The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


There is nothing more amusing than the sanctimonious outrage exhibited by MSM types when they are accused of political bias as they “report” on the presidential campaign, Here’s Newsweek’s Joe Klein complaining about the fact that the McCain-Palin campaign is a bit upset about the full-bore assault on Sarah Palin:
The second thing is more insidious: Steve Schmidt [McCain’s press aid] has decided, for tactical reasons, to slime the press. He wants the public to believe that there is an unfair--sexist (you gotta love it)--personal assault going on against Palin and her family. This is a smokescreen, intended to divert attention from the fact the very real and responsible vetting that is taking place in the media--about the substance of Palin's record as mayor and governor. Sure, there are a few outliers--and the tabloid press--who have fixed on baby stories. That was inevitable....the flip side of the personal stories that the McCain team thought would work to their advantage--Palin's moose-hunting and wolf-shooting, and her admirable decision to have a Down Syndrome baby. And yes, when we all fix on the same story, whether it's a hurricane or a little-known politician, a zoo ensues. But the media coverage of the Palin story has been well within the bounds of responsibility. Schmidt is trying to make it seem otherwise, a desperate tactic.

According the Klein, the Palin onslaught is a “very real and responsible vetting.” As I’ve mentioned in my last two posts, that’s wonderful. But where’s the MSM “vetting” of Barack Obama? Where’s the in-depth investigative reports on his chairmanship of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge or his political association with Tony Resko, or his connection to former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. For that matter, since Sarah Palin’s husband was fair game (DUI arrest, twenty years ago) where’s the “vetting” of Michele Obama—her political positions and writing from her earlier years? I suspect there’d be some interesting findings.

After all, it would seem only reasonable that a thorough vetting of a presidential candidate (and his wife, since spouses are now in play) would be at least as important as a vice presidential candidate. No?

Actually … no. Vetting appears to be a good idea only when it is applied to the party that is out of favor with major media outlets like CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and the NYT, the LAT, Newsweek, and many other print news sources. “Journalists” like Klein no longer even try to hide their blatant bias. They complain that they are being “slimed.”

Yuval Levin comments about the MSM coverage from a different perspective:
I have always tended to think that conservative [or centrist?] complaints about the media are a little exaggerated. There are occasionally obvious instances of bias and clear examples of a double standard, but most reporters don’t want to fall into those and some conservatives are surely too sensitive to them. But this week has changed my view. I have never seen, and I admit that I could never have imagined, such shameful, out-of-control, frenzied, angry, condescending, and pathetic journalistic malpractice. The ignorant assault on Palin’s accomplishments and experience, the breathless careless airing of deranged rumors about her private life, the staggeringly indecent mistreatment of her teenage daughter in a difficult time, the ill-informed piling on about the vetting process, the self-intensifying circle of tisking nodding heads utterly detached from a straightforward political event, have been amazing and eye-opening.

"Eye-opening" only to those who don't have slime in their eyes.