I’ve been writing recently about the phony baloney scandal that the news media and the other Democrats have stirred up after hearing Mitt Romney estimate his effective tax rate at 15%. This made up scandal gives a good illustration of the double standard the press corps uses for Republicans and Democrats; there was no media onslaught in 2004 when Democrat John Kerry was running for President, despite the fact that Kerry had paid a lower tax rate than Romney on a huge income.
Mainstream journalists overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, and the coverage they give to political stories (and non-stories) reflects this concensus.
Now the press has moved on to ABC’s two hour interview with Newt Gingrich’s disgruntled ex-wife.
Before that it was Rick Perry. In September and October the press showed just how hard they’re willing to work to dig up a scandal with which to tar a Republican Presidential candidate, when an army of journalists combed every part of Texas where Perry had ever spent time, and interviewed everyone who’d ever met him, looking for dirt. The best thing they could come up with, after all that effort, was that Perry’s family had rented some property whose actual owners had earlier painted a racial epithet on a rock, which the Perry family did not immediately paint over. This nonsense became a national “news story” that ran for several days.
At one point Perry actually had to argue with reporters about the exact timing of when his family painted over the naughty word on a rock on property they didn’t even own.
In 2004 Dan Rather of CBS News ginned up a phony story about President Bush having been a draft-dodger during the Vietnam War. The centerpiece of this “news story” was a Microsoft Word document – that Rather said had been written in 1971! CBS held the story until right before election day, so that the President and his defenders would have very little time to refute the charges.
All through the 1980’s the media battered President Reagan and Vice President Georgh HW Bush with a phony conspiricy theory about Bush having flown a super-secret spy plane to Iran to collude with the Iranian radicals to defeat President Carter in the 1980 election. After long and heavily publicized investigations, the Democrat-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate both released reports admitting that this so-called “October Surprise” theory was bogus.
The mainstream news agencies are clearly going to do anything they can to damage the reputation of any Republican who holds or runs for the White House.
Journalistic standards are vastly different when it comes to those good, virtuous politicians who run for office with the letter “D” after their names. Reporters and editors at most major news agencies are notoriously reluctant to publicize anything that would embarrass candidates they vote for.
In some cases this reticence has had the potential to do substantial harm to American interests. Tomorrow I will look at the history of the severe health problems that the press covered up for Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt, and Kennedy.