One of the hobbies we conservatives have is pointing out obvious media bias. It’s kind of like the game of spotting Volkswagen Beetles on the road my siblings and I played during tedious drives in the family car.
And as with that game, there were more Beetles than you would expect, and much more media bias than people notice.
You know they are biased. I know they are biased. The media know they are biased, although they deny it.
Unfortunately, a bunch of low-information voters appears not to know they are biased, or these voters are just being Charlie Brown playing football with Lucy. (Charlie Brown, by the way, could become an NFL kicker for the Cowboys next year).
So we persist in pointing out the bias, both to get it off our chest and to, every once in a long while, convince one more person that the MSM is mostly trash.
I noticed this example this afternoon, relating to the kerfuffle over Speaker McCarthy’s kicking Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff off the Intelligence Committee.
It was a great move, both because they deserved it for being liars and leakers–and in the case of Swalwell an actual national security threat. They also deserved it because Nancy Pelosi set the precedent that the Speaker can pick and choose who goes on committees based on her own judgment.
How did the New York Times report the story? About as you would expect. Mean, nasty and ugly McCarthy shafted these hard working public servants.
McCarthy, you see, did this solely to appease his right-wing base and as an act of retribution against the Democrats. Not because of anything either of these guys did.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for that. McCarthy’s right-wing base does need to be appeased, and the retribution is well-earned. It is the only limiting factor in politics these days. Game theory tells you that tit-for-tat is the best strategy to achieve optimal outcomes between adversaries, so go titting and tatting.
So I hope those were his motives, along with the obvious fact that Swalwell and Schiff belong in purgatory for lying to the American people and harming American interests by repeatedly abusing their power in order to depose a duly elected president. Both have the ethics of rattlesnakes, and I would be happy to send them off to cushy jobs shilling for China. They can make more money doing the Chinese Communist Party’s dirty work in the private sector, and I wouldn’t have to see Schiff’s smirk anymore.
So how were Pelosi’s actions described when she did the exact same thing as McCarthy? Let’s see:
I would say that she came off rather well in their description of her actions.
Barring Republicans from being represented on arguably the most consequential committee in Congress because she wanted the outcome–which was partisan in the purest sense–to go her way. With no dissent. No chance for cross-examination. And designed to destroy her political opponents. This is not things have been done in Congress up until now.
Sure, two “Republicans” were on the committee–but they were chosen solely because she wanted them to give a bipartisan gloss to her show trial. The members that the Republicans wanted were barred. To say that Republicans felt unrepresented in this representative body is an understatement.
Nothing much is different with Swalwell and Schiff. Other Democrats will take their place, so what’s the big deal?
The precedent was set by Pelosi.
While both Times descriptions are technically accurate, the Pelosi one has no negative value-laden description, and certainly gives no indication that the move was unusual or political dynamite. She did it because of the actions of the members. No big deal.
McCarthy, though, made his decision in order to get revenge. Quite a different spin on precisely the same kind of decision.
There is of course nothing at all surprising about this, but it never fails to infuriate me. The New York Times has an inordinate influence not just on its readers, but on how every other news source reports issues. They usually set the tone, while people like me are left to rage at them.
It is vital that we continue to do so because over time our criticisms have made a difference. Trust in the MSM has plummeted from its heights. That matters over the long run.
Frankly, that decline in trust is vital to keeping conservatives in the political game.
UPDATE: NPR is also in the insinuation game.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy blocked two Democrats from serving on the House Intelligence Committee.
Both previously served on the committee, and both were involved in the investigations and impeachments of former President Trump. https://t.co/pVSyfGHDd9
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 25, 2023