The headline, on a story appearing on page A4 of today’s Washington Post: “Obama’s Critics Have Not Visited The Border Recently.” (Note: the online version headline is a little different.)
How odd, and how revealing. Apparently White House and Democratic talking points will now be published in headline typeface by D.C.’s iconic, once trusted, newspaper. What?
Smoking gun evidence of the mainstream media’s persistent and incorrigible pro-liberal, pro-Democrat, pro-Obama bias is hardly rare; it appears daily, in small doses and large. It appears in the naked advocacy for gun control, climate change policies, illegal immigration and the nanny state. Smoke issues from the slanted coverage of campaigns, epitomized by the fawning coverage of Barack Obama and the savaging of Sarah Palin in 2008, and Candy Crowley’s tossed lifeline to Obama when Mitt Romney correctly flagged his intentional deception regarding the fatal Benghazi attack during the final and perhaps decisive presidential debate.
The wisps are obvious in the news media’s determination to ignore or bury stories that suggest administration corruption or incompetence, like the I.R.S scandal, and its periodic partisan hit jobs on Republican leaders—the infamous New York Times story about “rumors” of Sen. McCain’s inappropriate relationship with an attractive female lobbyist; the Washington Post smear on Rick Perry based on his occasional use of a hunting lodge that had a racist name; the front page story about Mitt Romney’s bad behavior as a teenager. (Barack Obama’s youthful indiscretions as a pot head somehow went undiscovered until after he was elected.) Then there are the subtle, perhaps unconscious symptoms of bias, like the strange tendency to omit party affiliation when Democratic elected officials engage in corruption and criminal activity
Today’s headline, however, while hardly momentous, is a new low. It is intentionally deceitful (or, in the alternative, mind-blowingly stupid) to suggest any kind of equivalence between the President of the United States refusing to visit ground zero of his administration’s illegal immigration enforcement abdication fiasco, and the fact that his critics have not been there “recently.” Those critics have, correctly, insisted that the President needs to demonstrate his recognition of the seriousness of the crisis, that he understands its importance, and that he accepts responsibility for addressing it, because he is the nation’s elected leader, and that is what leaders do. Obama knows it: that’s why he joined Gov. Christie in New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
His lame excuse in this instance that visiting the Mexican border would be no more than a “photo op” (as he was photographed elsewhere playing pool and cutting in line at a barbecue joint) was an abdication of presidential leadership when such leadership is mandatory. Whether of not the critics go to the border is irrelevant. They are not the President. The visits, or absence of them, are not similar in significance, or comparable in any way. Yet the Washington Post is using its pages and headlines to imply otherwise, and to discredit legitimate criticism of the President’s handling of the child invasion by framing it as hypocritical.
There is no complimentary interpretation of this. The only options are…
1. The Post is taking talking points from Democratic operatives and intentionally promoting them, meaning that the paper is acting as a White House propaganda arm.
2. Confirmation bias is so strong on the Post staff that it no longer can distinguish between real news and partisan spin.
3. The Post staff itself is trying to bolster Obama by confusing its more gullible readers.
4. The staff really thinks this is significant, in which case it is too dumb to be trusted with reporting high school field hockey scores, much less anything more complicated.
My choices, in order of likelihood—2, 4, 1, and 3. I think all of them are very plausible explanations.