Remember talking about this guy? A few months ago he managed to typify much that ails America. An elite left-wing TV personality, in December 2012, Gregory violated the silly D.C. Code 7-2506.01(b), by obtaining and displaying (on air) a large-capacity gun magazine. Gregory did so after D.C. police had specifically told him not to… but they never prosecuted him for it. Since D.C. does prosecute the minor infractions of ordinary citizens (unconnected with any other crime, and regardless of the citizen’s lack of criminal intent or record), Gregory clearly got some kind of preferential treatment. Why (or on what rationale), we still don’t know.
William A. Jacobsen has been trying to find out why, and Judicial Watch announced last Monday “that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Office of the Attorney General (OAG).” The lawsuit follows D.C. having stonewalled on Jacobsen’s earlier FOIA request for documents. Godspeed!
As the scandals engulfing the Obama Administration have proliferated and “gotten legs” this week, many of the conservatives I know or whom I hear on the radio have started drawing comparisons with what happened under Nixon, bringing up the word “impeachment,” and hoping that as it becomes evident that these activities were not accidents but part of a coordinated strategy, Obama will eventually resign, or at least some of those who hold key posts of power in this administration–such as Eric Holder–will resign and that the Administration will be hopelessly tainted as the truth becomes known.
I hear that talk, and I think, it would be nice, but I can’t see it happening. Maybe Holder will resign. Maybe.
I can imagine the press starting to subject the Obama Administration to a little more scrutiny in the future, but “a little more” than none is still only a little bit of scrutiny, hardly enough to make a significant difference in public opinion. While the outrage surrounding all of this may be enough for the Republicans to hold the House and to gain control in the Senate in 2014, there will still be formidable problems, and we’ll still have a very divided country. The low-information voters in the electorate will still be willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because most of them are either unwilling to see him for the cynical, partisan character he is, or they are unable to do so.
It is possible that after a year or two of scandals and after the outrage that is sure to follow the full implementation of Obamacare, Obama will end his second term with even lower approval ratings than George W. Bush ended his, but at this point, I think that’s about the most we can hope for, that, and maybe Holder’s resignation. I’m not even sure any of this will derail the immigration bill, which is looking more and more like the next legislative disaster coming down the pike.
I’m not trying to be pessimistic, merely practical. In the lead-up to the election in November, I knew that what happened with the administration’s lies about Benghazi was an outrage, but after the election, it seemed evident to me that Obama, Hillary, and the entire administration were going to get away without any consequences. The American voters had failed to demand answers and accountability and had just re-elected Obama.
Now that the scandals are starting to illustrate the kinds of things conservatives have been saying about Obama for years and years now, some liberals are upset with Obama, but others are busy trying to find more ways to blame conservatives for making an issue of the problems. In one of the most ironic defenses of Obama I have encountered so far, David Axelrod offered the “incompetence” excuse, namely, that the government is just too big for Obama to really know what’s going on, an excuse we are sure to hear echoed in the days ahead. Forgive me if I can’t forget that in November the American electorate rejected a man who was renowned for his management skills and his ability to lead large organizations successfully, all so they could re-elect the “community organizer.”
So what do our readers think? Am I just being pessimistic about all this? Is the investigation of these scandals likely to have real and significant consequences for our government, or are they a lot of talk that will amount to nothing, or at least nothing much?
One recurring tool of socialist tyranny is the capricious enforcement of unworkable laws.
He quoted the passage in making a point about the “capricious enforcement” which was an inevitable feature of the unworkable mess better known as Obamacare.
But two and a half years later, it’s evident that observation could just as easily have been applied to our byzantine tax code, our environmental regulations, and even laws pertaining to press freedoms under the Obama administration. As Dan wrote earlier today, the only folks who are surprised by any of these scandals are the ones who haven’t been paying attention to what has been going with our government since January 20, 2009.
In the case of the Obama administration, though, it’s not strictly capricious enforcement, but selective enforcement, always with a partisan goal in mind. The IRS targeting of the Tea Party and conservative organizations is appalling, but one would have to be naive not to believe, as ABC’s Trey Hardin noted today, that it wasn’t authorized by someone in the West Wing. Hardin observed (audio at the link):
I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it. It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization.
