When liberals aren't liberal enough
How could a liberal actually be upset with the liberal media for their coverage of the 2012 presidential election? Well, Daniel Froomkin of The Huffington Post (formerly of The Washington Post) is furious. His complaint carried the headline “How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign.”
What would that story be? Namely, the radical right-wing lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth.
Head-scratch time: Who in the media didn't identify the GOP as burdened, infected and/or poisoned by conservatives?
Froomkin also claimed that the Republicans lied daily, not only in Mitt Romney's TV ads but also in “the party's most central campaign principles.” Political analyst Norman Ornstein agreed with Froomkin: “It's the great unreported big story of American politics.”
A liberal can arrive at this conclusion only by keeping his mind blissfully empty, abstaining from any hazardous contact with the actual content of the liberal media over the last 11 months. Newspapers and newscasts vilified Romney as a tool of his fellow millionaires, denouncing his ads as dishonest and robustly defending the soundness of Obamanomics, regardless of the actual record.
But in Froomkin Loony Land, the rhetoric just wasn't punchy enough. Every “objective” evening newscast should apparently begin: “And again today, the Republicans attempted to fool the American electorate with their flagrant lies.”
One can see why Froomkin was eagerly hired by Arianna Huffington, since she wrote an entire book in 2008 called “Right Is Wrong,” making this same case against any reverence for “fairness and balance” in journalism.
Huffington's solution? Don't let the “radical right” spread its lies and never treat its arguments as serious.
Froomkin's heroes are Ornstein and his fellow liberal Thomas Mann. He claims despite all evidence that “Mann and Ornstein are two longtime centrist Washington fixtures” and “two of the most consistent purveyors of conventional wisdom in town, bipartisan to a fault.”
Their “centrist” credentials supposedly are buttressed in their 2012 book, which claimed that everything wrong in Washington is the fault of the right-wingers ruining the Republican Party, who are “ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
Inside their liberal bubble, Mann and Ornstein told Froomkin that they refuse to be “balanced” on TV shows by Republicans — “because they are not anti-Republican. The reason they wanted the press to expose what was really happening ... was to give voters a chance to respond in an appropriate way.”
Translation: They wanted the cancerous tumor of conservatism to be removed from American politics.
Liberal journalists weren't even angry at this argument. “I find Mr. Ornstein and Mr. Mann's observations smart, provocative and on target in many, though not all, places,” wrote Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times. ... “And their point of view ought to provoke some journalistic soul-searching.”
“Soul-searching” is apparently what happens when liberal reporters ponder why they haven't been liberal enough.
L. Brent Bozell III is president of the Media Research Center.