In this story in today’s New York Times, Working to Spin Distrust of Media Into Votes there are further examples of New York/Washington media professionals just not “getting it.” Writing about Howard Dean’s appearance on Meet the Press:
“Barbara Levin, a spokeswoman for NBC News, said Mr. Russert was only doing his job. ‘When Russert asks tough questions of Democrats, they don’t like it. When he asks the tough questions of Republicans, they don’t like it either.’ “
Well, no, that’s NOT what has people upset. Not at all. What absolute crap!
People were upset about Tim Russert’s treatment of Howard Dean on Meet the Press that day not even a little bit because Tim Russert asked tough questions. Bullshit. People were upset because Tim Russert and the rest of the mainstream media pounded Clinton through his entire term, and do not ask Bush tough questions, and make excuses for Bush’s lies and distortions! Dean did fine answering the questions. When Russert implied that Dean hadn’t answered questions about the military correctly, it turned out later that Dean had his numbers right. The point is that Russert would never ask Bush or any other Republican a tough question, and would never imply that they aren’t serving the country with their answers.
After YEARS of pounding on Clinton, “reporting” every nonsense right-wing smear story as “news” and DEMANDING investigations, and putting hoards of far-right commentators on the screen without comparable progressive voices, (and never, ever a Labor voice!), and letting The Party get away with every single nonsense right-wing crapola propaganda effort, now they have given Bush a totally free ride. I mean how obvious can it BE? To people who pay attention and have memories, the situation with the mainstream media is intolerable. THAT is what pisses us off.
I’m getting angrier as I write this. I mean, Holy shit, Clinton was accused by right-wingnuts of losing some money in a real estate deal, and the press hounded him and his wife and everyone they knew, even accusing them of murder, always implying that they were lying about everything, to the point of impeachment, when even the far-right’s massively funded investigations — utilizing so much of the FBI’s resources that they stopped investigating terrorists like Bin Laden — found them COMPLETELY INNOCENT OF EVERY SINGLE ACCUSATION. Only at the end, as a byproduct of the investigations, did they learn that the President had an affair. Big deal. And meanwhile, every one of the Republicans involved in going after him for having an affair turned out to be having affairs!
But Bush comes along, was involved in blatantly lying, and in illegal and unethical activities like insider trading, involvement with a company setting up offshore tax havens, stealing land to build a stadium that made him rich, involvement in his company reporting revenue from the sales of a subsidiary while hiding that the company itself PAID for the purchase… (How long could I go on with the list of Bush’s illegal and unethical activities – not to mention deserting his National Guard post in a time of war?) And what do the mainstream press say about Bush? What does the public learn about this man’s background? What does the public learn about this man’s promise to “restore honor and integrity to the White House?” This man associated with Enron and their crimes, and given the responsibility to investigate and prosecute all the corporate crimes we are subjected to? What does the press say about him? Instead of reporting on this man’s background, they spent the entire 2000 campaign calling ex-seminary-student GORE a LIAR!
It is just so fucking obvious, the difference between how Clinton was treated by the press then, and how Bush is treated by the press now! But instead of REPORTING what is GOING ON, we get stories like the one in today’s New York Times saying that it’s just Democrats complaining when they get asked tough questions, just like Republicans complain when THEY get asked tough questions. As if the last 10 years just didn’t happen. Give me a fucking break! JEEZE!
(OK, Dave, go out for a run. Calm down.)