Labelled “liberal” by right-wing pundits and “conservative” by left-wing pundits, Mediaite is amidst what their founder, Dan Abrams, jokingly describes as a full blown “identity crisis.”
From MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow labelling them a “conservative media website,” to Fox News’ Sean Hannity sarcastically calling them “Media Matters lite” and claiming Mediaite “doesn’t like me,” as well as Bill O’Reilly‘s assertion that “Mediaite is fairly left-wing,” the media blog seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
In the face of these partisan bombardments, Abrams decided it was time to take the stance that they have no official stance. In an article published yesterday on their site, Abrams attempts to convey Mediaite’s quest to walk that fine line.
“I have always attempted to encourage a mix of political views on the site and yet there is no question that with each different group of writers that equation shifts a bit. It’s impossible to be right down the middle particularly on a site that encourages opinion. The editors determine the content that we publish day to day but in hiring them, I inevitably influence the coverage. There have been times when I thought the site was slightly too conservative and other times when I feared it had become a bit too liberal. I know both extremes will deride this comment but we do our best to keep it even-handed. But regardless of whether one views Mediaite as left or right of center, its silly (or blinded) to just claim we are a “liberal” or “conservative” site. Sadly, the stories that truly resonate for the partisans are the ones they don’t like and Mediaite is at its best when it’s highlighting absurd commentary from the fringes.”
Abrams ended the piece by suggesting that labelling the blog “left” or “right” was more indicative of one’s own leanings than that of their writers.
“So thank you all for the controversy, but I think those identifying the site firmly in one political camp or another know that their sly barbs are intentionally over-simplified and misleading. If they don’t, well then I would humbly suggest that therein lies the problem.”
In the end, if you’re being attacked by the left for being too “conservative,” while simultaneously being attacked by the right for being too “liberal,” as a media critic, you’re probably doing your job.