Guilty


  One might think competition would make the dinosaur media better. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, his competitors immediately set to work trying to imitate it. When the TV show Judge Judy was a smash hit with viewers, other networks quickly introduced their own courtroom reality shows. When Google swept the Internet and made its founders billionaires, Silicon Valley's best minds went to work to create their own search engines. But when Fox News Channel comes along, presents both sides of the story, and within a few years has the highest ratings on cable news, instead of imitating the wildly successful network, liberals plot to yank Fox News's power.

  Talk about the media being victims of the media! The existence of alternative sources of information is even worse than the Times's woefully sparse coverage of Halliburton.

  Most of the establishment media continue as they always have, apparently oblivious to the existence of alternative sources of information. The Times coverage of the Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of gang rape in 2006 is a perfect example. As Stuart Taylor and K. C. Johnson say in their book about the Duke lacrosse hoax rape case, Until Proven Innocent, long after even the originally pro-stripper columnists had come to the conclusion that the lacrosse players were innocent, the Times was still hawking the stripper's version of the story. On August 25, 2006, the Times ran one of its interminable, Pulitzer-bait articles on the case titled “Files from Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers.” Within three hours of the article going up online, Taylor and Johnson report, “blogs deftly tore the piece to shreds, exposing the reporters’ factual errors, their omission of critical evidence, and their overall pro-[prosecution] Nifong bias.”121

  The problem isn't, pace Paul Krugman and Frank Rich, that the mainstream media's headlines don't have enough exclamation points. It's that the establishment media aren't the only ones who write the news anymore. They still write most of the news, but not all of it. And they've never felt so victimized in their entire lives.

  Reporters, editors, and columnists at the New York Times felt horribly put upon when Americans reacted with spluttering rage at their publication of a top-secret counterterrorist program tracking the terrorists’ finances. The program consisted of a consortium of various countries’ financial institutions called the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, quietly working to follow terrorist money trails. The Treasury Department had voluntarily revealed the basics of the program to various news organizations in the spirit of openness, but with the request that the program not be disclosed to the public.

  Two weeks after 9/11, the Times had editorialized that “Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists.” It said that “much more is needed” than what the Bush administration had planned, and lectured Americans, “If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.”122

  But once liberals calmed down and started going to Anna Wintour parties again, they lost all interest in terrorists. Indeed, they forgot there had ever been a terrorist attack. And so the Times, privy to a top-secret counterterrorist program it had once demanded that Bush implement immediately, decided to betray its own country and publish details of the program. It wasn't even a particularly interesting story— unless you were the head of counterintelligence for al Qaeda.

  When the Times was universally condemned for revealing the secret counterterrorist program, it responded with a series of articles and columns criticizing Americans for daring to question the Newspaper of Record. In two consecutive columns claiming that the Times was being bullied, Frank Rich smugly announced that other newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, had published stories on the terrorist-tracking program the exact same day. But no one complained about them.

  The Wall Street Journal, objecting to being used as the Times's wingman, published an editorial explaining what really happened. Yes, the Journal and a few other newspapers had the story of the Swift program, not just the Times. But it was the Times that announced it was running the story—defying requests not to from the Treasury Secretary John Snow, 9/11 commissioners Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, Democratic congressman John Murtha, and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. At that point, the Treasury Department asked the Wall Street Journal to go ahead with its story on Swift, so one newspaper would at least have the facts right.123

  Sadly for them, overpaid reporters at the Times intentionally harming their own country do not tear at the heartstrings of most Americans. So the treasonous scribblers were forced to adopt other victims’ mantles. In one whimpering column, Rich suggested that the attacks on the Times for defiantly publishing covert national security information were grounded in anti-Semitism. He cited with approval MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who complained about attacks on the poor, defenseless Times, saying, “It's the old trick, go after New York, go after big, ethnic New York.”124

  Actually, the reason people were attacking the Times was that it was the only newspaper that rebuffed the government's request that the terrorist financial monitoring program not be revealed. Other newspapers had the same information, but apparently at other newspapers, you don't become a hero by betraying your country.125 Even when using the most powerful newspaper in the world to place all Americans in danger, liberals are always the victims.

  7

  BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL LIBERALS

  Why do people become liberals? Perhaps it is because they truly believe socialism would be good for America. Perhaps the idea of a kindergartner saying, “God is good, God is great, thank you, God, for my food” enrages them. Little Kayla Broadus tried to pull the “God is great” scam at snack time in her Saratoga Springs, New York, kindergarten class, but—fortunately—a public school teacher was on hand to stop this outrage, thus narrowly averting a theocratic coup in America.

  The other reason people might become liberals is that they enjoy being told how pretty they are. And clever and talented. And don't forget brave. Liberals love being praised for their courage. It's hard to fit in being brave between being called beautiful, brilliant, and talented, but that's the advantage of having the entire mainstream media doing PR for liberals. You never have to actually be victimized to be considered a victim—a brave victim—by the media.

