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Archive for February 20th, 2013|Daily archive page

THE MEDIA: WIMPS ON THE LEFT, BULLIES ON THE RIGHT: PART THREE (OF FIVE)

In History, Politics, Social commentary on February 20, 2013 at 12:00 am

The “liberal” press continues to allow itself to be co-opted by the Right.

Consider the following from the December 12, 2012 episode of “Hardball With Chris Matthews”:

Chris Matthews

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  “Let Me Start” with this tonight. Did you get the impression during the presidential campaign that the press was trying too hard to be even- handed?

Did you think the people delivering the news were pushing what we call balance at the expense of the obvious facts?

…. That the Democrats in this election were like Democrats going back to Jack Kennedy, but the Republicans were far to the right of anything we’ve seen from that party ever?

….So tonight we’re going to nail it. We go to the truth, and why was it the truth that dared not be reported in the mainstream media. Joining me now for a brutal autopsy is Joan Walsh of Salon and David Corn of Mother Jones, neither of whom can be charged with hiding what’s wrong with the right.

Here’s what Norm Ornstein, I guy I really respect, of AEI, the American Enterprise Institute, told the HuffingtonPost about the broadcast networks.

Quote, “I can’t recall a campaign where I’ve seen more lying going on, and it wasn’t symmetric, but it seemed pretty clear to me that the Republican campaign was just far more over the top. It’s the great unreported big story of American politics. If voters are going to be able to hold accountable political figures, they’ve got to know what’s going on.

“And if the story that you’re telling repeatedly is that they’re all to blame–they’re all equally to blame, then you’re really doing a disservice to voters and not doing what journalism is supposed to do.”

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Right.

MATTHEWS: And never caught that in the main news stories. Your thoughts about coverage. I hate to be a media critic, but we’re into it right now.

WALSH: Well, it’s–you know, it’s very important, Chris, because–it’s actually–I did read the whole piece. It’sy Dan Froomkin. It’s a really interesting piece, and you would enjoy it.

They are talking about newspapers. They are talking about magazines. They are talking about cable. It’s not just the broadcast networks….

And this is the amazing thing. When you read this Dan Froomkin piece, you get the sense that these men are so wounded by–now they are being treated as pariahs….

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES:  I wrote a piece beforehand which I think–which is very much in keeping with their thesis and what Dan wrote, saying that I thought the Romney campaign was much more foundational in its lies about Obama.

And by that, I mean that the core of [Romney’s] campaign [charges]…

Obama promised to lower unemployment below 8 percent.  Not true. Obama appeases. Not true. Obama went on an apology tour. Not true. Obama wants to cut $500 million — billion, excuse me, out of Medicare. Not true.

MATTHEWS: [Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is claiming that President Barack Obama is] apologizing, but I’ll be a robust patriot. I’ll defend America against fact or–you know, against anything, foe or friend, because I’m a real American.

CORN: … [Romney’s] campaign was based on a lot of major, big, sweeping lies. Now, you can look at Obama and point out that he made a mistake or he misrepresented Obama’s policy in this way or that way, but his–you know, his overall case was not based on a series of falsehoods against Mitt Romney, while, indeed, that was true on the Republican side. And that’s the asymmetry.

And they point out that the media has a really hard time saying that.  It’s much easier to say everybody lies on both sides.

* * * * *

Millions of Americans see the struggles between Republicans and Democrats as “politics as usual,” as though both parties are equally guilty.

In fact, these struggles owe their origin to Right-wing efforts to gain total power over the government–and over the lives of all Americans.  And if they can’t attain this, they are determined to deny Democrats the ability to govern effectively or even protect the nation Republicans claim to love.

For example: In his February 12 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said that one of his top priorities was protecting America’s critical infrastructure from the growing threat of cyber-attacks.

There is good reason to be alarmed: Since August, 2012, the websites of American banks have repeatedly been attacked, reportedly by Iran.

Major U.S. media companies–The New York Times, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post–have all said the Chinese are behind sustained hacking attempts on them.

Yet in August, Senate Republicans helped kill the most comprehensive cyber-security bill to date, arguing it would’ve imposed too great a regulatory burden on business.

If a Republican President introduced such a bill, Rightists would vigorously support it and slander anyone who didn’t as an “America-hating traitor.”

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