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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Is It Just Me?

A question from husband David:
Is it just me, or has the mainstream media completely lost its grip on reality?

  • International terrorism is at a 35 year low; we've toppled a repressive, aggressive totalitarian regime; we put the architect of the Achille Lauro hijacking (in which American Leon Klinghoffer was killed) out of commission permanently; we've so frightened Libya that it has renounced terrorism and given up its weapons of mass destruction; AND we've shifted the frontlines of the war with terrorists from United States soil to Iraq - and they still say that the Iraq war is a distraction from the real war on terrorism.

  • Those of us who defend the choice to drive SUVs and other large vehicles but choose to drive fuel-efficient cars are called "anti-environment" while those who want to take that choice away but actually own large gas guzzlers are called "pro-environment."

  • If a handful of low-level subordinates out of several million working for you commit crimes, you should resign in disgrace. If you commit a crime yourself - say, by lying before a federal grand jury - you should stay.

  • President Bush has overseen the largest expansion of Medicare since its inception and the sharpest rise in federal spending since LBJ's Great Society. He left Judge Roy Moore twisting in the wind and added new regulations where they previously didn't exist... And he is said to be following an extreme right wing agenda that is polarizing the nation.

  • Evading the military to preserve one's "political viability" is considered a non-issue, while serving in the National Guard is called "draft dodging."

  • If you're an Iraqi terrorist at Abu Ghraib prison and you're humiliated because nude photographs have been taken of you, your ordeal warrants repeated page one newspaper coverage. If you're a female American soldier humiliated because nude photographs have been taken of you at the same prison facility, your experience warrants a tiny one-paragraph story buried in the few papers that care.

  • President Bush is said to lack intelligence. But at the same time, he's been accused of cooking up the Iraq War with his buddies in Texas and deliberately misleading the public and Congress to gain approval for the war. Which is he: dullard or evil genius? He can't be both.

  • Journalists dutifully reported Ted Kennedy's remarks equating U.S. management of Abu Ghraib prison with that of Saddam Hussein, but didn't mention that the acts of sexual humiliation by U.S. troops at the prison were only slightly more humiliating than acts that occurred after a younger, more vigorous Teddy had a few drinks.

  • The media led calls for Trent Lott to resign after he praised former segregationist Strom Thurmond, but the media was relatively silent when Senator Chris Dodd praised Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK who has used the "n" word on network television in recent years.

  • When evidence of possible criminal acts by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were leaked to the press, the leakers, not the Senators, were considered the problem. But when evidence of possible criminal acts by U.S. soldiers at Iraq's Abu Ghraid prison were leaked to the press, the soldiers, not the leakers, were considered the problem.

  • As French officials were receiving accolades for insisting that Saddam Hussein was innocent until proven guilty, no one bothered to mention that they were advocating better treatment for Hussein than they give their own citizens. Under the French system of justice, one is considered guilty until proven innocent.

  • Europeans have called Americans "arrogant" and even equated our leaders with Adolph Hitler. Yet the news media singles out the Bush Administration's New Europe/Old Europe formulation for the poor state of U.S./European relations.

  • When the U.S. takes actions that will cost it hundreds of billions of dollars and perhaps thousands of lives, it is said to be pursuing an economically-driven agenda. When others take action from which they stand to make billions of dollars, it is said to be a principled stand.

  • When Janet Reno took responsibility for Waco, the mainstream media praised her. When Rumsfeld apologized for the prison abuses, the media called for his head.
  • Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:04 AM

    Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research