The lefties in the media are in a race to see who can be the most partisan hack on the block. A few weeks ago I congratulated Carly Fiorina on being deemed a big enough threat to warrant her first smear attempt from the Washington Post. Going after the leading conservative isn’t enough – now the MSM is targeting the leading RINO in Jeb!
There are two stories that got Jeb! some fire from the left. The first was when he committed the grievous sin of not expressing outrage at the mascot of the Washington Redskins. The most entertaining piece came from The Nation’s David Zirin, who brings the usual joyless problematics that only he can offer to any conversation about sports. There’s enough stupid packed into his line by line dissection to warrant its own post, but I’ve written about this a few times previously. The one part part of Zirin’s column I have to mention here was where he claimed that their mascot name causes child abuse. The study he cites is almost as entertaining as his column itself.
Then of course, came the Oregon shooting, and if you thought that a political leader proudly announcing that he would politicize the event by exploiting the victims to push a radical agenda was an incredibly classless gesture, Ryan Liazza, who is affiliated with The New Yorker and CNN, raised the bar. He managed to extract one extremely out of context quote in what I felt was a very well said response from Jeb! and summarized it as “Stuff happens”. Mollie Hemingway summed up what followed:
Indeed, the Washington Post went with the headline “When Asked About School Shootings, Jeb Bush Says ‘Stuff Happens.’” Yes, they updated that headline (they seem to be constantly updating headlines to fix errors over there).
The New York Times began their piece with a curious verb choice by saying, “Jeb Bush invited a firestorm on Friday by saying that ‘stuff happens’…”
Most everyone groupthinked their way to roughly the same thoughtless, gotcha! analysis as Lizza. The examples are too numerous to catalogue, sadly. Not everyone, thankfully. A special shout out should be given to The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, who early on put Lizza’s two-word quote in slightly more context, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza who noted that the Lizza interpretation was not accurate, Jonathan Chait’s condemnation of the false interpretation in New York magazine, and a few others.
Perhaps the most embarrassing thing was that within moments a reporter teed up a question for President Obama to respond to the deceptively edited phrase. He did what you expected with the perfectly teed-up question. Imagine, instead, if the reporter class was smart enough or even simply non-hacky enough to understand the philosophical debate in play and challenged Obama on his call for federal action in light of Bush’s comments. They were too busy following his category error chart-making orders, it seems. (Vox is one thing. Et tu, CNN?)
It’s not as though there aren’t legitimate reasons to criticize Jeb! I’m hardly a fan, but I’ll acknowledge that he does have some good ideas. Unfortunately they’re not enough to overcome the fact that his views on illegal immigration and Big Education align with president Obama’s agenda, among other flaws. But this is ridiculous, and I’m guessing it will only get worse once the media has its anointed Democrat to carry.
One last note to Liazza: Poor timing on your part, dude! This is the part of the campaign where you’re supposed to support the biggest RINO (And no, Kasich has no chance) and fight off the conservative candidates. You don’t start to destroy them until after they’ve secured the nomination. Come on Ryan, you should know better!
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog