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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Double Standard of the Media

“The mainstream media has its own agenda. They do not want to print the facts. They have an agenda, they have a slant, they have a bias. It is outrageous to me.” — Curt Weldon

BIAS: An opinion or judgment formed without due examination; prejudgment; a leaning toward one side of a question from other considerations than those belonging to it; an unreasonable predilection for, or objection against, anything; especially, an opinion or leaning adverse to anything, without just grounds, or before sufficient knowledge.

In Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias” he lays out numerous examples of how the media distorts the news. In his nearly thirty years at CBS News, Emmy Award winner Bernard Goldberg earned a reputation as one of the preeminent reporters in the television news business. When he looked at his own industry, however, he saw that the media far too often ignored their primary mission: objective, disinterested reporting. Again and again he saw that they slanted the news to the left. For years Goldberg appealed to reporters, producers, and network executives for more balanced reporting, but no one listened. The liberal bias continued. Now as a regular commentator on Fox News he blows the whistle on the news business, showing exactly how the media slant their coverage while insisting that they're just reporting the facts.

With the coming 2012 national election this double standard for bias will escalate to a point where you will hear that liberals are saints on this earth and conservatives are the minions of Satan. From the main stream media outlets like ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC along with their extreme left-wing stepchild MSNBC we will be bombarded with a constant stream of positive reporting on the Democrats and negative for the Republicans. We have already seen a blitzkrieg campaign against the Tea Party.

Two of the latest, more egregious attacks on conservatives are Janeane Garofalo’s attack on Herman Cain and the media’s attack on Tea Party stalwart Ryan Rhodes over Rhodes's confrontation with Obama.

Has-been comedian and Air America host Janeane Garofalo turned up on Keith Olbermann’s little corner of Nowheresville (Current TV) the other night, to unload some really deep thoughts about Republican racism and presidential candidate Herman Cain. Cain is an outsider candidate and successful businessman who worked wonders for Godfather’s Pizza. Oh, and by the way, he’s black. That’s the most important thing — indeed, the only thing about him that matters — to the race-crazed Garofalo.

You didn’t play the video, did you? I don’t blame you. Don’t worry, I’ll cover the lowlights. For future reference, a carefully organized combination of eyewash, disinfectant, and well-aged Scotch can be used to cleanse the residue of a Garofalo interview from the ailing viewer. Unfortunately, you have to drink all three.

According to Garofalo, Cain is only in the presidential race “because he deflects the racism that is inherent in the Republican party, the conservative movement, the Tea Party certainly.”

This is necessary because “the Republican Party has been moving more and more to the right, but also race-baiting more. Gay-baiting more. Religion-baiting more.” Assuming Garofalo is using the English language properly — always a risky bet — her insertion of “but also” would imply she thinks race, gay, and religion-baiting are not automatically associated with “moving more and more to the right.” That’s major progress for her! In fact, graded on a Garofalo scale, I think that qualifies as enlightenment.

Why would Cain be willing to serve this role for the Republican Party? Garofalo thinks he might be getting paid by the Koch Brothers, Grover Norquist, Any Anything, or even Karl Rove. I’m not sure who “Any Anything” is, but if Norquist and Rove are pulling down Koch money these days, I am officially ready to be co-opted by whichever cell of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy employs them.

The VRWC might have been able to get Cain’s services for a discount price, because according to Garofalo, he may be suffering from “a touch of Stockholm syndrome” after trying to “curry with the oppressors.” I think she means “curry favor,” although once again, Garofalo to English translation is an art, not a science. Maybe she literally means Cain has been making curry for his Republican oppressors.

So, there you have it, black Americans: you can only disagree with liberal orthodoxy if you’re a hostage softened up by Stockholm syndrome, and therefore willing to take payola from the Koch Brothers.

