Maybe he is a conservative, but he doesn’t write like one in this column. For one thing he claims to be able to tell who is and is not a conservative by whether they work in sales or not. A strange claim on the face of it and one that belongs more to the “I’m king of the world” club rather than to conservatives.
Mulshine's column trashes Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Fox News. Not for any of their positions but because Hannity and O’Reilly do commercials on their radio talk shows and Fox News doesn’t see a problem with that.
But that Freudian slip got me thinking about why, as a conservative, I am appalled by the conduct of the people at Fox. It's not that their reporting fails to meet the "fair and balanced" standard to which the network claims to aspire. Truth is, nobody meets that standard. That's fine with me. A smart reader can weigh one point of view against the other and come up with a close approximation of the truth.
No, what bothers me about Fox News is its ethics code. It doesn't seem to have one. Consider the two stars of the Fox News TV lineup, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Both do something that is so far outside the ethical boundaries for journalists that it isn't even listed in most ethics codes: They do commercials.
Hmm. I think I remember William F. Buckley, Jr., saying how he would be willing to have his recommendation used in an ad (“shill” in Mr. Mulshine’s vocab) for a typewriter company and a peanut butter company because he liked their products so much. So much for his ethics! And an obvious painting of himself outside the conservative circle by being willing to do a commercial.
What does doing commercials have to do with being or not being conservative?
But after dinner when I turn on my TV there is that same pitchman posing as a journalist. Sean Hannity is not a conservative. He just plays one on TV. The same goes for Bill O'Reilly. The man who claims to work in a "no-spin zone" in the evenings spends his afternoon not just spinning but pitching.
None of this would bother me if these characters didn't purport to be conservatives. We conservatives have principles. We don't say things because people pay us to say them. We say things because we believe in them.
Oh, really. Doesn't Mr. Mulshine accept pay for writing his column? Using the above definition all those who get paid for what they write or say aren’t true conservatives.
Mr. Mulshine may be a conservative, but he can’t think his way through a fruit loop.
My preferred conservative commentators are Mark Steyn (new line) and William F. Buckley, Jr. (old line) rather than Hannity or O'Reilly, but it’s crazy to criticize a political talk show host for doing commercials. Commercial sales and journalism are intimately wed.
Does Mr. Mulshine ever watch TV news or read magazines or even his own New Jersey newspaper? They are chuck full of commercials and ads--which pay the salaries of their journalists. Without commercials and ads there would be no forum for Mulshine’s fulminations--unless he wrote for free like bloggers.
Hmm. Apparently bloggers are the only true conservatives writing.
Where does the Oregonian find these silly commentaries?