Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Republican Media- No. 24

If one is to believe E.J. Dionne- and one usually should- it was inevitable. In his recent column "Two Cheers for Harry Reid," the Washington Post syndicated columnist noted

Such assaults are rarely about ideology, though I have found that liberals or Democrats are often the object of these sustained attacks, perhaps because journalists are overly sensitive to charges of liberal bias. There's nothing like hitting a Democrat hard to "prove" impartiality.

As if to confirm Dionne's suspicion, the Post's syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson snarked

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano's initial assessment of the Christmas Day airliner attack -- that "the system worked" -- doesn't quite match the absurdity of "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." But only because she quickly took it back.

On the December 28 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews took this attack to absurd lengths (video below)

Earlier in the show we brought you Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's initial reaction to the thwarted terrorist attack of Christmas Day. She said, quote, "the system worked." Well, that's like "you're doing a helluva job, Brownie." Well, how many Americans disagree with that assesment? According to an online, unscientific poll by Politioco.com, ninety-six per cent. Just three per cent agree with the Homeland Security Secretary, who said everything's working great. I wonder who the three per cent are. Well, anyway, 96% say the attempt showed the security in place didn't work.

Perhaps the 3% are the few who actually heard everything the Homeland Security Chief said when she explained on ABC's This Week (from which the video of Napolitano was taken for this segment)

Number two, I think the important thing to recognize here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have. The passengers reacted correctly, the crew reacted correctly, within an hour to 90 minutes, all 128 flights in the air had been notified. And those flights already had taken mitigation measures on the off-chance that there was somebody else also flying with some sort of destructive intent....

Now once this incident occurred, everything went according to clockwork. Not only sharing throughout the air industry, but also sharing with state and local law enforcement, products were going out on Christmas Day, they went out yesterday, and also to the industry to make sure that the traveling public remains safe.

Once this incident occurred. Once this incident occurred. (She repeated herself; I thought I would.) Napolitano's reference to "the system working" clearly was to what transpired once the suspect/terrorist was subdued. Is that really so hard for Robinson and Matthews to understand?

The answer: no, it's not; and no, they did not misunderstand.

To give Matthews his due: the "earlier in the show" video to which he referred came from Napolitano's appearance on CNN's State of the Union Sunday. There, the Secretary stated

And one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. We instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the United States and in Europe, where this flight originated.

But even there she was referring to what transpired after the thwarted attack, given references to: the passengers and crew took appropriate action; within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring; we instituted new measures.... where this flight originated.

Again: is that really so hard for Matthews and Robinson to understand? And again, they did not misunderstand.

What is going on here? A hypothesis, supported by this and other remarks by these two gentlemen: as Stepford Wives to Barack Obama, Matthews and Robinson are anxious to distance themselves from Democrats whenever afforded an opportunity. If they fail to do so, they may appear to their colleagues, "overly sensitive to charges of liberal bias," in Dionne's words, to be slightly biased. To viewers whose worldview is already perverted by listening to the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity, they may appear part of the "liberal media." Suitably intimidated, they rush to ridicule any Democrat without the initials B.O. in order "to 'prove' their impartiality,"

Conveniently, such journalists can continue to idolize and/or excuse President Obama, while the right can continue to imagine a leftist bias in the mainstream media. A win-win, of a sort.


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