Brent Bozell

On CBS, anchorman Scott Pelley brought in Bob Schieffer to compete with Williams in the Obama-lover outrage. He told Schieffer "it seems like it's not a Democratic or Republican issue but a question of how the office of the president is treated." Schieffer complained, "this is just another sign of the growing incivility and really vulgarity of our modern American politics in campaigns." He, too, had complete amnesia. "I can never recall a president stepping off Air Force One, which is itself a symbol of the presidency in American democracy, and being subjected to such public rudeness. I think really we're a better people than this little incident illustrates."

So let's look at CBS at the end of 2008, only about three years ago. Reporter Elizabeth Palmer quoted Muntadhar al-Zeidi's shoe-tossing words at Bush -- "This is your goodbye kiss, you dog!" She added that "By showing the kind of contempt formerly reserved for Saddam Hussein to President Bush, al-Zeidi's (became) an instant hero." Palmer snidely concluded "al-Zeidi should do jail time, said the Iraqi bloggers, because he missed." Then-anchor Katie Couric failed to muster any outrage at the disrespect, even if, as Pelley claimed, "it's not a Democratic or Republican issue but a question of how the President is treated."

In The New York Times, reporter Helene Cooper found potential political gain for Obama after the Brewer conflict. "Hispanic leaders said that what is being dubbed by some as the 'dustup in the desert' could play in the president's favor given the unfavorable view many Hispanics have of the governor for her advocacy of tough immigration measures."

By contrast, the Times asserted the Bush shoe-tossing in 2008 only underlined how dramatically unpopular Bush was in the Middle East for all the mayhem he imposed. "The Iraqi who threw both of his (shoes) at President Bush, with widely admired aim, were embraced around the Arab world on Monday as symbols of rage at a still unpopular war," wrote Times reporters Timothy Williams and Abeer Mohammed at the time. They found the "instantly mythic moment" had "provided a rare moment of unity in a region often at odds with itself."

Liberal journalists can insult a governor for challenging Obama, even after they enthusiastically channeled praise for shoe throwing at Bush's head. What they can't plausibly do is claim that they have a firm grip on historical facts or any shred of a record of nonpartisan respect for presidents.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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