NPR’s Diane Rehm: she has a list, and Bernie’s on it.
In retrospect, we should have known that the mainstream news media would be actively campaigning for the Democrats in 2008 when the New York Times, often referred to as the “flagship” of the MSM, ran a bizarre, inexcusable hit piece on John McCain as a front page story, alleging, via anonymous sources, not that McCain was involved in a Bill Clinton-style inappropriate relationship with a comely female lobbyist eight years earlier, but that unnamed staffers at the time were “concerned” that they were too friendly to each other. What followed was the most openly biased coverage in U.S. presidential campaign history, with candidate Obama repeatedly featured in messianic poses on magazine covers, virtually no media vetting of his background and a full-out, often sexist assault on the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate for being unqualified (though she had far more relevant experience than the Democratic presidential candidate),and for being a dummy, while the hilariously addled Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate was treated like a beloved eccentric uncle.
From an ethics standpoint, it didn’t matter that McCain was an awful candidate, that the chance to elect a black President was irresistible and that once the economy collapsed, the Democrats could have nominated a deaf pangolin and still won with ease. What mattered was that the media proved itself biased, unprofessional and untrustworthy as never before. I was nauseated by the debacle, but always optimistic, thought there was a chance that U.S. journalists would eventually wake up from their Obama fever, admit that they betrayed their professional duty and reform. Sadly, the problem has only worsened.
We are now seeing, even earlier than before, that the news media is prepared to throw cheap shot blocks on anyone, Democrat or Republican, who threatens the Presidential path of Hillary Clinton. Everyone—yes even Clinton supporters, as soul-dead and corrupt as they must by definition be—should be alarmed by this. It means that the United States has no objective news media, but one that is in league with, rather than exposing and challenging, entrenched power. Democracy won’t work thus encumbered. This should be a bipartisan issue.
The New York Times has equalled its John McCain fiasco with a pair of embarrassing attacks on Marco Rubio, first exposing the disqualifying scandal of his wife’s poor driving record (Hillary hasn’t driven in decades—chauffeurs, you know) and then the damning fact that he isn’t rich as Croesus and thus has no business purchasing, for example, a new home. This, like the McCain gossip, was deemed front page worthy. Even Jon Stewart, who comes to the defense of Republicans as often as he makes a joke about Obama, was appalled, devoting a five minute rant to mocking the Times.
Stewart noted the Times’ reporting of the Rubios’ purchase in 2005 of a larger home for $550,000 in 2005 that included, according to the paper, “an in-ground pool, a handsome brick driveway, meticulously manicured shrubs and oversize windows.” Calling the story “inconsequential gossip,” and asking, “How is this front-page news?,” he said,
“What’s The New York Times going to do? Exercise editorial control? No. … It’s like their motto says: ‘Don’t hate the paper, hate the game.’”
“The game” is called “Rig Democracy for Democrats.” The Times editorial staff indignantly demands the reversal of Citizens United
because its editors deplore the law (and the Firts Amendment) allowing “big corporations” to influence elections by funding obvious political advocacy, while The Times, owned and operated by a large corporation, uses its resources to engage in daily political advocacy under the guise of objective journalism.The media is just getting started, it seems. Yesterday, NPR
public affairs talk show host Diane Rehm began an interview with Hillary challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders with an accusation:
“Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.”
Sanders interrupted, “Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.”
“I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list, forgive me if that is [untrue.]” Rehm said. She later apologized. Sure she did! Mission accomplished! As Jewish Journal noted, Rehm’s “list” was probably the one that has circulated on the Internet for several years concerning U.S. government officials and members of Congress who allegedly hold dual citizenship with Israel, making them, the theory goes, agents of a successful Israeli effort to manipulate U.S. policy. Why wouldn’t veteran journalist Rehm, as fair and ethical journalism demands, check her facts before asserting a falsehood?
Ann Althouse’s explanation seems astute:
“It was only last weekend that Bernie Sanders shocked the Clinton campaign in the Wisconsin straw poll by getting 41% to Hillary’s 49%. He’s not an amusing sideline anymore. What can be done to keep Democrats from drifting his way? An outright lie about him doesn’t work, does it? Well, yes it does! It made everyone take notice that Bernie Sanders is Jewish. He’s not an Israeli citizen. That’s cleared up, but the impression remains: He’s Jewish. That stirs up any free-floating anti-Jewishness that may be useful to his opponent. It stirs up suspicion that Sanders feels affiliated with Israel in a way that is inconsistent with the American presidency. I’m sure many people hadn’t even noticed that Sanders is Jewish, and now we all know that, and we know additional facts. From the first link above, which goes to Politico: “Sanders, who is Jewish, has visited Israel several times and spent several months working on a communal farm called a Kibbutz in the 1960s.” That’s all powerfully useful to Hillary. Am I supposed to believe this was a mere oopsie by a nice old lady?”
Stumping for Obama was unethical, but the mainstream media’s journalists, being human and none too bright, could be cut a little slack (though not by me) for their enthusiasm for a fresh, eloquent young black man who spoke persuasively of bringing us together, restoring peace and making America respected again abroad. Doing the same for a corrupt, cynical, dishonest candidate like Clinton, however, is the journalism equivalent of treason.
Sources: Politico 1,2, NYT, Althouse