Arianna Huffington on the Media's Shift to the Right

Question: Why write this book now?

Arianna Huffington: I decided to write the book right now as a kind of handbook for the ’08 election. I wanted to look at what the Right had done to this country over the last almost eight years. And then, why? Why did we allow the Right to hijack our democracy and dominate the debate? Because I feel when we understand why, we are going to find it much easier to clean the mess, not let it happen again, and above all, make sure that John McCain is not the winner in November, ’08. So that’s why I’ve included an entire chapter on John McCain, where I describe how he has been hijacked by the Right.

Question: How did the media shift so far to the right?

Arianna Huffington: Well, that’s, I think, the key point I wanted to make in the book in terms of the culpability of the media — how they became enablers. And so my first two chapters are about the media. The first chapter is called Equal Time For Lies, because I think one of the problems has been the way the media like to present every issue as though it has two sides, even when the truth is solidly on one side or the other. And, as a result, it’s been very confusing for the American public, because the Right doesn’t need to win the argument. It just needs to make people doubt what the truth is. And we’ve seen that again and again. We’ve seen it on global warming. We’ve seen Al Gore on the one hand talking about the dangers of global warming, and Senator James Inhofe, on the other hand, talking about how global warming is a fraud. We’ve seen that again and again on Iraq, when the truth is absolutely clear that Iraq has been a catastrophe for the United States, but in fact, the media and many of our leaders continue to present it as either we’re winning there, or it’s a mixed bag.

Recorded on: March 9 2008

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