Accuracy in Media

For months, the liberal media have been warning America that “right-wing extremists” and “tea partiers” are whipping the country into an anti-government frenzy that inevitably will result in violence, but their at best irrational and at worst manufactured fears have not been warranted.

Hundreds of thousands of government critics marched on Washington on Sept. 12 and caused not one bit of trouble. Rest assured that any incidents would have been plastered all over the media if they had occurred.

Contrast that with what happened Thursday at the G20 meeting of economic leaders in Pittsburgh. Police had to fire pepper spray and smoke at left-wing anarchists who haven’t a clue how to conduct a peaceful protest, but the trouble has barely made the news. The Huffington Post celebrated the protests with a vote-on-your-favorite photo contest that included shots of the street thugs.

The blog TigerHawk offered two possible explanations for the media’s obsession with painting conservative protesters as kooks while ignoring liberal protesters who actually are kooks:

First, the mainstream media are completely in the tank for the Democrats, and want to help them push the talking point that the tea partiers are both extremists and typical Republicans (neither of which is generally true).

Second, the left benefits from the soft bigotry of low expectations: People expect leftists to act like thugs at these gatherings as they have for 40 years, so when they do again it is the same-old same-old. The striving burghers of the right, however, have never done this before, so it is news.

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds chose the first explanation. “Until we see scenes like this, I don’t want to hear yammering about the violence inherent in the Tea Party movement,” he said. Amen to that.

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