Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Media Bias?

For years, Democrats have demonized conservative opinion as hateful, bigoted, and homophobic, and at least as early as the Clinton years they began to suggest that it could lead to violence. This was President Clinton’s angle when he sought to link Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City bombing to conservative talk radio. Since then, Democrats have consistently used this intimidation tactic to chill or discredit conservative speech. Despite Obama’s campaign promise to usher in a “new tone,” one of the earliest references to this phrase being used during his term appeared in a much different context in a Politico piece. In early February 2009, Josh Gerstein wrote, “With his economic stimulus plan facing serious resistance on Capitol Hill, President Obama struck a combative new tone Thursday, publicly chastising ‘some in Congress’ for trying to make major changes to the near-trillion-dollar legislation now in the Senate.” Obama insisted, “We can’t go back to the same worn-out ideas that led us here in the first place. You’ve been hearing ’em for the last 10 years, maybe longer.”1

The Democrats’ passive-aggressive attitude toward civility was brought into stark relief in January 2011 after Jared Loughner, a mentally ill malcontent, opened fire outside a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people and wounding fourteen others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. President Obama delivered the memorial address for the victims at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In the speech, he called for what the New York Times described as a “new era of civility,” urging that if the “tragedy prompts reflection and debate... let’s make sure it is worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.” Obama added, “If, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy—it did not—but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.”2 Obama’s plea for civility would have seemed more sincere if his allies weren’t announcing from every conceivable media forum that the shootings were the fault of “violent” conservative rhetoric. They especially sought to tie the murders to Sarah Palin—simply because her PAC displayed a map that placed targets over districts where it was trying to unseat Democrats. Although “targeting” a political opponent is a commonly used metaphor across the political aisle, the map—whose targets were decried by the Left as “gun sights”—suddenly emerged as the prime example of the right’s supposed descent into murderous extremism.

Two days after Giffords’ shooting, the Atlantic Wire, a website associated with The Atlantic, ran an article asking, “Did Sarah Palin’s Target Map Play a Role in Giffords Shooting?” The article quoted Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan, a vociferous Obama supporter, professing, “No one is saying Sarah Palin should be viewed as an accomplice to murder”—and then he seemingly proceeded to do just that: “Many are merely saying that Palin’s recklessly violent and inflammatory rhetoric has poisoned the discourse and has long run the risk of empowering the deranged. We are saying it’s about time someone took responsibility for this kind of rhetorical extremism, because it can and has led to violence and murder.”3 A Democrat operative later admitted that the Democrats plotted to blame another right-leaning group for the shootings. “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the unnamed Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma bombing on the militia and Oklahoma City because both “took place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the Government and Democrats.”4 

Meanwhile, Obama was content to issue vague calls for civility from both sides, never once calling out his own supporters and allies for their over-the-top accusations. Of course, these accusations assumed, without a shred of proof, that the shooter was conservative or at least influenced by conservative rhetoric. So it didn’t help their cause when investigators revealed the shooter was mentally deranged, with no connection to any conservative cause, group, or public figure.

Here are videos that tackle this issue with clarity.

O'REILLY FACTOR Best Commentary on the Arizona Shooting.

Sneak Peek Behind The Bias at The New York Times.


Excerpt - Limbaugh, David (2012-06-04). The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama's War on the Republic.

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