Sunday, September 13, 2009

Move along, now.

Today I read Kyle Smith's New York Post column about the coverage, or lack thereof, of the Van Jones story. The title of this blog comes from one of Smith's snarkier references:

But if it (the NYT) is so flush that it can afford to hire, like the boy with the shovel who follows the elephant in the parade, a personal fact checker for TV critic Alessandra Stanley, surely it can scrounge up an intern to report that there’s a communist truther working as the president’s green jobs czar, or that a congressman was demanding his resignation .
I have long thought that the vaunted legions of fact checkers and editors at most of mainstream media, and especially at the NYT, were letting their political leanings color the supposedly straight news stories. The absence of party designation in a derogatory story that had to be written about a Democrat. The choice of adjectives and adverbs. Describing conservative individuals or organizations being quoted as "right wing" or "conservative", but not similarly designating the liberals. All of that grated on my nerves. If a significant portion of these errors of omission and commission had favored conservatives, then I would have shrugged them off as random acts of human frailty. But there is no such portion. Practically none of the errors favor conservatives. That is not random.

The treatment of conservatives from Wednesday, following President Obama's speech, through this weekend's Washington Tea Party demonstration has been nothing less than disgusting. What the mainstream media is doing now is shamelessly suppressing news that puts its favored political party in less than a flattering light.

Starting with that speech:

Joe Wilson should not have heckled the President during an address to a joint session of Congress. I think he's a jerk for having done so and his apology was entirely appropriate. There. I said it. Please remember that I did. There is a time and place for political heckling and a joint session of Congress is not it. Having said that, however, need I point out that Wilson's comment was at least arguably accurate? President Obama was claiming that illegal aliens would not be covered by his plan. But Democrats have defeated attempts to require proof of citizenship to obtain coverage under the plan. If illegal aliens are not covered, what is the Democrats' objection to requiring proof of citizenship? And what is this:

Today, for the first time as far as we know, the administration is backing a provision that would require proof of citizenship before someone could enroll in a plan selected on the exchange.
Its the Friday night newsdump, where all stories favoring conservatives go to die. The response: Nothing. Nothing to report here. Joe Wilson is the story. Move along.

Others have already pointed out that in that very speech, President Obama said conservatives were lying about health care. Oh, I'm sorry. Conservatives weren't lying, they were spreading "misinformation". They were not debating, they were "bickering". They were "playing games". Those non-existent death panels that the Senate is busy removing from the bill? Nothing to report. Joe Wilson is the story. Move along.

Others have already pointed out that in his speech, Obama complained of conservatives using scare tactics, and then stated that if nothing is done, people and businesses will go bankrupt, health insurance will be lost and people will die. Nothing scary there. Nothing to report. Joe Wilson is the story. Move along.

The President's plan is to require private insurance companies to provide significant additional benefits (uncapping payouts that are now capped, lowering deductibles and co-pays, covering additional services and procedures such as colonospcopies and mammograms, covering pre-existing conditions, etc., etc., etc.) at no additional cost while simultaneously creating a supposedly non-subsidized (right!!!!) government run insurance company to compete with the very same private companies that he just required to literally give additional coverages away. The blindingly obvious question that needs to be asked is how long any private company can hold out when its customers are being syphoned off by a competitor that does not have to take market realities into account while that very competitor is dictating what products the private company can offer and what it can charge for those products. Nothing to report here. Joe Wilson is the story. Move along.

That remark President Obama made a few years ago to the effect that he favored a single payer system? The remarks by other prominent Democrats that the President's "public option" is the means by which a single payer system will come to pass? Nothing to report. Joe Wilson is the story. Move along.

This is a whole new level. This isn't just choosing demeaning adjectives to describe conservatives or conservative positions. This is attempting to rewrite reality. And it got worse this weekend.

The Tea Party demonstration in Washington apparently attracted quite a crowd.

[S]harp words of profane and political criticism were aimed at Mr. Obama and Congress.
Sharp words of profane (!) and political criticism.

The demonstrators numbered well into the tens of thousands...
The tens of thousands. Gee, where did the "up to 2 million" figures come from then? Perhaps from the real world? As depicted by this You Tube time lapse video?

The atmosphere was rowdy at times, with signs and images casting Mr. Obama in a demeaning light. One sign called him the “parasite in chief.” Others likened him to Hitler.
Rowdy atmosphere. Signs and images less than completely complimentary to President Obama. References to Hitler! No liberal ever creates a rowdy atmosphere at demonstrations. No liberal ever makes references to Hitler aimed at conservatives.

[T]here was no shortage of vitriol among protesters...
A few Confederate flags waved in the air...
Abundant vitriol. Confederate flags. Well, sure, all opposition to anything proposed by President Obama must be sponsored by angry racist thugs. See? They even carry Confederate flags.

I'm gonna need a bigger shovel.

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