Why pay attention to what a loon like Garofalo says, on a TV show nobody watches? Three reasons:

  1. It’s fun. Low-hanging fruit is a part of any well-balanced intellectual diet.
  2. Janeane Garofalo is a vicious racist. If she’s not a “racist,” then the term has absolutely no meaning. It is important to note and denounce actual racism, as opposed to the sick totalitarian fantasy kind rattling around in Garofalo’s head. She deserves no pity for being an idiot who doesn't have any other arguments to make against Cain. Stupidity does not excuse racism, much less giving it a televised platform.
  3. Keith Olbermann spent many years working for a major (stop laughing) network, MSNBC. He currently appears on a network owned by Al Gore, who was the Vice-President of the United States, and came very close to winning the presidency on the Democrat ticket. Gore has editorial responsibility for allowing this to happen. The Democrat Party owns this interview, as surely as a comparably ugly rant broadcast on a network owned by Dick Cheney or Dan Quayle would be hung around the necks of Republicans.
Republicans would be expected to denounce their versions of Garofalo, Olbermann, and Gore in the strongest terms. No less should be expected of any Democrat with a shred of integrity.

Of course, in this analogy, the Democrat version of Herman Cain would scarcely be expected to confront Garofalo’s ugly racism with the mellow good humor of the real deal. If Cain’s campaign takes off, he’ll be hearing a lot more of this garbage. He doesn’t get enough credit for how gracefully he deals with it.

Also, I should point out that she thinks women who support Republicans are also suffering from Stockholm syndrome, which is a profoundly sexist thing to say. Racist and sexist boxes checked!

My second example not only involves the left-wing media, but also the RHINOs getting air time.

We have "former-Bush official Brad Blakeman being quoted by the media as attacking Tea Party stalwart Ryan Rhodes over Rhodes's confrontation with Obama. It seems that every time we see the term "former Bush," "former Reagan," and for all I know "former Coolidge" official, it involves some venerable GOP figure calling airstrikes in on his or her own unit. I guess it's slow down at the shuffleboard court.

It's possible to read all sorts of things into this, none of them good. About the gentlest would be that Blakeman is missing the point. Ryan is the farthest thing in the world from a political vagabond. As the founder of the Iowa Tea Party, he is a crucial figure in one of the most important political movements of the past half-century. He confronted Obama not because voices told him to or to get his picture in the paper, but to a issue a rebuke, a necessary rebuke. Obama had it coming for all sorts of reasons above and beyond the issue at hand. (Joe Biden's charming reference to the Tea Parties as "terrorists," an incident that seems to have evaded Blakeman's attention.) In a just world, he'd be hearing the same thing at every whistle-stop, fundraiser, campaign speech, and vacation cookout from now until Krugman's aggressive aliens arrive from Alpha Centauri. Ryan is to be applauded for doing something few would dare attempt, and bringing it off with considerable panache.

Blakeman is, of course, making the argument that we should "respect the office, and not the man." A perfectly legitimate stance, in normal times and dealing with normal politicians. But since we are dealing with neither, it has been reduced to something recited by rote. The times being what they are, extraordinary measures are called for. If a man were to force his way into a schoolroom and begin flinging children out the window, we would be appalled — unless that man was aware that the school was ablaze and there was no other way out of the building.

Blakeman overlooks the simple truth that you can respect the office only as much as the incumbent does. If the officeholder violates public trust, which can occur in any number of ways, from leaping on interns to appointing cronies to extralegal positions, the question of respect as such becomes moot. Some behavior cannot and should not be tolerated. If it were Caligula and Cesare Borgia in the Oval Office, I'm quite sure that Blakeman would not call for abject respect for either. Obama, to be just, is comparable to neither of them in iniquity, but the principle holds. You may call it an exaggeration for effect, the literary version of Ryan's action.