And it’s not just the IRS. Earlier today it came out that the EPA waived fees for leftist organizations and leftist journalists who requested information, but not for conservative ones: “Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.” Yes, this would be the same EPA that has classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant, making the mere act of exhaling potentially troublesome.
A coincidence? I think not. This is the same administration committed to picking winners and losers on most matters. Hence, it should surprise no one that while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of eagles and other protected species, the bird-killing wind farms are naturally given a pass. Clearly, some energy companies are more equal than others.
It’s the same with journalists. Just a day after the AP snooping scandal broke, the administration is playing favorites again. Jake Tapper has gained a reputation as one who can be counted on to ask tough questions of the White House with greater frequency than the reporters at most of the other lamestream news organizations. Well, today Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is reporting that the White House played Jake Tapper by selectively leaking one e-mail with the apparent aim of creating a diversion in the reporting about the Benghazi cover-up. Jacobson writes: “Like I said, this entire diversion of leaking a single email out of a chain of emails to Tapper was simply meant to put critics of the administration back on their heels and to provide an excuse for White House defenders to throw around words like ‘doctored.’”
And so what else do we see today? Well, all of a sudden the administration’s lackeys in the press such as Hilary Rosen are now out expressing their sympathy for poor Jay Carney. I guess they’re afraid of ending up as the subject of a DOJ snooping scandal or an IRS investigation or a selective leak.
. . . are those who, to borrow a political expression from the left, haven’t been paying attention.
Many of us on the right have long been pointing out that Barack Obama cut his teeth in Chicago politics and long practiced the politics for which that city is famous. Or perhaps, I should say, infamous.
The only folks in the media who believed the Democrat’s lofty rhetoric about being some new kind of politician were those who paid more attention to his campaign’s, uh, well, talking points and gave short shrift to his actual record. That is, they took his claims and face value and didn’t investigate his claims.
No wonder they didn’t do much investigating when Tea Party groups started complaining that the IRS was subjecting them to an unusual degree of scrutiny. The story is not a new one. The enhanced media attention is.
Yup, retty much.
For years, the Left has been trying to link the Tea Party with terrorism. Examples include:
- Vice President Biden agreeing with House Democrats that the Tea Party are terrorists. (Biden later denied it, but not convincingly.)
- Senate majority leader Harry Reid likening the Tea Party to “anarchists”.
- Semi-retired Congressional dumbass Barney Frank claiming that al Qaeda and the Tea Party are “aligned”.
- The New York Times accusing Tea Party-inspired Republicans of “economic vandalism” for opposing debt ceiling increases, the very stance that then-Senator Obama took famously in 2006. Other editorialists also referred to “hostage taking” and “terrorism”, or even called the Tea Party “totalitarian”.
- Media coverage in general showing great bias against the Tea Party. Some note that the media ignored real union violence, while covering imaginary Tea Party violence.
- The media repeatedly trying (and failing) to link the Tea Party to each new mass killer, such as: the Boston Marathon bombers, the Gabby Giffords shooter, the Aurora shooter (wherein ABC rushed to blame a certain Colorado Tea Party activist), the guy who tried to crash a plane into the IRS building in Austin (but who proved to be left-leaning), and more.
Given the climate of bias, hate and fear that our top leaders and media have sought to foment against the Tea Party for years, is it any wonder that self-important IRS bureaucrats would act unethically toward it?
UPDATE: As long as my list is, I know that I’ve missed some juicy examples of our top leaders and media fomenting bigotry against the Tea Party. Please feel free to add more in the comments.
UPDATE: Rick Santelli points out the logical endpoint of the IRS’ approach – namely, your Obamacare
death panel Accountability Board saying “No stent for you!” based on your politics – and predicts that Obamacare will be altered partly to prevent such a nightmare.
UPDATE: How could I not mention how they’ve also tried to link the Tea Party with racism? Latest example: a top NAACP leader claims that America’s racist Taliban deserved the IRS scrutiny.
And while we do see the story breaking through into the mainstream media, they still seem more fascinated with human interest stories than Democratic scandals. Last evening at the gym, I caught ABC’s “World News with David Muir” to see the eponymous anchor lead off with a story about the brothers of the creepy Cleveland kidnapper/rapist.
“What did they know?” I read on the closed captioning.
