WORLD’s review of 2013 is not complete without a look at the year as depicted by the mainstream press. With the help of the Media Research Center let’s start in January, where “Newsweek” had on its Obama inauguration cover this headline: “The Second Coming.”
In subsequent months worshipful journalists averted their eyes from administration scandals. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell stated in May, “IRS agents did nothing wrong.” Even in November Ruth Marcus of “The Washington Post” claimed, “This has been a really relatively scandal-free administration, first term and second term.” If that statement is relatively true, it’s only because most reporters haven’t looked.
And even when they could not help but see and report the Obamacare website mess, some remained propagandists. Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Sept. 30 inhaled about healthcare.gov: “how easy it is to navigate all the information, all the basic questions, and all the direction you need to take to get involved, to get health care.”
It’s not as if reporters didn’t want to be alarmist. On March 1 Josh Elliott opened ABC’s “Good Morning America” by announcing it was “deadline day. Hours, now, until massive government cuts go into effect that could impact every American: jobs vaporizing, flights delayed, even criminals walking free.” When nothing much happened, Savannah Guthrie four days later on NBC’s “Today”explained that the sequester is “not a poison that kills you overnight. Apparently it’s a slow, rolling poison.”
Liberal journalists regularly proposed capital punishment for poisoners. Roger Simon, Politico’s chief political columnist, Oct. 14: “If Ted Cruz and John Boehner were both on a sinking ship, who would be saved? Answer: America.” A joke, of course. CNN’s Piers Morgan, Sept. 12: Two conservative talk radio hosts, Ben Ferguson and Dana Loesch, should “stand at the end of a range and I’ll get 100 blind people to fire away at targets around you.” A joke, of course.
Even when such hate speech didn’t propose killing conservatives, liberal scribes suggested that their opponents were subhuman. “New York Times” columnist Paul Krugman, July 15: Republicans have “a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable … an almost pathological mean-spiritedness.” Charles Pierce, esquire.com, Oct. 1: “We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami. … The true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade.”