When typically passive media outlets begin to decry the double standards of their own industry, you know we’ve reached a tipping point in American media and politics.
A recent piece from RealClearPolitics.com highlights the egregious double standard of spouting completely unsubstantiated claims and how both the media and political parties respond to such things.
In fact, in the first line of the piece the author admits that there is a perspective from conservatives that such a bias exists.
RealClearPolitics does have writers and columnists, but they are, for the most part, a balanced website.
Their biggest claim to fame is as the biggest and perhaps best aggregators of polling data from around the country.
I often link their polling data on this blog.
For them to critique what has gone on lately in Congress and the media is frankly astonishing.
What the author points out is the outrage which followed Michele Bachmann’s claims of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of government, particularly Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton.
Of course, she has no evidence to back this up, nor has she offered any.
Most of the media went into full Biblical crisis mode over this, wailing and gnashing their teeth (an ironic metaphor, given Bachmann’s strict adherence to Biblical teachings).
Even conservatives, outside of Newt Gingrich, thought this was a dangerous slope to head down.
Of course, it’s nothing new to liberals, who believe the best way to prove a point is to just put things out there, have them be reported and then recant later with the damage already done.
I can’t remember a candidate who has had more ads proven demonstrably false than Barack Obama already this campaign season.
Even the passive CNN crew has decried some of Obama’s specious claims.
The left, not surprisingly, hasn’t responded in kind to Harry Reid’s equally specious claims about Mitt Romney not having paid any taxes for 10 years.
This is a man who, not having released his own tax returns either, has failed to offer any proof and actually recently backed off the comments to some degree.
Leftist media and politicians, however, have doubled down on Reid’s comments, presented them as fact and even took the opportunity to insinuate that Romney may have committed a felony he’s hiding by not releasing his returns.
Classic liberal playbook.
Even more classic is the media’s utter disinterest in holding anyone who makes these claims accountable. No one has pushed Reid or Pelosi for proof, although Robert Gates has been questioned at length about it and almost managed to sidestep whether or not the Obama administration was the source of these claims.
What is so dangerous about this strategy and the slippery slope down which it leads us is the left draws on a base that is more prone to alarmism.
Look at the way they’ve (falsely) portrayed Paul Ryan’s budget, as if it were literally throwing elderly women off cliffs it was so dangerous.
What’s more, the rhetoric on the left has almost nothing to do with policy. By focusing on peripheral issues like a guy’s tax returns, you distract from the fact that June was the worst jobs month in two years, that the college debt bubble is the next to burst and that the recovery hasn’t been as promised.
Alarmism and red herrings is all the left has to beat Romney because if they used policy records, it would be no contest.
Don’t expect the national media to show people the hypocrisy of this either, because they’re complicit in the charade.