Me? Liberal? Maybe not.

Forbes Magazine has identified “The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media.” While some of those named belong on such a list, the selection seems heavily weighted toward “influential” and only intermittently toward “liberal.” (We could have a long, serious, and ultimately pointless debate about what constitutes liberalism. Let’s not. It’s my blog; you’re stuck with my (inferential) brand.)

Okay. First, people on the list who clearly belong on the list. (Number are the Forbes ranking.)

Neat thing about that group: Every one of them is willing to criticize to the Left as well as to the Right. In fact, now that the Right Wing of American Decadence is flapping off into justly-deserved anonymity and irrelevance, now that a Centrist or possibly even Center-just-a-teeny-bit-Left Administration is in, now that the neo Con men (and women) are licking their wounds, you’re going to find every one of the above liberals willing to criticize the Obamery. They’re not turncoats; they’re conscientious critics.

Also on the Forbes list — and here’s the reason for my uncertain title — are such self-indulgent and/or inconsistent characters as

  • 3. Fred Hiatt, Editorial page editor, The Washington Post
  • 4. Thomas Friedman, Op-ed columnist, The New York Times
  • 14. Christopher Hitchens, Writer
  • 12. Chris Matthews, Anchor, Hardball
  • 15. Maureen Dowd, Op-ed columnist, The New York Times

Hemingway suggested that every good writer needed a built-in bullshit detector. People in both these groups have that detector. The difference is, those in the first group understand that the purpose of the BSD is to avoid bullshit, not to produce and publish it.

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