Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Liberal Cocoon!

“The Washington Post’s unique genre: ‘That pattern we never told you about, of corporate lobbyists favoring Democrats, is ending,'” Timothy P. Carney quips.

Writing in the Washington Examiner, Carney describes “Dan Eggen, the Washington Post‘s guy on the lobbying beat”, as “a good reporter, with a bad habit:”

He repeatedly writes articles about how some big business lobby is no longer tilting Dem — without ever having let us know it was tilting Dem in the first place.

The result is a string of stories leaving the same false impression Barack Obama has worked so hard to cultivate (and which Eggen is too dialed-in to buy wholesale) that K Street and big business are decidedly pro-GOP.

Today, Eggen has a piece headlined “With Republican as leader, Obama-friendly Business Roundtable may become less so.” Eggen writes:

Engler’s appointment suggests a potential shift in emphasis for the Business Roundtable, which represents top corporate executives and had parted ways with the Chamber of Commerce and other major business groups in supporting President Obama‘s health-care overhaul legislation….

So the Roundtable might be moving to the Right. But this is the first time Eggen has let us know they ever were “Obama friendly.” Eggen and colleague Michael Shear briefly noted in July that the administration has “reached out to other groups, such as the Business Roundtable,” never describing the Roundtable’s response.

But hasn’t that been the trend all decade? As Tony Blankley wrote in 2004:

Mark the calendar. August 2004 is the first time that the major mainline media — CBSNBCABCNEWYORKTIMESWASHINGTONPOST
L.A.TIMESNEWSWEEKTIMEMAGAZINEASSOCIATED
PRESSETC. — ignored a news story that nonetheless became known by two-thirds of the country within two weeks of it being mentioned by the “marginal” press.

It was only after a CBS poll showed that Kerry had lost a net 14 percent of the veteran’s vote to Bush — without aid of major media coverage or substantial national advertising — that the major media outlets began to lumber, resentfully, in the vague direction of the story. And even then, they hardly engaged themselves in the spirit of objective journalism.

According to Editor and Publisher, the respected voice of official big-time journalism: “Chicago Tribune managing editor James O’Shea tells Joe Strupp the Swift Boat controversy may be an instance of a growing problem for newspapers in the expanding media world — being forced to follow a questionable story because non-print outlets have made it an issue. “There are too many places for people to get information,” says O’Shea. “I don’t think newspapers can be gatekeepers anymore — to say this is wrong, and we will ignore it. Now we have to say this is wrong, and here is why.”

Now, there are two revealing statements there. First, it is odd to see Mr. O’Shea, an official, credentialed seeker of truth, complaining about “too many places for people to get information.” He sounds like a resentful old apparatchik glaring at a Xerox machine in the dying days of the Soviet Union.

The second noteworthy statement is the hilarious complaint that they can no longer merely think a story is wrong and ignore it: “Now we have to say this is wrong, and here is why.” It apparently escaped his thought process that if he hadn’t yet investigated the story, it might not be “wrong.” A seeker of truth in a competitive environment might have phrased the sentence: “Now we will have to report it to determine if it is right or wrong.”

Last week, Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters spotted CBS’s Bob Schieffer discussing the Democrats’ F-Bombs at Obama earlier this month on Face the Nation, CBS’s Sunday panel discussion, after they were ignored on the network’s daily news shows.  As I wrote back then, August of 2004 would be the first time that we’re aware of, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last, as Van Jones and other scandals involving MSM sacred cows reminded us long before these latest examples.  Or as Andy Levy of Fox News’ Red Eye show quipped on Twitter immediately after Van went under the Obama bus, “Won’t it be weird when people who don’t get their news from the Internet or FNC have no idea who the guy who resigned is?”

Besides, a cozy relationship, particularly in 2008, between Obama and big business really doesn’t fit the 80 year old narrative of Republicans being the business world’s favored party. Shields up, Mr. Sulu — full power to the cocoon!