I wrote a post a few years ago, Who Is The Crazy Person In The Room? that California’s Debra Bowen used in her campaign stump speech. It was about how if you try to describe to people who do not follow news very closely what is going on with the Repubicans these days, they’ll think YOU are being crazy and extreme.
This is one area where I feel “mainstream” news outlets like the New York Times and major broadcast networks are failing their readers/viewers. Someone who only gets their news from those sources is not being informed about what is really going on inside the Republican party, and just how extreme things have gotten. These news outlets feel they have to “present both sides of the argument” so they won’t be accused of being “the liberal media.” Imagine the howls if they described a typical Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck speech and the audience reaction – and then pointed out that she is not on the fringe but is standing next to perhaps Dick Cheney or Mitt Romney on the stage! And readers just would not believe it if they carried the transcript from even a minute of Rush Limbaugh.
For example, this weekend AP wrote about the many flat-out untruths that Mitt Romney told in his speech at the conservative CPAC convention: Analysis: Untruths have consequences in politics. But they had to make it a “both sides do it” piece. To accomplish that, the piece equates a speech by a senior Republican Party leader, one of their candidates for President, with a pseudonymous “liberal” blogger.
“While Romney and fellow Republicans were filling the air with red-meat distortions, liberal Democratic activists were torturing facts online as they wrote commentary about the conservative gathering.”
So what example is given of “liberals” torturing facts?
“And so it was this week, when liberal bloggers reacted to the CPAC distortions with false attacks of their own. On the Daily Kos Web site, one blogger noted the standing ovation given to “the self-confessed war criminal Dick Cheney.”
The “false attack” against Cheney? The blog post reported that Cheney himself said on ABC’s This Week the other day, “I was a big supporter of waterboarding” — a war crime for which the United States government has prosecuted people.
So a senior Republican Party leader and Presidential candidate telling whoppers is equated with a guy on a blog who points out that Cheney said he had in office approved of torture.