Shouldn’t journalists be asking that question not about two men (apparently) wrongly incarcerated for a crime their brother committed, but about the immediate past Secretary of State and the incumbent President of the United States? Did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama knew the the Benghazi talking points had undergone “12 revisions” and were “scrubbed of terror reference”? If they didn’t know (and there is so far no evidence that they did) which White House and State Department officials did? And why did they do the revising and the scrubbing?
Was there any coordination between the scrubbers and the Obama campaign? Or the Democratic National Committee?
And then we come to the questions about the other administration scandal brewing, the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. Even the most liberal Republican Senator is outraged. Susan Collins finds it “absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review” and thinks “it’s very disappointing that the president hasn’t personally condemned this and spoken out.”
The gentlelady from Maine just doesn’t “buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees:
After all, groups with ‘progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly. There is the evidence that higher level supervisors were aware of this. And the IRS was not forthcoming in telling Congress about the problem.
Once again, we have a similar set of questions. Who authorized this “targeting”? Who crafted the list of crazy things the IRS asked of the Tea Party groups? Had there been any input from the White House? From the Democratic National Committee? (more…)
Two quick points: (1) this was at 10 AM PST (1 PM GayPatriot blog time) Yahoo!’s top news item; (2) the editors chose a very unflattering picture of the former Secretary of State.
UPDATE: Even AOL/Huffington Post is leading with the story (screen capture at 12:12 PST): (more…)
- It’s a presidential election. It’s not close; the Democrat has way more popular support. A few of his dumb zealots break into Republican headquarters to spy needlessly. No person is injured, but it’s still unacceptable. The more so, because the president and his crew then lie to obstruct official investigations.
- A Republican president was recently re-elected. A philanderer and “family values” hypocrite, he has an affair with his White House intern. It would have no public significance, except that it becomes a subject of testimony in lawsuits over his other affairs. And he lies about it, under oath. He, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, has now lied to a court.
- A Democrat president must deal with a certain Third World dictator who has attacked four neighboring countries over a period of two decades, costing hundreds of thousands of lives. World intelligence agencies, and Republican leaders in Congress, are nearly unanimous that the dictator would be happy to launch yet another war, has been developing nuclear weapons, and may have nukes already. Acting on that consensus, the Democrat president gets legal approvals from Congress and the U.N. to invade (along with 40 other nations) and remove the dictator. The invasion works, but at a cost of several thousand American lives (including the occupation, afterward). It turns out that the dictator only had chemical weapons, plus some nuclear weapons research (no nuclear bombs, yet). That’s embarrassing, but multiple official investigations clear the President of any intentional wrongdoing.
- A Republican administration pushes thousands of guns into Mexico, causing the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans. Republicans claim the administration only did what the previous Democrat administration did. But that is not true: the previous operations had controls to minimize deaths and maximize the intelligence-gathering on Mexican drug cartels, controls that the Republican effort abandoned (for reasons unknown). The GOP Attorney General does everything he can to obstruct Congress’ investigation, and eventually is found to be in contempt of Congress. He does not resign.
- It’s a presidential election. It is going to be close; the Republican incumbent, plagued by four years of economic failure, is not way ahead. But he has been successful, he claims, in fighting terrorism. A month before the election, Islamist terrorists attack a U.S. consulate and kill an American ambassador, plus three others. The Republican administration had warnings and permitted the attack to succeed (through negligence or perhaps for reasons unknown). They lie to the American people about it, implying that it was not a terrorist attack, that they could not have stopped the attack, that the attack was somehow really a protest caused by a YouTube video that nobody ever heard of, etc. The lies work: the Republican wins re-election.
Perhaps the appeal of Twitter is that often pith makes the point better than a well-crafted, thoughtfully argued essay. Last night, Glenn Reynolds, whose Instapundit blog, proudly produces pithy commentary on the events of the day linked this tweet from Ari Fleischer:
Highly doubt we’ll see as much scrutiny of the Obama administration’s altering the talking points than we will of the Bush Administration’s acceptance of such points.
Odd how some accused Bush of lying for accepting the CIA talking points, as if the fault lay in his office and not in the erring agency.
Interesting how so few bother to inquire into the Obama administration’s decision to alert the CIA talking points, as if the fault lay in the ether for the erring administration officials.
And on what evidence?