  To the contrary, it's the victimizers who are wildly cheered on by media elites. Thus, for example, after Elián González was taken from his Miami relatives’ home at gunpoint in the second military action against American citizens by Attorney General Janet Reno, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a column titled, not sarcastically, “Reno for President.” Friedman said—again, not sarcastically— “Yup, I gotta confess, that now-famous picture of a U.S. marshal in Miami pointing an automatic weapon toward Donato Dalrymple and ordering him in the name of the U.S. government to turn over Elian Gonzalez warmed my heart. They should put that picture up in every visa line in every U.S. consulate around the world, with a caption that reads: ‘America is a country where the rule of law rules…. ’ ”1

  Other than liberals’ general feeling that Cubans are tacky, Friedman's statement violated every principle of the Times, which is normally for children's rights, for illegal aliens, against guns, against the police and against the rule of law. Would a photo of a uniformed American male pointing a gun at any other foreigner warm the heart of a liberal? How about a Mexican drug smuggler or an Islamic terrorist? Would even a gun pointed at Khalid Sheikh Mohammed warm a liberal's heart as much as a gun pointed at a six-year-old Cuban boy?

  The number-one rule with liberals is: Whatever they do is courageous, no matter how blatantly power-grabbing, whoring, or publicity-seeking it is.

  An extensive study conducted by professors at Smith College and George Washington University confirmed that most liberals exhibit a “narcissistic pathology” marked by “grandiosity, envy, a lack of empathy, illusion of personal perfection, and a sense of entitlement.”2 Liberals are twice as likely to value being popular as co
nservatives, whereas conservatives are more likely to value “making my parents proud.”3

  So if you've ever wondered, “Does Barack Obama ever get bored with all those fawning profiles?,” the answer is: No, liberals never tire of being praised for every desirable human attribute known to man, not least of which is their mind-boggling courage in the face of endless praise.

  When Obama materialized, the media were seized by a mass psychosis that hadn't been witnessed since Beatlemania. OK magazine raved that the Obamas “are such an all-American family that they almost make the Brady Bunch look dysfunctional.” Yes, who can forget the madcap episode when the Bradys’ wacky preacher tells them the government created AIDS to kill blacks! Still gushing, OK magazine's crack journalists reported, “Mom goes to bake sales, dad balances the checkbook, and the girls love Harry Potter”—and then the whole family goes to a racist huckster bellowing, “God damn America!”4

  MONTHS BEFORE NETWORK ANCHORS WERE INTERROGATING vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the intricacies of foreign policy, here is how NBC's Brian Williams mercilessly grilled presidential candidate Barack Obama: “What was it like for you last night, the part we couldn't see, the flight to St. Paul with your wife, knowing what was awaiting?” Twisting the knife he had just plunged into Obama, Williams followed up with what has come to be known as a “gotcha” question: “And you had to be thinking of your mother and your father.” Sarah Palin was memorizing the last six kings of Swaziland for her media interviews, but Obama only needed to say something nice about his parents to be considered presidential material.

  The media's fawning over Obama knew no bounds, and yet, in the midst of the most incredible media conspiracy to turn this jug-eared clodhopper into some combination of Winston Churchill and Brad Pitt, you were being a bore if you mentioned the liberal media. Oh, surely we've exploded that old chestnut…. Look! Look, Obama just lit up another Marlboro! Geez, does smoking make you look cool, or what! Yeah, Obama!… The claim that there's no such thing as a left-wing press is a patent lie told for the sole purpose of enraging conservatives. American newspapers read like the press under Kim Jung Il, which, outside of a police state, tends to look foolish. The prose is straight out of the Daily Worker, full of triumphal rhetoric with implicit exclamation points. Their chanted slogans fill your brain, like one of those bad songs you can't stop humming.

  There is no other explanation for the embarrassing paeans to Obama's “eloquence.” His speeches were a run-on string of embarrassing, sophomoric greeting card bromides. It seemed only a matter of time before Obama would slip and tell a crowd what a special dad it had always been to him.

  In announcing his candidacy, Obama bravely proclaimed that he believed in “the basic decency of the American people.” And let the chips fall where they may! He decried “a smallness of our politics”—deftly offering a challenge to the small-politics advocates. Then, throwing caution to the wind, he stood up to the antihope crowd, saying, “There are those who don't believe in talking about hope.” He said we must “disagree without being disagreeable.” This was an improvement on the first draft, which read, “It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.” This guy is like the ANWAR of trite political aphorisms. There is no telling exactly how many he is sitting on, but it could be in the billions.

  Most weirdly, the major theme of Obama's campaign was the audacity of his running for president. A line from his announcement speech was “I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness in this— a certain audacity—to this announcement.” He titled his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention “The Audacity of Hope”—named after a sermon given by his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, whom we were not allowed to mention without being accused of ugly campaign tactics. (Rejected speech titles from sermons by the Reverend Wright included “God Damn America!,” “The U.S. of K.K.A.,” and “The Racist United States of America.”)

  What is so audacious about announcing that you're running for president? Every sitting and former U.S. senator has run for president or is currently thinking about running for president. Dennis Kucinich ran for president. Lyndon LaRouche used to run for president constantly.

