Assigned Reading: Rep. Lamar Smith: 100 Days of Media Double Standards
Any attempt at summarizing media bias, whether over the first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency or during the 2008 presidential election, is an extremely ambitious task and, frankly, is beyond my pay grade. Texas Congressman Lamar Smith does a nice job here, obviously deciding to pick and choose among the most overt examples of the mainstream media’s handiwork.
Those of you new here, or those just stumbling upon America’s Right in the wake of Sen. Arlen Specter’s transition from turncoat Republican to typical Democrat, may not know that I used to be a liberal Democrat. In fact, I went through my undergraduate years studying Journalism at Auburn University, all the while shaking my head and snickering at the college Republicans in their coats and ties, wondering how they could be so off with regard to their perspective of the world. (Granted, I was fighting or awaiting a hangover much of the time, but that was no excuse.)
Sometime in early 2001, I picked up Bernard Goldberg’s phenomenal book, Bias, and devoured it over the course of a single afternoon. I’ve since bought and given away more copies than I can recall. That book set me on the course toward my transmogrification from ignorant, underinformed and malleable liberal Democrat to a bona-fide right-wing extremist–according to Janet Napolitano, that is–with a gun on my hip and the Constitution in my back pocket.
Well, over this most recent Christmas break, I picked up Goldberg’s most recent work, A Slobbering Love Affair, all about the media’s beatification of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election. While it was fantastic, I was absolutely astounded at how short it was. Still, Goldberg had managed, in the span of however many pages it was, to capture much of the downfall of American journalism. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to relive the frustration that drove so many of us concerned Americans absolutely insane, and I highly laud Goldberg for resisting the urge to turn A Slobbering Love Affair into a tome rivaling Tolstoy at his most verbose. Lord knows there was certainly enough material.
Which brings me to Rep. Smith. Though limited in overall scope, his assessment is incredibly important and hopefully is only the first of many to come. The mainstream press will make a formidable opponent in 2010 but especially in 2012 — the GOP and concerned Americans everywhere will not only need to fight the media and their effect on shaping the Democratic Party message as conveyed to the average public, but will also need to be prepared to stand up against any attempts to essentially choose the GOP’s own nominee. It happened last year, and it can happen again.
But for the involvement of a biased, agenda-setting American mainstream press, after all, the general election would likely have been a fight between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney. The media, however, unapologetically favored darling John McCain for the GOP nomination (only to turn on him immediately after it became apparent he would garner it) and systematically dismantled Hillary Clinton’s campaign, despite her best efforts to stick it out into early summer, much like the never-ending hockey playoffs.
Pieces like the one put together by Lamar Smith are invaluable, as are books like those put together by Bernie Goldberg. Point them out to friends and co-workers, discuss their impressions and yours, invite open and civil discourse even from those you know pulled the wrong lever last November. People like Smith and Goldberg can give us the tools, but it is our responsibility to cut through the agenda-setting and propaganda when it comes to assessing this administration and congress in time for the elections next year and in 2012.