And why, as evidence mounts that U.S. officials on the ground in Libya knew from almost the very moments the attacks began, that this was a terrorist attack, that Democrats and their allies in the mainstream are strangely disinterested in this fabrication.
If you watched CNN tonight (at least from 5:40 PST until nearly 6:40), you’d be unaware of serious evidence brought to light today about the Administration’s duplicity on the Benghazi attacks. Seems some strange Arizona woman’s criminal actions have more bearing on the national interest than the Obama team’s misrepresenting a terrorist attack. Not to mention in its inept response to that attack.
RELATED: “Where Was the Commander-in-Chief For All of This?” (And why don’t our friends in the media care to ask?)
UPDATE: Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin does a great job of fleshing out a point related to the question addressed in the title to this post:
Just as problematic was [senior diplomat Gregory[ Hicks’s telling of his shock when he heard U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice tell the country that U.S. intelligence had decided the attack was the result of film criticism run amuck. Given that he had already communicated to Washington the fact that the film wasn’t a factor in Libya and that U.S. personnel in Libya knew the assault was the work of an Islamist group connected to al-Qaeda, this makes the growing controversy about the truth behind the official administration talking points that the White House altered to downplay any connection to terror even more worrisome. (more…)
She didn’t make any reference to calls she made at 2 AM. Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya, “testified that Clinton had called him at 2 a.m., while the attacks were underway.”
At 2 AM she had learned that terrorists had attacked our mission in Benghazi. Still, she peddled the notion that a video was to blame despite evidence that said video “was a non-event in Libya.”
Wonder if this story will get as much coverage today as the verdict in some trial in Arizona.
UPDATE: Check out CNN’s home page at 6:12 GayPatriot blog time (3:12 PST): (more…)
In the immediate aftermath of the attack last September on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, our media acted more as amplifiers for the Obama campaign and the Obama administration, parroting campaign talking points (about the supposed inappropriateness of then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s critique of the administration) and failing to question the official explanation for the attack (that it was a spontaneous uprising in response to a video about which no one ever heard). In short, all too many in the legacy media reported the story as if their job was to amplify what they heard from the Obama team rather than investigate how said team handled the attack.
The first scandal is thus that of the media giving short shrift to a story with the potential to embarrass the incumbent administration in the midst of the presidential campaign.
The second scandal — and the much bigger one — is the attempts of that administration, with top officials, perhaps up to and including the then-Secretary of State and the President of the United States, to mislead the public for political gain. Citing the Interim Progress Report released by five House Republican committee chairmen released last mont, Michael Barone reported that
. . . the accounts given by the Obama administration at the time were misleading — deliberately so.
It noted that State immediately reported the attack to the White House Situation Room and two hours later noted an al Qaeda affiliate’s claim of responsibility. There was no mention of a spontaneous protest of an anti-Muslim video.
Yet Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and press secretary Jay Carney spoke repeatedly for days later of a video and a protest. Clinton assured one victim’s family member that the video-maker was being prosecuted.
With more news trickling out in the nine days since Barone posted his piece, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there was a lot more deliberate misleading than initially reported. (more…)
Some days ago, cnbc.com ran an article called $2 Trillion Underground Economy May Be Recovery’s Savior. It uses quotes from experts:
The shadow economy is a system composed of those who can’t find a full-time or regular job…
“You normally see underground economies in places like Brazil or in southern Europe,”…
Estimates are that underground activity last year totaled as much as $2 trillion…double the amount in 2009, according to a study… “The jobs are in service industries from small food establishments to landscaping.”…
A report from ADP Research Institute states that many employers, especially in low-wage businesses such as retail and food service, plan to reduce workers’ hours to less than 30 a week to avoid having to offer health benefits through Obamacare…
“The result is less tax money paid to the various levels of government.” “Those working and not paying the taxes puts the burden on those who pay the tax,”…
Workers who aren’t on the books don’t get Social Security or health benefits…
Several points here leap out at me.
- How Obamacare destroys full-time jobs, as predicted by many on the Right before it passed.
- How ‘normal’ taxation creates Second or Third World conditions in the economy.
- How people can at least survive, when taxes are lower (or absent).
