I keep wondering: at what point do even the progressives and Democrats whose political interests the media dishonestly and unethically advance stop and say, “Wait a minute! This just isn’t right. How would I feel if journalists were warping facts and faking news to hurt progressives like me?”
You know, the Golden Rule? That thing? Hello?
The Ted Cruz kerfuffle over his ill-considered decision to flee freezing, energy-starved Texas was all outrage over symbols, not substance. As discussed here, Cruz made a dumb and careless decision that he ought to have known would have negative political consequences, but no one should mistake it for a decision with actual, tangible results. Nor did Cruz breach any ethical duties. Those who think a U.S. Senator has any power to address a state crisis like the one facing Texas just doesn’t know how the government really works.
Unfortunately, that’s about 90% of the public.
The real significance of the Cruz-Cancun “scandal” is how it provides one more smoking gun that the committed apologists for the biased news media can try to ignore, as in “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! It’s another wacko right-wing conspiracy theory.”
While Ted was getting hammered for taking a quickie vacation with his long-suffering family, a real scandal was emerging in New York, where Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, whom the media worked to absurd degrees to hold up as a hero of the pandemic, was accused of a particularly nasty cover-up. His own aide blew the whistle on him, revealing that the Cuomo administration had hidden the real death toll of the Governor’s disastrous and deadly decision to send Wuhan-infected seniors into nursing homes. Now there is an investigation, and even the possibility of impeachment. It’s a major story—except that it involves a prominent Democrat. Thus it was Republican Ted Cruz’s bad optics that dominated the news coverage last week rather than Cuomo’s genuine, serious, “alleged” misconduct.
Fox News was mean enough to prepare and broadcast the graphic above. It’s accurate; imagine the fun Rush Limbaugh could have had with that. Newsbusters adds some details:
[D]espite two days of continuously unfolding revelations, the Thursday edition of ABC’s World News Tonight spent just 54 seconds telling viewers about the federal investigation into his deadly corruption [but]t nearly four times the airtime (3.85 to be precise) focused on Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s bad Cancun optics than on Cuomo…In all, World News Tonight spent three minutes and 28 seconds going after the Republican because, according to him, he was dropping off his daughter and her friends in Cancun, Mexico since her school was canceled the rest of the week. His decision to take the trip came as Texas was in the middle of a crisis where many were without power and water as a deep freeze crippled the state’s power grid.But judging by the fervor in which ABC correspondent Trevor Ault was going Cruz, one would think he was the cause of the outage. “Just Monday, Cruz warned his fellow Texans a dangerous storm was coming. Even urging them to stay home,” he told viewers. “Of course, the Senator didn’t stay home himself. Two days later, he was off to Mexico.”
What hackery by Ault. “Stay at home” if a dangerous storm is coming means hunker down, but it obviously doesn’t mean “If you have the ability to get far, far away where there is no storm, don’t.” It isn’t even hypocritical, unlike the various Democratic mayors and governors who violated their own stay-at-home-and-avoid-crowds orders. U.S. Senators can’t issue orders.
The concerted effort to blow up Cruz’s miscalculation into something it isn’t is astounding. Associated Press has a ridiculous story—but will the media bias-deniers admit it’s ridiculous?—headlined, “Cruz trip tests durability of scandal, memory of voters.” It uses the episode to bash President Trump, implying that before he lowered the standard of acceptable conduct for elected officials, Cruz’s gaffe would be a career-ender:
Despite later winning a congressional seat, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will forever be remembered for fabricating a trek along the Appalachian Trail, just as former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was undone by repeated sexting scandals and ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry couldn’t live down the debate stage moment of forgetting the third of three federal agencies he’d promised to eliminate.Once Trump was in the White House, his outlandish antics attracted so much attention that something that simply looked bad, like a senator’s leaving on vacation while his state was suffering, wouldn’t receive much notice.Cruz is now navigating how much damage control is needed in a post-Trump political landscape.
Yeah, those sure are equivalent examples, AOL. Sanford went AWOL, neglecting his duties, and had his aides lie to cover up the fact that he was out of the country having an adulterous affair. Weiner committed a crime as well as one that proved he was one sick mamajama. In a nationally televised debate, Perry looked like an idiot. These are real scandals, and would have exactly the same impact today as they did when they occurred. Putting Cruz’s trip–not illegal, not consequential, not covered-up—in the same category is an example of journalism making the public stupid, which is the opposite of its mission. It also is bias exemplified. Why is the topic Ted Cruz? Why isn’t the object of this article politicians at the center of real scandals, like Andrew Cuomo, or Rep. Eric Swalwell, who had an affair with a Chinese spy? Swalwell’s scandal is actually a fair comp for Mark Sanford’s, except that it’s much worse.
The answer to that “why” is, of course, that Cruz is a Republican, while Cuomo and Swalwell are Democrats, and the news media is an enemy of the people.
Are progressives and Democrats really okay with that kind of reporting? Do they really think that’s fair, productive or healthy? Sure they can’t really still deny that this is going on. Can they? Are they that corrupt now?
I keep asking these questions, I know. I’d really like to get an answer.