The whole smear turned ridiculous when conservative radio host Mark Simone told Shuster that every protest has some overenthusiastic people yelling stupid things. Shuster insisted the left had never behaved in that fashion in the Bush years: "Nobody spit on a lawmaker. Nobody used a N-word. Nobody used an F-word."
Nobody? Ever? Assuming the illogical to be true, so what? I have a line Mr. Shuster will remember well because his network allowed it to be aired countless times: "Bush lied, thousands died." Maybe not the F-word, but he was accused of being a mass murderer.
Shuster wasn't done with Simone: "But the difference is, Mark, that whenever we asked Democratic leaders, 'Look, do you support using a Hitler moustache on a poster of George W. Bush?' Every single time, they said 'Absolutely not, we do not approve of that. We want, of course, we want people to protest. But not like that.' And you see, it's just like crickets from the Republican side of this stuff, and that's the difference."
This "crickets" claim was even more ridiculous on Shuster's part, since nearly every Republican responded to the question by denouncing the abusive remarks reported. RNC Chairman Michael Steele and House Minority Leader John Boehner insisted on it on NBC's "Meet the Press," which MSNBC had replayed.
If anything, conservatives and Republicans are failing to respond to the David Shusters by throwing this dead fish right back. Who on Earth is MSNBC to lecture anyone else about hateful rhetoric? The network where several hosts -- Ed Schultz and Dylan Ratigan -- said Republicans enthusiastically want to see Americans die, even large segments of the American people?
But MSNBC viewers see on-screen graphics like this one: "Crossing the Line: Anti-Reform Protests Take on Malicious Tone."
MSNBC replayed Democratic meanness as almost factual. Even in that "Malicious Tone" segment, Andrea Mitchell calmly relayed Barney Frank's Tea Party analogy, "comparing the situation to the Salem Witch Trials, with health care being burned at the stake." That remark apparently has malice toward none.
Liberal journalists have squandered any credibility they imagine they have as referees of political civility. They not only fail to decry liberal mudslinging, they do it all on their own.
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