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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell
- Burnett pitches well in farewell, but Pirates lose to Reds
- Pitt holds off Virginia Tech in ACC opener
- New book credits Nunn for Steelers’ 1970s success
- Kessel addition, better health could have Pens scoring like it’s 1990s
- Are Pirates better positioned to win it all this postseason?
- Pirates fans on edge as season again coming down to wild card
- Would-be Troy Hill carjackers scared off by sirens
- Shaler man charged in death of girl, 6, not prosecuted in repeated alcohol cases
- Four downs: Williams brothers on the rise
- More employers adopt generous leave policies