Ed Driscoll

JOHN LEO ON THE PRESS

About the double play by the media against Schwarzenegger and Limbaugh last week, Leo writes that high-profile figures are increasingly under media attack:

We seem to be in the midst of a campaign to take down high-profile conservatives. The gay lobby did a job on Dr. Laura, in effect getting her new TV show canceled and portraying her as a hater for holding the traditional Judeo-Christian view of homosexuality. She is brusque and blunt, but no hater. There is plenty of testimony on the record about her kindness to gays and the help she gave to PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. But the gay lobby took her down anyway.

William Bennett went down too, for his over-the-top slot-machine gambling. He did it himself, of course, but the only moral rule always observed in Las Vegas casinos is Thou Shalt Never Reveal How Much the Heavy Roller Hath Lost. That rule was somehow suspended in Bennett’s case. The total amount of his losses, $8 million, was somehow fed to the media. Curious, no?

John Fund, the very talented conservative journalist, got the treatment as well. He was smeared as a wife-beater. Eric Alterman, the liberal commentator, helped clear the air with a piece in the Nation headlined, ‘Who Framed John Fund?’ Alterman’s question for the left was this: Who do we want to be, people who try to destroy opponents or people who act on principle? It’s a good question for the right, too, and for everyone now poised to jump into the Limbaugh case.

Perhaps, having gotten a taste of the politics of personal destruction in Washington, the press need fresh kills, and are expanding their hunting grounds to include any figure whose opinions they disagree with.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste also has some thoughts on the press, in a typically detailed and fascinating essay.