Sunday, November 19, 2006
Our So-Called Unbiased Media
The So-Called Unbiased Media just can't let the facts get in the way of their storyline. The storyline, as you will certainly recall because they've been repeating it just about hourly, is that the election of Steny Hoyer as House Majority Leader was a knockout punch to Nancy Pelosi's authority as Speaker, and she and Steny Hoyer will be mortal enemies because she expressed her support for Jack Murtha. Any evidence to the contrary must be turned inside out to support their version of reality. Consider this headline: Hoyer claims no 'bad blood' with Pelosi. It's subtle, but effective. The headline could have been "Hoyer says no 'bad blood' with Pelosi", but that would give Hoyer's statement too much credibility. Calling it a "claim" insinuates that there's doubt about its truth. Just in case the reader doesn't take the hint, the article opens by further undermining Hoyer's statement.
Rep. Steny Hoyer acknowledged Sunday he was seeking assurances from incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she would not retaliate against his supporters after he won the No. 2 House leadership post. Hoyer, D-Md., insisted there was "no bad blood" with Pelosi after she publicly supported Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania for the job of majority leader.Saying that Hoyer was seeking assurances that Pelosi would not retaliate says, in effect, that Pelosi would retaliate and needs to be persuaded not to. "Insisted" makes it sound like Hoyer needs to plead with us to believe him.
On Sunday, Hoyer sought to play down any personal differences or ill will, noting that the two have worked together in the House Democratic leadership for many years."Sought to": "but didn't succeed in convincing anybody". "Play down": they really have serious differences, but he doesn't want anybody to think so. The real atrocity in this article, however, is what it does not say.
Former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich called Pelosi's decision to support Murtha a "mistake" but said Republicans should not underestimate her.The article does not say that Newt Gingrich made the same "mistake" when he became Speaker of the House:
In 1994, in the wake of the Republicans’ landslide midterm victory, Tom Delay ran for the position of majority whip against Newt Gingrich’s hand-picked Lieutenant, Robert Walker of Pennsylvania. Gingrich, like Pelosi, did his best to convince his colleagues to vote for Walker. He ultimately failed and Delay won.And we all know just how much this failure limited Newt's power. But of course, this precedent doesn't apply to Democrats, because... because why? Because the So-Called Unbiased Media don't want to apply it.
It wasn't always like this. When I was considerably younger the newspapers and television stations just told the story straight.
Ever since Reagan it's been nonstop spin, and one-way spin at that.
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