Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kirsten Powers & The Left's War On Truth

For the past six years, the right has been railing against the mainstream media for wholly ignoring all stories that would be problematic for Obama and the left. The worm has finally turned with Benghazi, the IRS scandals (targeting conservative 501(c)4's and targeted auditing), and the DOJ's investigations into Fox News and the AP over national security leaks.

And yet, the efforts of the most vile on the left is not to seek the truth, but to try and spin this all either as mere Republican partisan spin, Republican hatred of Obama, or Republican overreaching - or indeed, in the innocuous case of wording difference in some of the Benghazi e-mails, as pure right wing fabrication. It is so far beyond the pale as to cross a real boundary line where any thought of fair and open debate with these people is simply no longer an option. That said, certainly not all on the left fit this mold - Kirsten Powers being perhaps the most shining example of an intellectually honest left of center reporter. And today, she took the Obama administration and her fellow journalists on the left to task for their scurrilous acts in an exceptional column:

It’s instructive to go back to the dawn of Hope and Change. It was 2009, and the new administration decided it was appropriate to use the prestige of the White House to viciously attack a news organization—Fox News—and the journalists who work there. Remember, President Obama had barely been in office and had enjoyed the most laudatory press of any new president in modern history. Yet even one outlet that allowed dissent or criticism of the president was one too many. This should have been a red flag to everyone, regardless of what they thought of Fox News. The math was simple: if the administration would abuse its power to try and intimidate one media outlet, what made anyone think they weren’t next?

These series of “warnings” to the Fourth Estate were what you might expect to hear from some third-rate dictator, not from the senior staff of Hope and Change, Inc.

"What I think is fair to say about Fox … is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “[L]et's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is." On ABC’s “This Week” White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Fox is "not really a news station." It wasn’t just that Fox News was “not a news organization,” White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel told CNN’s John King, but, “more [important], is [to] not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization …”

These series of “warnings” to the Fourth Estate were what you might expect to hear from some third-rate dictator, not from the senior staff of Hope and Change, Inc.

Yet only one mainstream media reporter—Jake Tapper, then of ABC News—ever raised a serious objection to the White House’s egregious and chilling behavior. Tapper asked future MSNBC commentator and then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs: “[W]hy is [it] appropriate for the White House to say” that “thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a ‘news organization’?” The spokesman for the president of the United States was unrepentant, saying: “That's our opinion.”

Trashing reporters comes easy in Obama-land. Behind the scenes, Obama-centric Democratic operatives brand any reporter who questions the administration as a closet conservative, because what other explanation could there be for a reporter critically reporting on the government?

Now, the Democratic advocacy group Media Matters—which is always mysteriously in sync with the administration despite ostensibly operating independently—has launched a smear campaign against ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl for his reporting on Benghazi. It’s the kind of character assassination that would make Joseph McCarthy blush. The main page of the Media Matters website has six stories attacking Karl for a single mistake in an otherwise correct report about the State Department's myriad changes to talking points they previously claimed to have barely touched. See, the problem isn’t the repeated obfuscating from the administration about the Benghazi attack; the problem is Jonathan Karl. Hence, the now-familiar campaign of de-legitimization. This gross media intimidation is courtesy of tax-deductable donations from the Democratic Party’s liberal donor base, which provides a whopping $20 million a year for Media Matters to harass reporters who won’t fall in line.

In what is surely just a huge coincidence, the liberal media monitoring organization Fairness and Accuracy in the Media (FAIR) is also on a quest to delegitimize Karl. It dug through his past and discovered that in college he allegedly—horrors!—associated with conservatives. Because of this, FAIR declared Karl “a right wing mole at ABC News.” Setting aside the veracity of FAIR’s crazy claim, isn’t the fact that it was made in the first place vindication for those who assert a liberal media bias in the mainstream media? If the existence of a person who allegedly associates with conservatives is a “mole,” then what does that tell us about the rest of the media?

What all of us in the media need to remember—whatever our politics—is that we need to hold government actions to the same standard, whether they’re aimed at friends or foes. If not, there’s no one but ourselves to blame when the administration takes aim at us.

In the video below, Ms. Powers points out not only the outrageousness of the DOJ's investigation of Fox News' James Rosen, but also the Obama administration practice of punishing and prosecuting whistleblowers while letting pass all leaks of national security information which paintw the Obama administration in a favorable light.

My respect for Ms. Powers has long been full and complete. Meanwhile, three of the most vile left wing journalists, Jonathan Capehart, Josh Marshall, and Ezra Klein, were yesterday seen filing into the West Wing, no doubt for a journolist meeting with Carney, if not Obama.

1 comment:

Ex-Dissident said...

It is becoming more appropriate to classify people according to their basic adherence to morals and decency, rather than their having made left or right remarks.