  But the media were giddy over their latest crush. Even when Obama broke a pledge and rejected public financing for his campaign—an issue more dear to the New York Times than even gay marriage—the Times led the article on Obama's broken pledge with his excuse. “Citing the specter of attacks from independent groups on the right,” the article began, “Senator Barack Obama announced Thursday that he would opt out of the public financing system for the general election.”5 So he had to break his pledge! It was the Republicans’ fault.

  When Obama broke his word and voted for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) bill, the Times's editorial began: We are shocked and dismayed by Senator Obama s vote on … Oh, who are we kidding? We can't stay mad at this guy! Isn't he just adorable? Couldn't you just eat him up with a spoon? Is he looking at me? Ohmigod, I think he's looking at me!!!!!!!!!!!! Couldn't you just die?

  It has ever been thus. The establishment media function as a Greek chorus, informing the lumpen masses what to think of this or that person. Liberals are described as Adonis and Helen of Troy, while conservatives are described as dog food.

  WHICH FEMALE IN POLITICS HAVE THE ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA described as “outspoken,” “funny,”6 a “superstar,”7 “passionate and smart,”8 “influential,”9 “flamboyant,”10 “colorful”11 a “female warrior,”12 with “national stature,”13 with “flair and style,”14 with “vitality and independence,”15 and with “colour and style,”16 who was “brimming with style”17 and “funny and also … serious,”18 who had crowds yelling to her: “You're beautiful!”19

  It's Bella! Yes, the late Bella Abzug, the grotesque, foulmouthed member of Congress from New York. An avid supporter of Joseph Stalin, Abzug also supported Hitler—at least until he invaded the glorious Soviet Union, forcing even Stalin to withdraw his support.20 She supported the Vietcong in the Vietnam War21 and Jim Jones, the left-wing cult leader who presided over a mass suicide in Guyana.22

  Notwithstanding hymns to her cultural significance, Abzug's influence was severely limited by the fact that even the liberal voters of New York refused to elevate her beyond the House of Representatives, rejecting her bids for both the U.S. Senate and the New York City mayoralty.

  As for her renowned “style,” Abzug enclosed her perfectly spherical frame in frumpy thrift-shop, busy-patterned dresses and enormous floppy hats. Her speaking voice was always set at “bellow.” But the media insisted on describing Abzug as an American Venus. As she screeched her opposition to the Vietnam War, we were all supposed to concede that she was just as cute as a bug's ear.

  In 2006, thanks to careful stage management, the Democratic Party finally fielded some candidates who had been allowed to play outside as children. The Washington Post promptly produced an article gloating about how gorgeous the Democrats were. “Democrats seem to be fielding an uncommonly high number of uncommonly good-looking candidates,” the article boasted, noting that the “beauty gap” could determine who controlled Congress.23

  One would think that a party that has inflicted Rosa DeLauro, Nita Lowey, Dennis Kucinich, Jerry Nadler, and Hunk of Burning Love Henry Waxman on the world would try to downplay looks as an issue, but these wouldn't be the first average-looking Democrats hailed as beauty queens. Among the raft of liberals we're required to pretend are dazzling beauties are Christiane Amanpour, Sandra Bernhard, Bernardine Dohrn, Gloria Steinem, and Tina Fey, who looks a lot more like Elvis Costello than Sarah Palin.

  Not being a liberal, I don't particularly care what people look like, but I note that Miss America Pageant winners are almost always from the conservative South. Liberals also demanded that we all pretend the unathletic fat kid from Arkansas was a dreamboat—at least until his wife ran against Obama. For years, we'D been told how unbelievably sexy Bill Clinton is. If a beer belly, bloated ch
eeks, tiny, close-set eyes, and a big head equals handsome, where the hell is Newt Gingrich's modeling contract?

  When a liberal male is described as having “movie-star looks,” it apparently means: “hotter than Henry Waxman.” When a liberal female is described as the reincarnation of Jackie O, that means: a Democratic woman who is less physically repulsive than Bella Abzug. A conservative female who is compared to Marie Antoinette is a stylish dresser; if she's called a “bimbo,” that means she's gorgeous. Reporters use a string of adjectives to describe a presidential candidate's wife not because readers are clamoring to know what Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain looks like. Remember, the purpose of news is not to inform, but to promote the left-wing agenda. Calling a public figure beautiful and stylish is a reporter's way of saying “thank you for supporting socialized health care”—which is at least better than Nina Burleigh's proposed method of thanking Clinton for keeping abortion legal. (It involved a sexual act for which Monica Lewinsky will, ahem, go down in history.)

  About once every half-century, the Democrats manage to produce a female who doesn't look like Bella Abzug. This always leads to fainting spells in the pressrooms and we have to hear about “Camelot” for the next half-century (and counting). There are books, operas, and songs about Jacqueline Kennedy's style for her singular accomplishment of looking like a Republican while being married to a Democrat.

  The constant stream of put-downs of Republican women and exaggerated glamorization of Democratic women is so much a part of the fabric of news that no one even notices anymore. The identical characteristic will be given an entirely different cast based purely on ideology. Liberals are intelligent, conservatives are bookish; liberals are bubbly, conservatives are airheads; liberals are slender, conservatives are rail-thin; liberals are passionate, conservatives are angry; liberals are good with children, conservatives are suspected pedophiles.

 
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