The Worst of the Worst

THE WORST OF THE WORST….It occurs to me that I owe you all an explanation of why, earlier today, I chose Nancy Grace and Chris Matthews as our most loathsome media stars, with a bonus honorable mention for the collective id of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. So here it is.

Basically, I figure that although the general phenomenon of right-wing spewing has done serious damage over the past couple of decades, individual wingnut frothers like O’Reilly and Limbaugh, for all their loathsomeness, have limited influence these days. They draw most of their viewers from the ranks of true believers, so their tirades probably change very few minds. Their audience already agrees with them.

But that’s not true of my three choices. Matthews’ audience is probably mostly liberal and centrist liberal, and he convinces them that liberal politics is an idiotic clown show. Nancy Grace pulls in all types and turns them into slavering lynch mobs convinced that amendments 4 through 8 of the constitution are mere obsolete technicalities. And the WSJ editorial page is read mostly by business people who initially tend toward the right, but are then converted by the WSJ’s patented brew of smarminess and intellectual dishonesty into full-time Hillary-hating, supply-side idolizing, worker-loathing zombie shock troops for movement conservatism.

Of these, by the way, the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I’m convinced it’s done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century. There’s probably a good book in that story somewhere.

Anyway, that’s that. I just thought I should probably explain myself.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation