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Monday, 19 November 2012 21:37

Liberal media flames over Jindal's rise, their fall

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liberalPerhaps more interesting than the things he actually says is the reaction of both the national and state media to the concept of Gov. Bobby Jindal as a politician of national concern.

That they invest themselves in this love/hate relationship with him tells us they think he is a threat to what they hold dear.

In the almost two weeks since the implosion of the former Gov. Mitt Romney presidential candidacy, it has become increasingly clear to all observers that the era of the Republican Party acting more as an echo of rather than presenting a choice to Democrats will not survive the 2016 election cycle. The GOP’s greatest successes in this post-Pres. Ronald Reagan <> period have come when its congressional party as a whole offered a conservative vision (1994, 2010), nor is it an accident that its only presidential winning candidate was seen as a conservative with moderate tendencies (Pres. George W. Bush <> ) while all the others who were seen as moderates first with conservative tendencies lost.

By the content of the three interviews for the national media Jindal has given in this period, he gets the Reagan understanding that explanation and education of the center-right public of America of a conservative agenda wins elections <> . While there is a race on by Pres. Barack Obama <> and his fellow travelers to transform the country’s culture <> , this perverting hardly has begun, needs extended time for consolidation, and can be reversed through candidates and campaigns that articulate the basic principles of conservatism in an accessible way to the public.

Jindal believes he can do this, and, obviously by the attention they give him, so do the media, that causes them to feel fascinated and repelled by him as a national political figure on the right. With the vast majority of that profession enthralled with the false tenets and empty promises of liberalism, simultaneously they feel compelled to try to understand how he can inveigh against the historical determinism in which they have faith that decrees the triumph of liberalism, but horrified that he or others like him might succeed in ushering in an alternative future.

Thus, they give full measure to studying specimens like him not just because it grabs eyeballs but also because they hope to gain greater insight into preventing conservatives from breaking the existing stalemate and coming into full power. Jindal, whose willingness to take over in the near future leadership of the Republican Governors’ Association <> and who has no hesitation in presenting himself to the national media for interviews/interrogation, complies as it becomes increasingly open that he harbors national ambitions.

But the wariness that the media shows at the national level, studying the opponent in order to draw him out and defeat him, gives way to open combativeness at the state level. Just in the past couple of days state media have produced stories on a handful of disgruntled ideologues who say they will vet Jindal’s remarks <> and on an intellectual pygmy who rants nonsense about Jindal on a barely-watched cable TV show <> .

Given the various drivel sure to proceed from screeds like these, the larger question is, why is any of this deemed news? What merits the choice of these as something that the public should care about, or even has any interest in? Why these instead of, for example, reporting on the unconscionable stonewalling of the Louisiana Legislature concerning public records requests about legislators’ connections to influential interest groups <> , which has been reported nowhere in the mainstream nor conspiratorial leftist online media?

Because the media, with varying degrees of self-realization all the way from open acknowledgment to self-delusion, has an agenda it wishes to propagate. Much of the state’s media in particular loath Jindal <> , for reasons both of head and heart: his policies violate their ideological sensibilities and his indifference to giving them any material that they believe is their birthright for to not only to propagate their agenda, but to survive.

In fact, that second one has become ascendant. As the state’s traditional media, print in particular, continues their downward trajectory in both viability and influence, this exacerbates the animosity they feel when Jindal hardly gives them the time of day for stories, much less then turns around and opens up completely to the national media. As the media landscape explodes in channels available for indirect communications to voters, continually reducing the relevance of print media, politicians increasingly have the capacity to pick and choose deliverers, reminding those who see their power slipping away of that every time they ignore them.

Struggling to maintain self-portraits as consequential and as influence agents, it’s no accident that those on the decline in the media lash out against the objects they not only oppose on ideological grounds, but also who they see as contributors to their mattering less and less. Jindal is on to this, understanding the innate hostility and refusing largely to sustain it in any way through a strategy of selective engagement – all of which infuriates those involved even more.

So be prepared for a repeat of the 2007 period in Louisiana <> writ nationally (as it was briefly in the early part of 2009 as the media sought for objects to contrast to Obama early in his term) for at least the next couple of years, with Jindal and others likely to refine and explicate a winning conservative message – a process of persuasion the left will wish to try to strangle in its cradle, finding much aiding and abetting by a compliant traditional media.


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Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.