Accuracy in Media

It shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point that Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager of the Obama presidential campaign, could be so completely caught in a lie, as she was last week in the cancer ad produced by the Obama-linked Super PAC that was shown to be dishonest on so many levels, with no price to pay. She came back on numerous shows—NBC’s The Today Show, Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC—and wasn’t even asked about that. On Andrea Mitchell’s show today she was asked about Vice President Joe Biden’s comment earlier in the day before an audience in Danville, Virginia that included several hundred black supporters. Biden told them that if elected president, Mitt Romney was “going to put y’all back in chains.” Cutter told Mitchell that President Obama stood behind both the sentiments and the comments themselves.

Historian and columnist Victor David Hanson has laid out example after example of this sort of dishonesty and double standard by the media, in a brilliant column for Pajamas Media.

For example, regarding Cutter, Hanson writes, “why, more recently, did Obama campaign guru Stephanie Cutter assume that she could simply lie on national television by stating the she did not know the circumstances behind the Joe Soptic ‘Romney-cancer’ ad? She knew that earlier she was on tape outlining the Soptic narrative, so did she think she could claim ignorance on TV, blast her critics in the days to come, and then go back on as usual, given her efforts to extend the Obama agenda? Stranger still, she is probably right about all of those assumptions. I expect her in a week to be on television accusing her opponents of lying, with a press aiding and abetting her. Why does wealthy Andrea Mitchell yell at us for being illiberal, when she could instead yell at her husband, who was far more embedded in Wall Street than any Tea-Party pizza store owner?”

On Fareed Zakaria, recently suspended for one month from both CNN and Time magazine for plagiarism, which he has acknowledged, Hanson writes, “Why would a Fareed Zakaria lift the work of someone else? Time constraints? Carelessness? Amnesia over how and why he reached his present perch? Do such columnists farm out their research or outlines to assistants? Or do they think their liberal credentials outweigh reasonable audit of what they write? Steal from someone else and take a month off work? Even my copper wire thieves out here on the farm would have to pay a bit more if they were caught. Their last theft was about $70 worth of conduit, but I imagine Time pays lots more per Zakaria column.”

This column is a classic. Sticking to hypocrisy, tax evasion, plagiarism and other forms of dishonesty, Hanson reminds us of the transgressions of Elizabeth Warren, David Plouffe, John Kerry, Maureen Dowd, John Edward, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, among others, and explains why it matters:

First, when the left-wing media ceases to scrutinize public figures, the latter are emboldened to fabricate, cheat, plagiarize, and flat out lie. It is not that there are not conservative hypocrites, just that the present system makes it far harder for them to get away with these failings. (Imagine the press reaction to a Romney autobiography full of untruths; a Paul Ryan with a yacht docked in a no-tax harbor; a Charles Krauthammer lifting entire paragraphs from the work of others).

Second, all of the above are part of an elite establishment that is supposed to set standards for emulation, but instead only coarsens civilization. Why tell the truth, hoi polloi, when everyone from Bill Clinton to Stephanie Cutter will not? Can we determine what is true and false, when we have no idea in Time magazine or in a presidential memoir whether the sentence is copied from someone else or simply made up? If the governor frequents prostitutes, how can there be a law against prostitution? After Elizabeth Warren, how can there exist such a thing as affirmative action? Cannot every white male in America assert that he has high cheek bones and so deserves a leg up on any other white male stupid enough not to claim his great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee?

Our civilization is under assault.  Those who have taken upon themselves to direct it are instead doing their own part to destroy it.


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