While their agenda is different from mine, I’ve generally seen the Center for American Progress as a thoughtful, center-left institution. They employ talented, decent folks like Steve Clemons and Steve Coll (now their president and CEO). Think Progress, the blog of their “Action Fund,” has generally followed suit, despite most of its authors being quite young and thus not having had their enthusiasm tempered much by wisdom.
But, of late, Think Progress has been writing at the Media Matters level of hackishness. Take, for example, assistant editor Satyam Khanna‘s piece “McCain Refuses To Condemn Ingraham’s Attacks On His Daughter,” which is currently making the rounds at memeorandum.
Khanna repeatedly uses the phrase “hate radio” to describe rather benign talk shows, including Laura Ingraham’s. Unless her style has changed drastically since last I listened, she’s much more polite than anything one is likely to find on, say, Air America. Indeed, despite the occasional sophomoric insult, such as seen in the Meghan McCain flap, Ingraham is much tamer than Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert.
The piece continues, charging, “in the past, McCain has courted the extreme right of the GOP, granting an interview to Ingraham as late as October 2008. Throughout the presidential election, McCain, long considered too liberal by the extreme right, frequently appeared on hate radio shows, and he has a history of defending the bigoted remarks of right wingers.”
What is it that makes Ingraham part of the “extreme right?” The other “hate radio shows” linked include Hugh Hewitt’s and Bill Bennett’s. What makes them hateful? We’re not exactly talking about Michael Savage here, much less David Duke.
It seems “hate radio” is a favorite Think Progress buzzword; Google returns 5,770 results on their site. Apparently, any Republican-leaning talk show qualifies.
Which “bigoted remarks of right wingers” did McCain defend? The link takes us to McCain’s condemning remarks made by John Hagee but noting that “I will say that he said that his words were taken out of context, he defends his position. I hope that maybe you’d give him a chance to respond. He says he has never been anti-Catholic, but I repudiate the words that create that impression.”
As to why McCain didn’t weigh in on Ingraham’s jibes at his daughter? Who knows? Maybe he figures Meghan’s doing just fine on her own? Or, maybe, since she’s no longer his little girl but rather someone casting herself as a political pundit, he figures it would undermine her if he weighed in?