Ed Driscoll

Don't Think We're Not Keeping Score, Brother

The legacy media’s pants-wetting response to the Tea Parties and health care “reform” protests has certainly been instructive. As Victor Davis Hanson wrote earlier this month:

The Left is now furious that, as the new establishment, the rules of discourse are not more polite. But from 2002-8, they (Who are “they”? Try everyone from Al Gore to John Glen to Robert Byrd to Sen. Durbin), employed every Nazi/brown shirt slur they could conjure up. NPR’s folksy old Garrison Keiler was indistinguishable from mean-spirited Michael Moore in that regard.

The New York Times gave a discount for a disgusting “General Betray Us” ad. The Democratic Party head Howard Dean flatly said he “hated” Republicans. Hilary Clinton all but called Gen. Petraeus a liar in a congressional hearing. The New Republic ran an essay on hating George Bush (not opposing, not disliking, but “hating” the President). Alfred Knopf published a novel about killing Bush. A Guardian op-ed dreamed of Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth coming back to kill Bush. And on and on.

Prof. Hanson added, “The problem is that the public is not really stupid and has a long memory. It hates hypocrisy as much as it does crudity.”

And it’s gotten to witness plenty of both in the past couple of months. Two recent posts allow for some remarkable compare-and-contrast:

First up, Danny Glover writes:

This year’s phony liberal angst about a tiny minority of “tea partiers” comparing President Obama with Adolf Hitler ranks high among the worst cases of media hypocrisy in history.

The press never batted an eye for eight years when the lunatic fringe of the left made the same kinds of comparisons between George W. Bush and Hitler. But all of a sudden, with the “first black president” in office, every Obama/Hitler sign must be publicized. Invoking Hitler is considered a “coded message” to right-wing racists and “an implicit call for politically motivated violence.”

People who resort to such analogies on either side of the political spectrum are ignorant of Godwin’s Law and should be condemned. But so long as they are the exception rather than the rule (they were more mainstream during the Bush years), they are not newsworthy. And speculations about attacks on the president certainly aren’t newsworthy — unless the speculator is a presidential candidate stoking fears about the potential assassination of her opponent.

So why are journalists obsessed with the Obama-as-Hitler story? Easy. They want to marginalize “the mob” by portraying everyone who dislikes Obama’s policies as a loon determined to agitate violence.

The good news is that it’s easier to combat such media deceptions when the people have the power of the press online. This video, which merges the audio of a Rachel Maddow segment on MSNBC with snapshots from eight years of Bush Derangement Syndrome that is still alive and well, does a great job of exposing the Bush/Hitler vs. Obama/Hitler media double standard:

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What a brilliant idea — and hopefully one that we’ll be seeing a lot more of, as the flotsam and jetsam that collects on the ‘Net in general, and on video sites such as YouTube and Truveo make such compare and contrast videos pretty darn easy.

Old media’s coverage of the rampaging anti-globalist primitives in Pittsburgh allow for a similar contrast. Yesterday, linking to photos of the Pittsburgh riot police earning their pay, as well as a post at Founding Bloggers on union protesters wreaking havoc in Chicago yesterday, Glenn Reynolds wrote:

No arrests like these at the Tea Parties, either. Until we see scenes like this, I don’t want to hear yammering about the violence inherent in the Tea Party movement.

And today, Ed Morrissey compares and contrasts two videos featuring CNN reporters in the field. One covered the riots in Pittsburgh yesterday, earning a face full of tear gas from frustrated riot control police for his efforts. As Ed notes:

The key moment in this clip comes late in the clip. After noting that Todd got teargassed as a consequence of reporting from the protest, Blitzer emphasizes that Todd has a press credential to cover the protests. Um, okay, but that doesn’t mean Todd won’t get teargassed if he’s standing at the front line of the protests, as he was. Does Blitzer hold the police responsible for Todd being in the vicinity — especially after the clip clearly shows that police warned the crowd (and Todd) several times before firing the teargas canisters? I had no idea press passes were that magical.

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Compare that to Susan Roesgan, the now-infamous CNN “journalist” who injected her views into CNN’s coverage of the April 15th Tea Party in Chicago (and this was on top of CNN’s anchorman previously slandering the pro-free market protesters as “Tea Baggers.” Ed writes:

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CNN eventually dumped Roesgen for this, but they aired her report at the time. Notice that Todd doesn’t challenge any of the protesters around him (which is the professional way to report on the event, of course). However, CNN and Todd also didn’t go around looking for the nuttiest signs they could highlight, and no one in this clip ever starts speculating as to whether this violent protest means that the Left is inherently violent or could start attacking politicians at the drop of a hat — unlike how the media has treated the Tea Party movement.

Or as Mary Katharine Ham describes the contrast, “Lefty Protesters Get Violent at G-20, No One Frets About State of Republic”

(Headline via Alinskyite One.)