Ted Cruz “Scandal” Significance: Another Smoking Gun

Screen-Shot-2021-02-19-at-9.26.42-AM-e1613750753297

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.

13 thoughts on “Ted Cruz “Scandal” Significance: Another Smoking Gun

  1. What Ted Cruz did is akin to mayors going out of the country for vacartion while their cities were under strict COVID-19 restrictions- even though the mayors had no authority to ease restrictions.

    I agree with your point that there are other more important things to wrirte about-0 like finishing The Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict.

    • Crack that whip! 🙂 You should get partial credit for the finished version of “The Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict” for all these reminders to get Jack to complete this post.

    • What Ted Cruz did is akin to mayors going out of the country for vacartion while their cities were under strict COVID-19 restrictions- even though the mayors had no authority to ease restrictions.

      No it’s not! The mayors are responsible for overseeing the enforcement of any restrictions, and in some cases put them in place themselves. They restricted their constituency’s freedom, and then didn’t adhere to their own rules. There were no rules in Texas regarding the power situation. Cruz is a free citizen. He has no authority over Texans. His conduct isn’t remotely “akin.” It’s completely different, and the analogy is misleading.

  2. Yesterday on this topic Null Pointer made the points I was going to make regarding our need to focus on results not contrived gotcha moments. A great deal was said here about the symbolism Cruz’s trip conveyed.

    I ask this, who defines what the symbol means? A photograph of a US Senator and father who chooses to escort his daughters to a vacation spot with plans to return home within 24 hours that occurs during a critical time for his state of which he has no technical capacity, authority and control or responsibility to effectuate results is only a negative symbol for those who wish to define it as such. Would it have made any difference if he was escorting his daughters to their college dorms in El-Paso which is roughly the same flying distance from Houston. Is it really a Marie Antoinette “let them eat cake moment” or is it symbolic of a dutiful father making sure his daughters are safe?

    Symbols are useful artifacts to convey meaning in an abbreviated manner. The crucifix is a symbol the Jesus died on the cross for the sins of man. I remember that Cruz ‘s appearance reminded someone here of the devil during the 2016 primary season. The imagery of the devil is a concoction by man to symbolize evil so why was it mentioned other than to diminish the man? Our flag used to be be symbol for freedom but now it is merely a dinner bell for those wishing to feed at the trough or a representation of colonial oppression depending on what argument is to be had. Symbols are often abused by posers who wrap themselves in defined symbols but never deliver results. Symbolism is often exploited for political gain. They are offered up as unsubstantiated evidence that cannot be countered. Claiming an act symbolizes racism, or insensitivity to an issue if left unchallenged becomes the de facto definition of that symbol. The very act of defending against a charge of being a racist is now classed as a symbol of racism.

    I have no idea whether the photographer who took the picture of Cruz in the airport held any animus toward him. Perhaps he or she was a supporter and did not realize that someone would take that photo and construct a negative symbol out of it. Or maybe it was done specifically to “out” him for political gain.
    To use the language of the left “is that who we really are?” The answer is probably. Let’s take the photo in context: Does the left want to get back at Cruz and Hawley for their challenges on January 6th? Yes. Would any opportunity to harm Cruz politically even if it meant defining an event in the most negative manner be fair game for Democrats? Based on what I have seen so far – probably. Does it help their cause if they can chip away his political support through a thousand little wounds that they themselves inflict? Yes. So why do we buy into their definition of the symbolism of Cruz escorting his daughters to Cancun and returning the next day? Because we are head explodingly naïve.

    Progressives are adept at creating negative symbols to define their opposition and any attempt to push back is merely another symbol of their opposition’s hate toward some group they have brainwashed into believing they are victims. I will not play into their game.

    Symbolism has been abused to the point that symbols that were once used to incentivize people to strive for achieving greatness, honesty, and being a productive citizen have been redefined to such a degree that the fluidity of meaning behind symbols is often expressed as simile. If you have to explain the meaning it is no longer a symbol. One thing is for sure, the Capitol building surrounded with miles of concertina wire and 5000 troops armed with select fire weapons is symbolic of a regime that is fearful of its people. The question is what are they planning for us.

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