- The experts’ and media’s cluelessness about all this. Despite the information presented by the article, its unspoken perspective remains that government is robbed, when people avoid taxes. Umm… how about people being robbed, when an excessively large and redistributive government taxes them so heavily that they (or their potential employers / trading partners) are forced into the underground economy?
In other words: Shouldn’t we shrink government and lower taxes enough that people won’t need to be in the underground economy?
That’s the question these articles never ask; the one you’re supposed to never think about. They are always written from an assumption that people do something illegitimate, when they avoid the government’s tax man; never from an assumption that the government does something illegitimate, when it charges people enough to drive them to it.
Something strange happened with the latest jobs report. A few lamestream press outlets woke up from their Obama-induced daze long enough to recognize that although the unemployment figure is purportedly lower than it was in March, and lower than it has been in some time, things don’t seem quite right with the numbers. Just seeing them grapple with the data and begin to recognize its implications has brought on my latest instance of Obamacare Schadenfreude.
Let’s begin with the National Journal. Today its website ran a story entitled “Forget the Unemployment Rate: The Alarming Stat Is the Number of ‘Missing Workers.’” The story begins by summarizing the “unexpected” state of affairs:
The federal government’s latest snapshot of the unemployment rate offered few bright spots Friday. The economy added 165,000 jobs in April—slightly better than March’s revised number of 138,000 jobs. Unemployment went down one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.5 percent; and health care, retail trade, and the food-services industry added positions.
The glaring caveat to this jobs report is the huge number of Americans who remain out of the workforce. Called the “labor force participation rate” in wonkspeak, that number held steady in April at 63.3 percent—the lowest level since 1979.
The story goes on to speculate about the causes behind the decreased labor force participation rate, explaining that some of the number–but by no means all–can be explained by the fact that the first of the baby boomers have now reached retirement age. The article says that beyond retirees, “Roughly 3 million to 5 million of them left because they could not find jobs, economists estimate.”
But the article doesn’t stop there. It recognizes that decreased labor force participation has serious economic implications for government because it decreases revenues coming in from taxes. Suddenly, in other words, the decreasing labor force in the United States is much more of a matter of concern than it was a year ago when Obama was facing re-election, because it doesn’t bode well for the future of the economy or the budget (something that conservatives have been pointing out for years):
If these workers do not return to the labor market, their absence may alter the country’s budget picture. “One of the biggest problems we face with the baby-boomer bulge in retirement is having enough workers behind them to pay their bills,” says Harry Holzer, a professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.
Missing workers can translate to a decrease in tax revenue, coupled with an increase in the use of government benefits, such as food stamps and disability insurance. The number of Americans collecting food stamps hit a high of 47.8 million people in December 2012. A similar spike has occurred in enrollments for the Social Security disability payments.
Since the start of 2007, the percentage of Americans in the labor market has dropped from 66.4 percent to 63.3 percent. In the 1970s and 1980s, the number of working Americans grew—because of the dramatic increase in women holding jobs outside of the home.
Nancy Cook ends her article by quoting a very optimistic prediction that unemployment will eventually fall to around 5.5% by 2017, but then she notes, ominously, “Only then can economists gauge if people have left the workforce because of the downturn in the economy, or if they’ve left forever because the economy fundamentally changed. If that’s the case, the U.S. officially will become a place where the labor market has little use for millions of Americans.”
The National Journal article, though, isn’t the only such piece by a lamestream press outlet today. None other than the Gray Lady herself suddenly woke up and noticed the missing workers: (more…)
Remember back in the days when Barack Obama was promising a new kind of politics, that his supporters promised he would, through sheer force of his personality, transform the partisan divides which polarized our discourse and usher in a new age of civility. The Democrat, many claimed, had a “both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament.”
He would rise above petty bickering and, in his own words, help “break [that] pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.”
Only problem Obama didn’t have much of a record acting in the way he had promised to. And four years and three months as president have shown him to be quite the opposite of the transcendent leader he promised to be. He, for example, blames others for his failures, whines about the problems he has to face, and questions the motives of his ideological adversaries.
Nowhere is this more manifest than in his public speeches and press conferences. And he showed his peevish streak in his press conference earlier this week when he refused to take responsibility for his failure to compromise with Congress, responding to a question about his clout with Congress by saying that the questioner seemed “ to suggest that somehow these folks over there have no responsibilities and that my job is to somehow get them to behave. That’s their job.”
