A couple of days ago, a college classmate posted Paul Krugman’s angry and dishonest screed against Republican opponents of the recently enacted, unpopular health care overhaul. Last night at Seder, a woman, unaware of my political leanings, talked about the extremist Tea Party folk.
Both are sensible folk, the former slightly to the left of center, the other more in the liberal mainstream. Neither a foam-at-the-mouth left-wing activist, regularly spouting venom at Republicans and others on the right.
Yet, each, while well-informed on the issues of the day, has a jaundiced view of the Tea Party phenomenon. This has little to do with the reality of said phenomenon, but with the coverage these protests have received in the media. Even as the mainstream media are losing their audience, they still have some sway over public opinion.
At the same time the three broadcast networks and major East Coast dailies trumpet stories of right-wing extremists and “report” unsubstantiated allegations of racist behavior at Tea Party protests, they downplay or downright ignore evidence of similar behavior on the left. Today, for example, Jim Hoft observes that while Code Pink radicals shut down a Karl Rove book signing in Beverly Hills, the national media are silent. This event was covered only by local media.
Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds alerts us to their ignorance of other stories at odds with their narrative:
AFTER COVERING BOGUS “THREAT” STORIES LAST WEEK, ABC and CBS Skip Arrest of Man Targeting GOP’s Cantor. It’s all about the narrative. Besides, if they’d covered it, they might have slipped up and mentioned that he was a two-time Obama donor.
And yet, despite the press’s full-court press to demonize the Tea Parties, a majority of Americans believe Tea Parties are more in touch with reality than Congress.
Can you imagine what those numbers would be like if the media covered the Tea Parties more fairly and instead of focusing on their most extreme elements focused on the shared ideas and diverse backgrounds of the protesters? And if instead of running with wild allegations from the movement’s critics, actually investigated them before reporting?