Fred Barnes's WSJ op ed today got us to thinking about the difference between liberal and conservative journalists. Twittering about it this afternoon, we came up with the metaphor of wolf pack behavior for the JournoList folks on the left side of the aisle. Working as a team, they select their quarry and close in for the kill in a coordinated attack from all sides. Sarah Palin is calling them "sick puppies." But what animal works best as a metaphor for journos on the Tea Party side of the aisle? See below for some answers.
"My experience with other conservative journalists is that they are loners," writes Fred Barnes in "The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy" in today's WSJ. Getting his readers up to speed on JournoListGate, a vaguely bemused "Freddie the Beadle" reluctantly acknowledges there's something rotten in the state of American journalism:
Not to say there's a media conspiracy, but at least to note that hundreds of journalists have gotten together, on an online listserv called JournoList, to promote liberalism and liberal politicians at the expense of traditional journalism …
The first call I got after the Daily Caller unearthed the emails involving me was from Karl Rove. He said he wanted to talk to his "fellow racist." We laughed about this. But the whole episode was also sad. I didn't sputter at the thought of being called a racist. But it was sad to see what journalism, or at least a segment of it, had come to.
"Grizzlies are generally loners, but they are still North America’s most social bear. They gather at food sources and often forage in family groups," according to the Bronx Zoo website. Sarah Palin's metaphor for common-sense conservative women — "Mama Grizzlies" fiercely defending their young — resonates beyond female political candidates to become a perfect metaphor for everyday fellow Americans and social-networking citizen journalists like the Tea Partiers, both women and men, who are entering the political fray to battle the fear-and-smear machine that would douse the lights of the Shining City Upon a Hill.
Lone grizzly vs. wolf pack. Individualism vs. collectivism. The metaphors fit. On the other hand, a case can be made, as we've done before, for social networkers as flocks of birds wheeliing and swooping in unison. As with Adam Smiths "invisible hand," individual choices add up to something that redounds to the benefit of the larger community:
"Individuals, but moving in a single entity. And the reason for this behavior? Well, thousands of eyes looking for predators on the roost site. Nothing could escape their gaze, no raptor could surprise this soaring mass of bird flesh … The birds are also maneuvering for position, social position."
SAD isn't going to do it, Fred. Think of the Mama Grizzlies and Papa Bears: First you get MAD, and then you strike back. Special Forces Commander Dan Riehl has the goods at Human Events in a take-no-prisoners "Defense of Andrew Breitbart." Read it, Mr. Barnes, and take heart.
Update: Michelle Malkin Buzzworthy link!
Update II: The Anchoress links under "Unrelated Weekend Fare."