Political Hay

Media Muddles

It's easy to miss the story if its implications run counter to your own agenda.

By 5.30.07

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Folks in the media and America in general seem confused lately. Some of the confusion stems from the Iraq War and some from recent polling in the 2008 presidential contest. Many polls are showing a rise in the fortunes of Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton, while their main opponents, Rudy Giuliani and Barrack Obama seem to be fading a bit. How could this happen?

The liberal media are particularly perplexed at reports of Romney gaining ground. After all, he is a Mormon and so to them he is even more freakish than the run-of-the-mill religious fanatics who inhabit Middle America. And, as they never tire of pointing out, he's a notorious flip-flopper, a trait that has been historically repulsive to liberals since at least, yesterday.

Even more confounding to the left is the loss of support Giuliani has experienced among conservatives. You can almost hear them: What's not to like about Rudy? He's pro-abortion, anti-guns and generally in approval of special rights for alternative life-styles. What are these people thinking?

In the Bizarro world of the liberal media, where they believe they can select the opposition candidate (see John McCain in 2000), the growing conservative repudiation of Rudy is bewildering. They can't comprehend that, at least until Fred Thompson or Newt Gingrich joins in the fun, Romney is arguably the most conservative of the top tier candidates.

And a big reason for Romney's elevation in conservative eyes is that he's beginning to show an inclination to reach across the campaign trail with gusto to take on the leading Democrats. Criticizing them for voting against funding our troops in Iraq, he singled out Clinton and Obama:

At a time when the men and women of our military fighting terrorism around the globe needed them most, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cast a vote that singularly defines their lack of leadership....Voting against our troops during a time of war shows the American people that the leaders of the Democrat Party will abandon principle in favor of political positioning. Their votes render them undependable in the eyes of the men and women of the United States military and the American people.

This is the sort of red meat that has many on the right drooling. But don't expect Romney's name to appear in many news pieces that don't have the words "Mormon" or "religion" in them. The liberal media, as always, have little interest in stories such as the above, that don't have their best interests at heart; especially those involving Mrs. Clinton.

Speaking of which, it's been reported ad nauseam that both leading Democratic contenders voted against the Iraq War Funding bill. But in denying support for the troops they both claim to "support," the media has ignored that in doing so, they also voted down a minimum-wage increase and further funding for Hurricane Katrina recovery that were piggy-backed onto the bill. One wonders what the reportage would have been had Obama alone taken this stand.

In a related tale of the media ignoring stories that do not advance their agenda, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of the anti-war movement, has announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party and resigning as the "face" of the movement itself. It seems she feels used and abused by her former enablers.

As pointed out by our friends at Newsbusters.org, all of this is of no interest to the media since Ms. Sheehan's antics failed to help them gain the ouster of President Bush, and worse, she is now focusing her strident criticism on them. Proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day, the Peace Mom concluded that

...I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party....However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used.

Of course the most under-reported stories continue to be those that remotely suggest the surge in Iraq may be showing positive results; a notable exception being Joe Klein's piece in Time, "Is al-Qaeda on the Run in Iraq?" It is a minor miracle indeed that a major news outlet admits that al Qaeda is even in Iraq, let alone that they may be "on the run."

Should the impossible happen and the rest of the media decide to lift the veil from their own eyes and thus from the hapless Americans still bound by their power, military matters might become more clear to them. And, a few months down the road, they will discover that the Republican primary will come down to a contest between Romney and Thompson. And although that will gladden the hearts of true conservatives, it will be an unhappy awakening for the media.

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About the Author

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut (mailbox@lisafab.com).