10:16 AM, Oct 17, 2013 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy is nearly upon us, so one would expect America's public intellectuals to be gearing up to present a series of sober and illuminating reflections about the tragedy's cultural and political legacy.
Of course, that's not going to happen. Any misty-eyed resonance that can be wrung out of JFK's death is already being exploited by our elite media gatekeepers to advance a political agenda.
To start things off, the New Yorker's George Packer has filed a dispatch about the "the potent brew of right-wing passions, much of it well organized and well funded—Bircher anti-Communism, anti-Catholicism [and] racism" that is apparently to blame for JFK's death. This is nonsensical on many levels. Racism is, of course, described as a "right-wing passion" though it is conveniently forgotten that at the time of JFK's assassination this odious legacy was exploited and enforced primarily by the Democratic party. And yes, Dallas may have been suffused with "Bircher anti-Communism" but that seems very much at odds with the identity of JFK's assassin who had spent time in the Soviet Union under mysterious circumstances.
A recent George Will column noted that Jacqueline Kennedy didn't seem too confused about who her husband's killer was. "He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. It’s — it had to be some silly little Communist," she said shortly after her husband's death. Also telling is the fact that a spokesman for the Soviet Union rushed to lay blame on "Barry Goldwater and other extremists on the right.”
Of course, this point about Oswald's motivations is so obvious that Packer can't ignore it. Try to follow the logic here:
Oswald was an avowed Marxist, which might seem to absolve the city’s right wing of any responsibility. But “Dallas 1963” places the assassin in context as a malleable, unstable figure breathing the city’s extraordinarily feverish air. Judge Sarah T. Hughes, who administered the oath of office to Johnson aboard Air Force One at Love Field, later said, “It could have happened anywhere, but Dallas, I’m sorry to say, has been conditioned by many people who have hate in their hearts and who seem to want to destroy.” ...
American politics today isn’t haunted by the same fear of sudden, shattering violence. But, as for nut country, it’s migrated from the John Birch Society bookstores to the halls of Congress, where angry talk of socialism and impeachment is almost routine. Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Louie Gohmert are the spiritual descendants of [billionaire oilman H. L. Hunt, the right-wing zealot General Edwin Walker]. Fifty years later, Dallas would like to move on from Dealey Plaza. This is normal and right. What’s holding it back is the Republican Party.
Senator Cruz, R-Bogeyman, has been blamed for many bad things in the past few weeks. But preventing America from healing after a presidential assassination that occurred years before the 42-year-old was even born seems like a stretch, to put it charitably. And Packer extends this blame-shifting to cover the entire state of Texas and, eventually, roughly half the country.
Still, it remains axiomatic among media types that all political violence in the United States is somehow a result of right-wing ideology, regardless of how reality complicates that simple narrative. (If it's appalling that unrepentant, left-wing murderers are appointed to teaching positions at Ivy League universities and Hollywood makes sympathetic films about left-wing terrorists, outlets such as the New Yorker don't waste much ink pondering the hypocrisy.) We even have major liberal organizations whose mission is manipulating the media to redefine benign conservative organizations as "hate groups."
1:03 PM, Sep 16, 2013 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
A new USA Today/Pew poll on Obamacare is out today. According to the fine print on the poll, "Three years after President Obama signed his signature health care overhaul, Americans are as negative toward it as they have ever been, and disapproval of the president on the issue has reached a new high."
What inferences can we draw from this poll result? Well, here's the first paragraph of USA Today's write-up on the poll:
9:23 AM, Aug 12, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Republican National Committee says it's putting its money where its mouth is by running paid ads against CNN and NBC over the networks' plans to run a documentary (CNN) and mini-series (NBC) on Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 presidential election, a spokesman for the RNC says.
It’s only a matter of time before the media are back in the tank. Jun 3, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 36 • By PETER WEHNER
Some conservatives think that the elite media are finally turning on Barack Obama and his administration.
Will the press ever give Obama tough coverage?Jan 14, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 17 • By FRED BARNES
President Obama never disappoints. When the monthly unemployment rate fails to drop, forget it. What’s important is the number of jobs created. But when the rate actually does drop, forget the growth (or lack of it) in jobs. It’s the rate that matters. And don’t blame Obama for the persistence of slow economic growth and high joblessness. That’s the “new normal.” As for the millions of dropouts from the job market, that’s no big deal, hardly worth more than a passing mention.
The left’s long twilight struggle against imaginary bigotry Oct 22, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 06 • By NOEMIE EMERY
Slowly but surely, the toxin of bias is being leached out of American culture, if incrementally and by degrees. A Catholic was elected president in 1960, and since then Catholic nominees and candidates have become commonplace. A Jew was nominated in 2000 for vice president, and was a help to his ticket. In 2004 and 2008 respectively, Joe Lieberman and Rudy Giuliani ran for president, and their names and religions did not become issues.
The media pull out all the stops to reelect the president.
Oct 15, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 05 • By FRED BARNES
The Time cover story last week was headlined “The Mormon Identity.” The cover, featuring Mitt Romney in a stained-glass window, said in smaller type, “What Mitt Romney’s faith tells us about his vision and values.” Newsweek had President Obama on the cover, identifying him as “The Democrats’ Reagan” and heralding the story inside as “What Obama Will Achieve in His Second Term.”
How media fact checkers made themselves of service to the president in the welfare reform debateOct 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic convention is widely seen as a pivotal moment in President Obama’s reelection campaign. It was an undeniably powerful speech, but particularly noteworthy were his remarks about the popular and bipartisan 1996 welfare reform Clinton himself signed into law. As a result of the law, Americans were required to work as a condition of receiving welfare benefits, and could not receive benefits indefinitely. The reform shrank welfare rolls dramatically and remains wildly popular to this day.
11:42 AM, Jul 24, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Last week, reports emerged that Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy had condemned gay marriage. It's no secret that the company is run by devout Christians, but this still caused an uproar.
12:15 PM, Jul 18, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Here's how the Los Angeles Times handled the Romney campaign's critique of Obama's suggestion that business owners "didn't build" their companies:
Romney campaign's attacks on Obama play on 'birther' fears
6:00 AM, Jul 16, 2012 • By JAY COST
Most journalists will swear that, despite the fact they vote Democratic, they treat both sides fairly. Indeed, it is a rare event to read a news article that directly attacks the Republican party or one that praises the Democratic party.
But that does not mean media bias does not exist. It does – its exercise is just subtler than this. And the last two weeks have been a great example of how it operates.
Politico may have ulterior motives for accusing the Washington Post and New York Times of bias against Romney. But they also have a point. 5:30 PM, May 31, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
This morning Politico made the worst mistake a mainstream media outlet can make—acknowledging the blindingly obvious truth there is a pronounced media bias against Republicans, specifically Mitt Romney. Predictably, there has been some circling of the wagons. Woe be unto us if the the defenseless Washington Post and New York Times credibility erodes to the point where the center-left has less of an information stranglehold.