Yea, but, did this guy who wasn’t supposed to transcend political differences and want to break the blame-game that pervades in the nation’s capital reach out to Congress and try to avoid the sequester (which the journalist mentioned in his question)? Couldn’t he, with his “first-class temperament” have managed to prod congressional leaders often at loggerheads to hammer out a compromise.
As James Taranto, in commenting on Tuesday’s press conference his Best of the Web column yesterday, put it:
. . . governing or legislating is more complicated. It requires both compromise and persuasion–the ability to yield to your adversaries and to make them feel it is in their interest to yield to you. It also requires a practical sense of both how your ideas will go over politically, how to make them go over favorably, and how they will actually work in practice.
Obama is sorely lacking in all these skills–which even his detractors must acknowledge makes his re-election an impressive feat.
To a very large extent then, Barack Obama lacks the very skills he purported to have in his bid for the White House, the very skills which would supposedly set him apart from the polarizing politics that needed changing. (more…)
I don’t follow basketball save to root for the Lakers when I catch them on a TV I’m watching at the gym. (One of my best friends is a fan, so I root for the LA team, knowing their victory will help make her day.)
Until this week, I had never heard of Jason Collins, and assume the 34-year-old center must be a good basketball player, given that he been playing professionally for “12 seasons“, including once “in a Final Four for Stanford and” twice in the “NBA Finals.”
As usual when someone in the public eye out, you can expect overblown rhetoric for the various gay advocacy outfits with Aaron McQuade, the head of GLAAD’s sports program, saying that Collins had put “courage” and “inspiration” into “a brand new context.”
Give me a break. This is not 1973. Or even 1993. Ellen’s coming out may have been big in the 1997, but now men and women, in most fields of endeavor, take it for granted that one of their colleagues is (or might be) gay.
Talking about Collins’s call a few days ago “to share the news with” him, Boston Celtics player and (the Collins’s former) coach said:
When he called me to tell me, you could tell he wanted to tell me. I told him before he said it, ‘Jason I could care less about what you’re about to tell me.’ And that’s how I feel. I honestly feel that way.
It’s a non-factor to me, and I know it is a factor to a lot of people. I’ve never understood why anyone cares what someone else does. And I told Jason that it will be a non-issue eventually, but it will not be right now.
Leave it to an athlete to say it better than a professional gay advocate. It’s not an non-issue now because Collins is the first professional athlete to come up while still playing. But, it should be one. The coach is right to note that no one should really care about an athlete’s sexuality. It’s as irrelevant to his performance as his hair color.
No wonder Bruce Bawer urges Collins to “say no” to the gay outfits who want to make him their “spokesrobot.”* Don’t let him fall into spouting the same kind of bromides as Mr. McQuade offered. (more…)
When a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri makes a crazy, ignorant statement about rape in an unscripted interview, it generates a flurry of news stories for days, if not weeks on end. But, when the Senate Democratic leader makes a crazy, ignorant statement about the most dynamic grassroots political movement to emerge in the Obama era, it generates a headline on Yahoo! for one evening:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday equated the Tea Party to a non-violent “anarchist” group because, in his mind, Tea Partiers don’t believe in any form of government. He was speaking about the sequester and other financial issues on the Senate floor.
“We have a situation where this country has been driven by the Tea Party for the last number of years,” Reid said. “When I was in school, I studied government and I learned about the anarchists. Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Partykind of hides that.”
Oh, and the Republican later retracted and apologized his statement. Don’t expect Mr. Reid to acknowledge his own error, be it a deliberate misrepresentation or an ignorant one.
If Mr. Reid had actually taken the time to study the Tea Party movement, he would know that its leaders harken back to the Founders who, far from being anarchists, recognized the need for government. But, concerned that governments could become destructive to the ends for which they were instituted, the Founders of this nation and the framers of our constitution sought to create a framework limiting its scope and constraining its power. And many, if not most, Tea Party activists and leaders embrace those ideals and that vision. You’d expect that our national leaders would at least recognize that.
It’s unfortunate that our new media don’t hold the most powerful Democrat in the Senate to the same standards they hold Republican candidates.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Roberto wonders “what part of the words limited,’ and ‘small.’ the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn´t understand.” And his failure to understand the difference between the meaning of those two words and the meaning of “none.”