The third point is that America's liberals drew first blood and now have to take whatever comes. It has been generations since a Democrat or liberal or leftist has behaved in the political arena according to any tradition of decency, honor, or gentility. Barry Goldwater was an honest man and a politician of the highest standards. If you were to look for his equal today, in either house on either side of the aisle, you would come up with no one. And yet, when he ran for president in 1964, the entire liberal establishment cut loose with an unmatched campaign of slander. Goldwater was a Nazi, an extremist, a paranoid schizophrenic, a maniac out to trigger a nuclear war. And it wasn't fringe publications making these accusations — it was the New York Times and the Big Three broadcast networks. The men involved in that campaign — including the great American Voice of Reason and NPR scam artist, Bill Moyers — went on to lengthy, lucrative, and influential careers. Not a single one ever apologized; not a single one ever explained himself; not a single one was even confronted over his role.

The liberals have never backed off. To this day, children in America's schools are taught that the deranged Ronald Reagan tried to start WWIII and was halted only by the actions of the heroic Mikhail Gorbachev. (You doubt this? Ask your kids.) George W. Bush was forced to fight an international war while the loyal opposition derided him as a Nazi, a subnormal, a mass murderer, and we could go for several pages. One novel, an award-winning film, and at least two plays calling for his assassination were written, produced, and released. Anyone suggesting the same as regards Barack Obama would wind up (at the very least) explaining himself in detail and at length to large men in dark suits, and possibly worse. In our day the two political doctrines have been carefully divided and separated according to very simple criteria: with liberal Democrats every last comma of the rules of etiquette must be followed with punctilio. With the GOP, anything goes.

Which brings us to the last two years, in which the final shreds of civilized behavior were trampled in the left's eagerness to get at the enemy. A mother of a disabled child was attacked nationwide, in all major media outlets, for giving birth to and raising that child. Forget about everything else Sarah Palin has endured — the attacks on her other children, the petty legal hassles, the rumors about her marriage, the fake photos, the betrayals from her own side, and so on. Concentrate on that one element. When I was young, anyone who degraded a woman in such circumstances would have been fired, possibly physically beaten, blacklisted from his industry, and forced out of town, or even out of the country, in order to earn even the lowest type of living. Today they get booked on The View, Real Time with Bill Maher or MSNBC to get spit at by Chris Matthews. That's how far we've fallen — disabled kids, and their mothers, are fair game in the millennial United States, but not Barack Obama’s policies — then you are a racist.

And now we're hearing much the same about Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. I'm not sure how this will work out. Perry shoots his own coyotes when called upon and is suspected of being Gay, and Bachmann...well, she has that glint in her eye, the one that reads much the same as a sign saying, "DANGER - UNEXPLODED BOMB." You learn not to antagonize girls of a certain type as early as high school. Can we assume that America's liberals went to high school?

The point is that it was the liberals who tore up the rule book, flouted tradition, and violated every established tenet of behavior. When you act this way, you open a door, and you have to accept whatever comes through that door. The rules and traditions that might have protected you are no longer around to be appealed to. How does the old sage go, when you live by the sword you die by the sword?

With a 39% favorable and 52% unfavorable standing in the latest Gallup poll Obama will be lucky if he is not faced with such a confrontation every week from now until the 2012 election. He will receive much more and much worse in the way of invective and insult before then. And he will have earned it. Remember when, during the Vietnam War, when Lyndon Johnson’s polling numbers were so low he could only campaign on military bases. And most of the antagonism directed towards him came from the left.

Blakeman is not wrong in calling for a higher level of behavior. But he is mistaken is speaking as if such a world actually exists, as if life in the millennial United States consists of men doffing their panamas every time they pass a woman, that each street corner is equipped with an Eagle Scout awaiting random old ladies, and that politicians shaking hands and calling each "old boy" really means something. This is not the case, and to pretend otherwise, in an environment as debased and toxic as the one in which we live, is to accept humiliation and defeat. Perhaps we may see a rebirth of politesse and manners at some point to come, but with a two party system I doubt it. Just look at the vicious attacks that were leveled against Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and Condoleezza Rice. Nothing is impossible, and the social world often shifts between extremes. But I can tell you this: it will never happen if this country's liberals continue getting their way. Liberals know no shame and will say whatever disingenuous, foul and obscene thing that they believe will advance their cause.

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