in front of you today.
Erick, we welcome you covering our movement here of [r]epublican “conservatives,” even though we may call ourselves paleocons. I bought the URL paleocondaily.com. I bought it because it’s available. I thought one day that’s going to be one heck of a website. I think the only people that are covered by Mr. Erickson’s “conservative media” are those that are good for business. I don’t know that the ones that are good for business are good for solving the people of this continent’s problems , or helping the people of this continent solve their own problems.
End Mike Church Show Transcript