If you own any stock in the New York Times, you’d better dump it before the election because the Times — like the rest of the 527 Media — will be the biggest loser of the 2006 election regardless of the other results. At about this time in 2004, I predicted that if Bush won, the media (especially Dan Rather) would lose. Two years later, Mr. Bush is still in the White House and Mr. Rather’s chair is now occupied by the excavatrix of the Couric Crater. Katie’s cuddly claptrap is running behind reruns of “Millionaire” in the Los Angeles market, and the only people who are surprised are the other occupants of the 527 Media cocoon.
Yesterday, it became official: there’s no difference between the Kos Kidz and the NYT editorial board. In a Sunday editorial the Times endorsed Nutroots Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman (and whatshisname, the Republican nonentity in the Connecticut Senate race). My theory that the media are leading the Dems rather than the other way around thus requires a corollary: liberals are so blinded by rage at President Bush that they’re willing to follow the media’s anti-Bush anti-war lead, even if it takes them over a cliff.
Bush Derangement Syndrome manifests itself differently among its sufferers. In the New York Times‘ case, it erupts consistently in its eagerness to toss its long-time pals over the side for any measure of deviation from the Nutroots fringe. Christopher Shays — Connecticut Republican and recipient of several previous NYT endorsements — suffered the Times‘ endorsement of his opponent last week for the same reason the paper is now tossing Ol’ Joe to the sharks: he didn’t oppose the Iraq war sufficiently or agree that the president should be impeached for it. The endorsement of Lamont closes the BDS loop. Inside the 527 Media loop, no candidate can be supported who ever had a thought that varied from the BDS chant voiced by Lamontocrats the night of his primary victory: “bring them home, bring them home…” The sad part is that the Republicans can’t seem to grasp that this presents an opportunity for them. Well, not all Republicans suffer from that inability. At least two don’t and they’re both named “Cheney.”
It’s comforting to know that someone in the White House still understands what we’re up against. When radio interviewer Scott Hennen talked to the Veep about treatment of terrorist prisoners one question was, “Would you agree a dunk in the water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?” Mr. Cheney replied, “Well, it’s a no-brainer for me,” which led to a Chernobyl-like meltdown among the 527 Media. At the White House briefing the next morning, Tony Snow withstood a hilarious onslaught of righteous indignation as calm and well stated as Clouseau’s accusation that a suspect killed “in a writ of fealous jage.” Some smiling smartass girl ranted on for at least three minutes insisting that Snow explain what “a dunk in the water” meant if it didn’t mean “water-boarding.” (By the way, “water-boarding” is a means of breaking down a prisoner’s resistance to interrogation that makes the suspect believe he’s drowning.) The rest of the media munchkins were too busy jumping to conclusions to even listen to the answers to their own questions. Which proves a point and poses an essential question.
The media, at least the surrogate Lamontocrats among them, insist that terrorist prisoners should be treated the same way the Supreme Court requires a beat cop to treat a purse-snatcher caught on Rodeo Drive. Mr. Cheney made a point that resonates with every sensible American. If you want people to interrogate terrorist prisoners effectively, you’re going to have to use techniques that aren’t permitted in civilian law enforcement. Cheney didn’t agree with the idea of waterboarding, but so what? Was Khalid Sheik Mohammed “water boarded”? Possibly. And if so, that’s just fine by me. Whatever was done to KSM, the record shows that it succeeded in extracting information that led to the capture of other high-ranking al Qaeda terrorists and leaders, certainly saving an untold number of lives. This is one of the choices on November 7: Do you want terrorist prisoners treated — lawfully — in rough and innovative ways that work? If so, don’t vote for any Democrats.
And while the Veep was out there dispensing common sense, his better half was taking on the media in the way the Republicans should have been doing all year. On CNN with Wolf Blitzer, Lynn Cheney asked a pertinent question and made a couple of telling points.
CNN has been on an anti-Bush rampage unseen in its political activism since Rathergate put the phony Texas Air National Guard documents on the air. Its “Broken Government” special and anti-Rumsfeld rants dominate its pre-election “coverage”. Which didn’t escape Mrs. Cheney. Here’s the money quote from October 27, CNN last Friday night:
MRS. CHENEY: Well, you know, right there, Wolf, “Broken Government.” Now, what kind of stance is that? Here we are. We’re a country where we have been mightily challenged over the past six years. We’ve been through 9/11. We’ve been through Katrina.
The president and the vice president inherited a recession. We’re a country where the economy is healthy. That’s not broken. This government has acted very well. We’ve had tax cuts that are responsible for our healthy economy. We’re a country that was attacked five years ago. We haven’t been attacked since. What this government has done is effective. That’s not broken government…
BLITZER: You worked …
L. CHENEY: I watched your program last night and I was troubled.
BLITZER: All right. Well, that was probably the purpose, to get people to think, to get people to discuss these issues because a lot of conservatives and …
L. CHENEY: Well, all right, Wolf. I’m here to talk about my book, but if you want to talk about distortion…
BLITZER: We’ll talk about your book.
L. CHENEY: Well, right, but what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorists shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?
BLITZER: The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about that. Do you think we want terrorists to win?
L. CHENEY: Then why are you running terrorist propaganda?
BLITZER: With all due respect — with all due respect, this is not terrorist propaganda.
Oh, c’mon, Wolf. You’re caught, and you know it. Media bias is a thing of the past. You, and the others like you in the 527 Media, are producing campaign commercials for the Democrats and trying to pass them off as news. Thus the ever-deepening Couric Crater, the falling stock price of the NYT (down almost 60% in the past few years) and so forth. (I know, I know. Internet competition is driving newspaper stocks down, but liberal activism accelerates their decline.)
A week from tomorrow Americans will decide between saddling George W. Bush with a hostile Democratic Congress or with a Republican-controlled Senate dominated by presidential wannabes. Sigh. Vote Republican anyhow, if only to annoy the media.
TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004) and, with Edward Timperlake, Showdown: Why China Wants War With the United States (Regnery, 2006).
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