Although I first saw an online news posting about the explosion in West, Texas on Wednesday night, I had no idea of the severity of the incident, and I didn’t research the matter in much depth. When I first heard news reports about the story on Thursday morning, though, I was struck by the fact that the reporters and the news networks almost resented having to take time away from covering this week’s events in Boston to report on the disastrous accident in Texas.
I wasn’t the only one to notice. Yesterday Ace and Mary Katherine Ham noted a New York Times piece faulting Fox News for focusing on the events in West, Texas rather than reporting on the failure of the gun legislation in the Senate on Wednesday. Writing in the New York Times, Brian Stelter lamented: “While most of [MSNBC's] ‘Joe’ was dedicated to guns on Thursday, Fox’s morning show, ‘Fox & Friends,’ didn’t mention the word once. It focused instead on news about a Texas fertilizer plant explosion.”
Ace’s characterization of the complaint gets at it perfectly:
The media here documents its own sick-making bias and arrogance but instead of understanding their own words — we ignored the destruction of an entire town to focus only on the minor heartburn suffered by our Liberal Messiah — they use it as a bludgeon for criticizing Fox.
See, Fox did wrong by thinking the lives in West, Texas mattered.
And as Thursday moved into Friday, that has only continued to be the case. Granted, the story of a manhunt for a suspected terrorist is more dramatic, particularly when most of a major urban area is ordered to go on lockdown and to stay indoors.
But when it comes to the magnitude of what happened in West, Texas Wednesday night compared with what happened in Boston on Monday, what happened in Texas is many times worse, not only in terms of deaths, but also in terms of destruction and lives uprooted. At this time, the death toll in Texas stands at 14 (including five volunteer firefighters and four emergency service workers) with 60 people still unaccounted for. Three fire trucks were destroyed, at least 50 homes were damaged or destroyed, and at least 200 other people were injured.
An act of evil which terrorizes and disrupts a major city is certainly important. What happened in Texas, though, is just as important, as the consequences will likely be much more devastating for the lives of those involved and for the entire community, and yet the media is doing its best to bury the story, just as the media and the Obama administration did its best to deny that a terrorist incident in Texas 4 1/2 years ago was actually a terrorist incident. How many people even knew that three weeks ago, the Army formally declined to give Purple Hearts to Fort Hood shooting victims?
To listen to most of the media this week, it should be abundantly clear that some lives and some places are clearly more equal than others. And the lives and livelihoods of a bunch of folks in a tiny town in rural Texas aren’t viewed as amounting to much.
UPDATE: Assistant Village Idiot has some related thoughts (about Boston’s importance to the media, that is, not about their lack of interest in Texas) here. This paragraph stands out as a key reflection of the media’s insularity about its focus on the Northeast:
I admit, a few dead and almost 200 injured is a big deal. But the shared mentality is of the news, the politicians, and the teams combining to make it look more universal than it actually is. OMG, the kid was from Dorchester! Why, I go past Dorchester a lot! A BU grad student! Oh no! I knew some BU grad students once!
In a must-read piece on The Decline and Fall of the BBC, Jonathan Foreman observes that
Accusations of endemic and consistent political bias have been particularly easy to bat away, largely because those making the accusations fail to understand that the organization’s very real biases—even those against Israel and America—are largely unconscious.
. . . .
The most important thing to understand about BBC bias is that, like its institutional obsessions with youth and celebrity, it is neither conscious nor in any way officially mandated. There are no orders from the top reminding journalists that Israel should be considered the greatest threat to peace, freedom, and justice, or that businessmen should generally be treated as crooks until proven innocent. That is just what everyone in the corporation believes in the same way that they know the world is round. Moreover, it is what they believe that everyone else—by which I mean everyone who is intelligent, educated, and of decent moral character—believes.
And we see a similar “unconscious bias” in American news media as well where the various journalists have never really associated with economic libertarians or social conservatives. No wonder the Kermitt Gosnell trial has gone largely unreported:
If [New York Times reporter Trip] Gabriel had wanted a more questioning view, he could have read Melinda Henneberger’s online analysis for the Post, “Why Kermit Gosnell hasn’t been on Page One”: “I say we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights. In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it’s genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That’s not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage. (more…)