While I stand by my post yesterday that John Edward's new blogger has written some viciously anti-Catholic stuff, some have raised the issue of double standards. I'm talking about the media reaction in particular. Whenever a Democrat is associated with malicious speech, all hell breaks loose. And yet Republicans are frequently held to lower standards.
Take John McCain. He recently hired a man called Terry Nelson, whose illustrious career includes the racist ad against Harold Ford, participation in Delay's corruption and money laundering, jamming phones in New Hampshire to hinder the Democrat's get-out-the-vote endeavor, and working with the Swift Boat liars. And yet McCain is still the media darling.
Or what about the right-wing bloggers and pundits that support Republicans? A group of such pundits who recently met Bush included: (i) Sean Hannity ("making sure Nancy Pelosi doesn’t become the speaker is worth dying for"; (ii) Neal Boortz (Islam is a deadly virus); (iii) Laura Ingraham (Sens. Biden and Boxer are on the side of Kim Jong Il); (iv) Mike Gallagher (called on the government to “round up” several left-leaning voices, including Keith Olbermann, label them “traitors,” and have them sent to detention camps); (iv) Michael Medved (Islam has “a special violence problem.”) [Thanks to Carpetbagger Report for the detailed list]
And this is nothing new. Ann Coulter makes all kinds incendiary remarks (such as attacking 9/11 widows), and remains a media favorite. Bill O'Reilly says that it would be fine for Al Qaeda to blow up San Francisco. No consequences. Rush Limbaugh defends torture by saying that the torturers were having a good time, and needed an emotional release. He calls Barack Obama a "Halfrican American" and makes fun of Michael J. Fox's disability. He regularly equates Democrats and terrorists and still claims that Vince Foster was murdered. And of course, Robertson and Falwell blame Americans for 9/11, and get away with it.
And yet whenever a left-wing pundit makes a similar, or even a far less offensive, statement, the knives are out. But this is no surprise: generating fake outrage and stirring up anger is one of the right's main weapons. No, the problem is that the mainstream media laps this stuff up.
And the same policy holds when it comes to minor stuff. Recently, the media is hawking stories about Nancy Pelosi demanding a luxury plane (it turns out she merely wants a plane that can reach her district, which is quite a bit further away than Dennis Hastert's), and the size of John Edwards' house. Why do we never hear these stories about Republicans? The last six years shows that Republicans can get away with all manners of nefarious behavior, from corruption, money laundering, stamping down on dissent, filling vacancies with political hacks... but this rarely gets traction. Suddenly, the Democrats are back, and it's Clinton's hair cut all over again.
Edwards' wealth is the biggest joke of all, as if Bush and Cheney are men of modest means! Of course, we never hear tales of how they acquired their wealth in the first place, do we?