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Friday, March 06, 2015

Modern media and the destructive representation of conservativism

Although rightfully excoriated for his comments comparing public unions to ISIS, Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-Wis.) treatment by the media continues to highlight the gross disparity in the way with which conservative candidates are analyzed and represented, when compared to their liberal counterparts. Whereas Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Hillary Clinton are all hailed for their various policy proposals, as well as their personal and professional achievements, individuals like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are ruthlessly assailed for every quip or comment, be they contextual or otherwise.

This was patently evident in 2008 as well as 2012, and will most assuredly be applicable once again in 2016. From tales of Mitt Romney’s elementary school bullying, to reports about Paul’s “Aqua Buddha” college days, the depths to which modern media apparatuses will dredge in order to invalidate a Republican’s candidacy, surpasses even those explored by the Trieste. This is highly problematic, as it only takes an anonymous comment, erroneous claim, or an unverified accusation, in order to destroy the legitimacy of a right leaning contender. This same approach however, would be understandable if it were equally applied to both sides of the political aisle, but seldom is that ever the case.

Each of the aforementioned Democratic heavyweights has more baggage than a gypsy caravan, but what few stories do make it to print regarding their issues are typically brief, excused, and quickly forgotten. It may not seem like much, but such a handicap with relation to past misdeeds or suspected skullduggery can (quite effectively and easily mind you), tilt and distort the public’s perception of a given individual. When this happens predominantly to GOP candidates, the hazards become quite clear.
Tea Partiers are dismissed outright, while socialist fringes on the left are never acknowledged nor addressed. Adjectives such as “wacko, crazy, radical, extremist, fundamentalist, and myopic” have become synonymous with the Republican Party, whilst Democrats are only reported to be pragmatic or “slightly more progressive”. Even thoroughly debunked claims have been routinely utilized to attack conservative hopefuls.

Two weeks before the Iowa caucus, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) surged to a comfortable and timely lead, although immediately upon attaining said position; questions regarding racist newsletters bearing his name were suddenly raised. Given the nature of the accusations, such inquiries could have been viewed as reasonable, if only the articles hadn’t been penned some 25 years earlier, and discredited no fewer than 10 times since.

Unlike Paul however, the discourse surrounding New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has already pivoted from questionable associations, to his plans for statewide reforms. This has all transpired less than two weeks after it was revealed that the speaker of the New York Assembly, Sheldon Silver, had been taking millions in bribes in exchange for various kickbacks. Cuomo, although not charged, had been accused of interfering with the Moreland Commission, a body he started (and eventually disbanded) in order to root out said instances of corruption. Yet now, rather than looking deeper, journalistic lap dogs, content with warming the thighs of a high profile Democrat, have moved on to more important issues, like raising the state’s minimum wage.

Predictably, this is just one of many such instances, but while Democrats can sleep off their scandals like Ted Kennedy nursing a hangover following a dalliance with a certain bridge, journalists are all too willing to hit 88 mph in the doctor’s Delorian in order to uncover (or retread) alleged GOP misconduct. Whereas evaluations of John Kerry’s service record were equated to blasphemy in 2004, coverage of the investigation into George W. Bush’s National Guard activities, were reported nightly until it was revealed that the story was completely fabricated. While the latter example did result in Dan Rather’s unceremonious dismissal from CBS, it unquestionably re-directed the national dialogue for weeks on end.

Of course the media are really Democrat operative with bylines.  They are not biased, they consider the Right as the enemy to be destroyed.

Read the whole thing.

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