Posted by Curt on 18 August, 2016 at 8:34 pm. 3 comments already!


Austin Bay:

“The horror! The horror!” Joseph Conrad’s fictional trading post agent Mister Kurtz whispered as he died, delirious with jungle fever, in the novel Heart of Darkness. On August 9 Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz emerged (at least momentarily) from the New York-Washington-Los Angeles media jungle. In a commentary delivered that day, our non-fictional Kurtz revealed a troubling discovery: the big time media journalism he loves and advocates isn’t the journalism he loves and advocates—at least not in the 2016 presidential election.

In his commentary Kurtz laments the loss of the “credo” of fairness by mainstream media “reporters, editors and producers.” It takes a long quote to get a sense of his deep and abiding shock—he discovers his beloved journalists are “flat-out” unfair.

“The media’s legions of Trump-bashers are finally acknowledging the obvious. And trying their best to justify it. But there’s one problem: Tilting against one candidate in a presidential election can’t be justified. This is not a defense of Donald Trump, who has been at war with much of the press since he got in the race. Too many people think if you criticize the way the billionaire is being covered, you are somehow backing Trump. And it’s not about the commentators, on the right as well as the left, who are savaging Trump, since they are paid for their opinions. This is about the mainstream media’s reporters, editors and producers, whose credo is supposed to be fairness. And now some of them are flat-out making the case for unfairness—an unprecedented approach for an unprecedented campaign. Put aside, for the moment, the longstanding complaints about journalists being unfair to Republicans. They never treated Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush or Bob Dole like this. Keep in mind that the media utterly misjudged Trump from the start, covering him as a joke or a sideshow or a streaking comet that would burn itself out. Many of them later confessed how wrong they had been, and that they had missed the magnitude of the anger and frustration that fueled Trump’s unlikely rise.”

Congratulations, Howard, you’re emerging from the media jungle. However, you’ve a chronic case of historical amnesia, one that often accompanies life in the mainstream media’s heart of obliviousness. So what do you say we do a little historical research, sir, to establish an even more lamentable context? Remember the 2008 campaign? In February 2008 The New York Times and Washington Post both ranpoorly-sourced but innuendo-laced stories about John McCain’s relationship with a lobbyist.

The Times’ version implied McCain had an affair with the lady. Reporters? Rumor-mongers, Howard, targeting a Republican presidential candidate. The timing of the article damaged McCain’s campaign, so it was a successful political operation. Unfortunately it also maligned the woman’s reputation and she would have none of it. The Wikipedia summary notes a year The Times made a retraction, of sorts, in “an unusual ‘Note to Readers’ stating that The Times had not intended to allege any affair.” Read the quotes from the article and tell me with a straight face The Timesdidn’t mean to imply McCain was romantically entwined.

Let’s consider 2012. Obama versus Romney. George Stephanopoulos, Howard. Is he a reporter? No. He’s a Clinton operative, and early on in 2012 he inserted the “war on women” meme into the campaign. Remember when he asked Romney an out-of-the-blue theoretical question on contraception?

Wow. George performed a strategic political operation for the Democratic Party. His contraception insertion (so to speak) set the stage for another “war on women” outrage tsunami later in the campaign. Do you recall the media-wide outrage when Romney said his campaign had “binders full of women“—meaning the resumes of women who might serve in his administration?

It’s clear what Romney meant. There was absolutely no deprecation. But biased media had been primed. A sustained outrage tsunami swept forth, across the land and throughout the internet.

Now—a big one. Candy Crowley. Have you forgotten Candy Crowley and theBenghazi question during the Obama-Romney debate she moderated?

Except she didn’t moderate, did she? She favored President Obama.

Romney endured another media-wide ridicule tsunami when he called Russia a major geo-political adversary.

Mitt was ridiculed en masse for stating the truth.

2004. Specifically Dan Rather in 2004, with RatherGate’s fabricated Air National Guard documents that supposedly proved George W. Bush had shirked military duty.

Wasn’t ole Dan a reporter, Howard? Or supposed to be a reporter? And recall Democratic candidate John Kerry was running as Vietnam War hero—even though Kerry made his political bones by claiming to throw away his military medals in an act of sensational disgust.

I could go on, but that’s the real record.

*   *   *

Kurtz deserves credit for acknowledging the existence of what this column callsMedia Privilege as currently enjoyed by Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.

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