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The year in propaganda

Worshipful journalists do their best to support Obama’s “Second Coming”

The year in propaganda

(O’Donnell: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images • Guthrie: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images • Simon: Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press • Matthews: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Our review of 2013 is not complete without a look at the year as depicted by the mainstream press. With the help of the Media Research Center let’s start in January, where Newsweek had on its Obama inauguration cover this headline: “The Second Coming.”

In subsequent months worshipful journalists averted their eyes from administration scandals. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell stated in May, “IRS agents did nothing wrong.” Even in November Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post claimed, “This has been a really relatively scandal-free administration, first term and second term.” If that statement is relatively true, it’s only because most reporters haven’t looked.  

And even when they could not help but see and report the Obamacare website mess, some remained propagandists. Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show on Sept. 30 inhaled about healthcare.gov: “how easy it is to navigate all the information, all the basic questions, and all the direction you need to take to get involved, to get health care.” 

It’s not as if reporters didn’t want to be alarmist. On March 1 Josh Elliott opened ABC’s Good Morning America by announcing it was “deadline day. Hours, now, until massive government cuts go into effect that could impact every American: jobs vaporizing, flights delayed, even criminals walking free.” When nothing much happened, Savannah Guthrie four days later on NBC’s Today explained that the sequester is “not a poison that kills you overnight. Apparently it’s a slow, rolling poison.”

Liberal journalists regularly proposed capital punishment for poisoners. Roger Simon, Politico’s chief political columnist, Oct. 14: “If Ted Cruz and John Boehner were both on a sinking ship, who would be saved? Answer: America.” A joke, of course. CNN’s Piers Morgan, Sept. 12: Two conservative talk radio hosts, Ben Ferguson and Dana Loesch, should “stand at the end of a range and I’ll get 100 blind people to fire away at targets around you.” A joke, of course. 

Even when such hate speech didn’t propose killing conservatives, liberal scribes suggested that their opponents were subhuman. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, July 15: Republicans have “a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable … an almost pathological mean-spiritedness.” Charles Pierce, esquire.com, Oct. 1: “We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami. … The true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade.”

Given how evil conservatives are, how could journalists not do part-time public relations for the Obama administration? (And some hoped for full-time gigs like the one press secretary Jay Carney nabbed from his Time perch.) Chris Matthews, though, was panting a little too hard on Feb. 25 when he interviewed two pro–Hillary Clinton journalists and said, “If you’re watching, Madam Secretary, all three of us have brilliant ideas.” 

(The more sophisticated approach was that of New York Times correspondent Mark Landler at an Oct. 8 Obama press conference. Instead of asking a question, Landler went on for more than 100 words that ended with a kiss-up comment about how President Obama alone could have brought about a trade deal. The president’s reply rewarded him: “I think that’s a great example.” Next stop: White House speechwriter?)

Chris Matthews is almost always over-the-top, of course, but in 2013 he outdid himself. On July 31 he called Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee “political terrorists” whose “only goal is to blow things up.” On Sept. 23 he attacked Cruz’s “sinister self-awareness” and two weeks later said “know-nothings in the Congress [are] characters in some ghastly, real-life remake of Planet of the Apes, where the bad guys fear nothing more than science and other evidence of human progress.” On Oct. 18 he spoke of “right-wing camp followers plying their trade like the women who got their name in the earlier time from General [Joe] Hooker.”

The single worst comment of 2013 came from MSNBC host Martin Bashir on Nov. 15, when Sarah Palin said our spiraling national debt enslaves us, and Bashir said she deserved—how do I put this delicately?—to have someone defecate in her mouth. Three days later Bashir, who professes faith in Christ, acknowledged, “My words were wholly unacceptable.” On Dec. 4 he did the right thing and resigned. So should others—but they won’t.

Email molasky@wng.org

Comments

  • Rebecca I
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

    At my grocery store this week was a man offering subscriptions to our local newpaper, with discounts and a $10 rebate at said grocery store for subscribing. I first told him (truly) that I didn't want that much to recycle. But he was not easily deterred. He was, you see, from South Korea, where he said that freedom of the press was not as it is here. And he said that if we lose our print papers, we will lose our freedom. So I countered that I had stopped supporting the liberal media in the 1980s, when my family saw firsthand that Pro-life persons could not expect the truth from the liberal media. Since this gentleman was also pro-life and conservative, he agreed with me that it was bad what the liberal press had done in misrepresenting the truth. But then he said something that made me pause. He said that a flawed press was better than no press, and if we do not support the press we will loose it. He then mentioned several horrors that took place in South Korea, but no one knew about them as they were kept out of the press. (he also told the story of his nephew in Iraq who survived a grenade landing on his foot- which did NOT explode. He told that nephew he was a fool to fight for freedom for a people who did not cherish it). So I ask: is it better to have a flawed (liberal) press than to have none? If I vote with my wallet to shut down the lies, am I also making way for greater tyranny?

  • Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

    I just noticed that my statement "similarly immature criticisms of their comments" could be taken to refer to the comments following the OP.  I was referring the the comments of people quoted in the OP.  I rarely see inappropriate comments by World commenters.  The civility is one of the things I appreciate about this site.

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

     In the Bible, the youngest believers are considered "milk fed".  Most of these reporters are not even able to digest milk, so we must not be too surprised at their inability to relate facts or even to be aware of them.  Satan has them distracted on many levels.We need to be praying the Light would shine in all the dark corners and reveal Truth in every situation.     

  • Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

    My personal challenge is to not respond with similarily immature criticisms of their comments.  I think it is human nature to be vulgar when criticizing others.  God, help me, when I hear crass criticisms to ask for wisdom to hear, think and respond with Your Biblical perspective and gracious power.  May I be more like Nathan with a simple "you are the man."  Or even like Jesus with a sobering response to the question if He were the King of the Jews, "you have said so."  Too often my responses to childish, hostile attacks are in kind rather than "grace, seasoned with salt."  All of us, whether liberal or conservative, reveal our real character by the words we use in responding to our adversaries. 

  • Richard H's picture
    Richard H
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

    Are these examples of depraved minds since they have exchanged the truths of God for the world's lies?.

  • Gimpy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

    "Those who watch these people are often unaware of the effect this constant spin has on their perception of the truth."You're right: I don't think either one of MSNBC's viewers is aware of it.

  • Midwest preacher
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 04:03 pm

    The bias is certainly there.  Those who watch these people are often unaware of the effect this constant spin has on their perception of the truth.  So many things are accepted as fact which have no basis in fact.  Many of the warnings of disaster are ignored because those truths would reflect badly on the left.