Saturday, 15 January 2011

Left-wing Media Bias and the Tucson Tragedy

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Keith OlbermannIn the aftermath of the Tucson tragedy, the writers at the Media Research Center (MRC) are proving, once again, that they are better reporters than the “journalists” they monitor. According to a study by the MRC, there have been many occasions when reporters and liberal pundits have publicly aired their death wishes against conservatives, and have done so with impunity. Meanwhile, left-wing politicians and their media flacks have been deluging the airwaves with claims that conservatives are to blame for Jared Loughner’s murderous rampage at a political event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

But this is nothing new; from the J.F.K. assassination to the Oklahoma City bombing, blaming conservatives has been the option of first resort. In fact, members of the press rarely waste an opportunity to blame the conservatives for such events, even when the evidence stands in clear opposition to their theory.

A case in point is available in the attention given to the words of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, whose department failed to take action regarding Jared Loughner’s allegedly well-known mental health issues. As Dave Bohon wrote previously for The New American:

Most prominent in the attack was the lead officer investigating the shooting, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who, reported the Associated Press, argued that the attack “grew out of the political rhetoric, bigotry and hatred, especially in his home state of Arizona.” ...

As journalists, spokes persons, and public servants connected the dots, Palin and Tea Party activists who in the November election had targeted congressional seats like that filled by Giffords, a Democrat, became the prime culprits.

Some believe Dupnik engaged in the very type of character assassination he was denouncing. But members of the media have gone further than Dupnik; according to an MRC report, liberals in the press have an outspoken “death wish” against conservatives:

“The so-called ‘news’ media have zero currency in this debate because we have documented the Left using hateful, vicious language far worse than any conservative,” said Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (MRC), a conservative watchdog group. “Their attacks on conservatives are untrue and utterly hypocritical.”

“If they really cared about the effects of political rhetoric, they would have gone after any number of those left-wingers who have directly incited violence — starting with the man with the world’s biggest audience: President Obama,” said Bozell.  “After all, he did say, ‘If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.’”

“But that would be a ridiculous charge,” he continued. “And besides, the media aren’t really concerned about violent rhetoric. This is part of a much more insidious and calculated campaign to criminalize conservative thought.”

“Next they will ramp up support to regulate free speech on radio airwaves and the like,” said Bozell.  “They want to illegalize opposition to liberal thought and are willing to accuse, indict and prosecute anyone who stands in the way of that socialist goal.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the comments by MSNBC’s line-up of television personalities are among the most vicious cited in a “Media Reality Check” by the MRC:

MSNBC has been the most venomous, a fact NBC has glossed over in its coverage castigating conservatives. The network’s 8 pm ET host Keith Olbermann in 2009 referred to columnist Michelle Malkin as “a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.” Hardball’s Chris Matthews fantasized about the death of Rush Limbaugh: “Somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp.”

The outrage evidenced this week was not to be found when a film festival showed “Death of a President,” a movie depicting the imagined assassination of President Bush. “Poor taste or, as some say, thought-provoking?” MSNBC daytime anchor Amy Robach mildly wondered on September 1, 2006.

On Monday’s The Ed Show, MSNBC’s 6pm ET host Ed Schultz pointed his finger at Fox News for supposedly inciting its audience to “think that doing something radical is the right thing to do,” but sidestepped his own history of shocking comments. “I get passionate, but not in a violent way,” Schultz insisted.

On his national radio show in 2009, however, Schultz wished for Dick Cheney’s death: “He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country....Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you?” (MP3 audio) In 2010, Schultz screamed that “Dick Cheney’s heart’s a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him!” (MP3 audio)

No doubt the media will continue to discuss Sarah Palin’s "targets" rather than Shultz’s "football." Why discuss Schultz’s raving description of physical violence when you can endlessly psychologize a website graphic? While the media and pseudocons such as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) are busy bloviating for gun control, perhaps they should start by making sure the folks at MSNBC are kept away from firearms —and footballs, for that matter.

Photo: Keith Olbermann

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