Many liberals in the media object to "whispers" that Obama is a Muslim. On CBS's "60 Minutes," reporter Steve Kroft told Obama that the idea that Obama's a Muslim "popped up on our radar screen all the time." Obama asked: "Did you correct them, Steve?" Kroft said yes. Obama decried a "systematic e-mail smear campaign" that's offensive not only to him, "a devout Christian," but to Muslims because of the "fear-mongering." Kroft then turned on Clinton and pressed her to deny that her campaign was spreading this mangy stuff. Hillary replied that Obama's not a Muslim, "as far as I know." Kroft kept complaining: "It's just scurrilous." But Kroft made no attempt to press Obama on what his actual religious beliefs are, or how "devout" he is in attending services every Sunday. These matters make liberal reporters uncomfortable. What makes them comfortable is trying to convince the audience that their fellow liberal Obama is a heroic victim.
But like Olbermann and Matthews, Kroft has a very flexible, very partisan definition of what is "scurrilous" in media coverage. One week before on the same "60 Minutes" program, CBS reporter Scott Pelley publicized wildly unsubstantiated charges against former Bush aide and strategist Karl Rove, who allegedly sought to ruin the crooked Democratic governor of Alabama Don Siegelman, now in prison. Pelley set up an accuser named Jill Simpson: "Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman in a compromising sexual position with one of his aides."
Brit Hume of Fox News pointed out the next day that the Associated Press reported that CBS's star witness had never made that allegation before to reporters or lawyers in hours upon hours of interviews and a sworn affidavit. Hume added that Karl Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin said no one from CBS approached Rove to give him a chance to respond to these off-the-wall sex-picture charges.
The dramatic double standard of our media elite -- a hyperbolic outrage at any criticism of Barack Obama, even as they insult and smear Republicans without restraint or regret, or evidence -- is one reason why it's going to hard to find the audacity to hope for media fairness or balance in this upcoming general election campaign.