Monday, January 18, 2010

Media provide Damage Control for Democratic Scandals

Rich Noyes present an excellent timeline and analysis of how the media sheltering Harry Reid from criticism and ultimately "morphed the story from one of an embarrassing racial gaffe by the Senate's top Democrat into one about Republican over-reach in going after Reid"

This is a summary of Noyes timeline:

Day 1: TROUBLE -- CBS anchor Jeff Glor calls it "a controversial remark [that] is shaking the political world."

Day 2: SUNDAY FODDER -- ABC's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos sounded like a Reid shill: "This was a private conversation....His choice of words, obviously, was unfortunate. The Senator knows that."

PBS anchor Judy Woodruff relayed the White House line: "This is the Mormon from Searchlight [Nevada] with an ear of tin and a heart of gold."

Day 3: CIRCLE THE WAGONS -- NBC's Andrea Mitchell calls Reid's remark "demeaning" of Obama which was met with PBS host Gwen Ifill "I don't understand what's demeaning"

Harold Ford, Jr.: "I don't believe in any way that Harry Reid had any animus, racial animus."

DAY 4: ANNOUNCE IT'S OVER -- CBS's Early Show, co-host Harry Smith was itching to be done with the controversy: "Is the Reid story over, and should it be?"

At this point the debate turns on Republicans, who are being "too critical" of Reid and playing partisan politics.

Maybe so.

Let's look to another story that the media are ignoring: John Edwards has been caught cheating AGAIN.

We have to rely on the National Enquirer to report on the most recent affair with Stephanie Breshears.

Edwards relations with Rielle Huner resulted in a child who turns two in February. The Presidential candidate's infidelities have occurred while his spouse Elizabeth battles cancer.

Let's be fair, where's the coverage of Mark Sanford, whose wife filed for divorce in December. The only recent story I could find was that the official "rebuke" of Sanford has been delayed. This FOX story describes the rebuke as "the two-term Republican was derelict in his duty and abused his power. It has no practical effect on the final year of Sanford's tenure."

Conservatives toss around "liberal media" and "media bias" to often but this is the unfair reporting and handling of stories that drives such accusations. Democrats get a pass on racial insensitive comments while Republicans would be demonized or forced out of office. Family values and hypocrisy will fill the headlines describing an unfaithful Conservative, but someone like Edwards faces no such scrutiny.

Many of us don't care about their party - I want them out. It's so incredibly frustrating that Mark Sanford is still the governor of South Carolina.

The corruption, dishonesty and abuse of power is at the nucleus of problems with the political landscape. If the media cannot or will not provide that "fourth rail" to aid us in gathering information then they should be rewarded the same way -- put out of business.

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