Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

(Joe) Scarborough Fair

Jerry Stratton, September 30, 2012

I would have done these as quicklinks, but it’s easier to do one post than three quicklinks. There’s been a sea-change in the media’s bias, from an ideological bias to a cult of personality. Ace at Ace of Spades HQ:

Previously, the press has been both biased in a partisan way and an in an ideological way, but usually the partisanship was driven by ideology. As you may have noticed, the press are great fans of gay marriage and abortion, and they shape their coverage to put the best possible face on these positions, and the worst possible face on opponents. (To the extent they feature contrary voices at all.)

That’s bias, of course. We’ve gotten used to that.

But in the Benghazi debacle, there is no possible ideological grounding to explain their bias. There is, I trust, no ideological movement that advocates for intelligence failures and the deaths of good-guy diplomats. There is no ideological movement in favor of reckless incompetence bordering on malice in providing security for consulates abroad (which, as a legal matter, are considered US territory).

There is no ideological movement—or at least there was not before—championing the government’s right to lie to the public about its failures in order to avoid accountability.

There is no room here where one can say, “Ah well, they can’t help but be pulled a bit to the left by their own beliefs.” Because no one champions the right of government to let people be murdered and then lie about it.

This isn’t ideological bias, then. This is pure advocacy for a political party. Obama’s embarrassment is not an ideological issue—or should not be. I hope we can all agree that a president should attend security briefings—especially as 9/11 approaches—and provide adequate warning and security for US government personnel. I hope we can all agree that the government does not suddenly gain a Right To Shamelessly Lie about its failures, simply because it finds it politically advantageous to do so.

This is dangerous. This is how democracies die.

And it isn’t just Benghazi. I don’t pay much attention to Joe Scarborough and Morning Joe, but it sounds like he’s one of the people I made ConservativeBeard.com for. He did an over-the-top take-down of Romney trying to insert himself into a crowd’s cheering Paul Ryan. The problem? Every single person at the event heard something else, that the crowd had been cheering Romney, and Romney good-naturedly added Ryan to the cheers.

Even if the cut version of the video makes the audio hard to detect, watch the video, and you can see that Romney is emphasizing the Ryan, not the Romney—which is what he’d do if he was trying to get the crowd to add Ryan to the cheer. And watch Ryan’s body movements: he’s clearly downplaying Romney’s attempt to get him some cheers.

Called on it, Scarborough threatened his critics and accused them of lies. He says he’ll be replaying the video on Monday; well, hopefully he’ll come to his senses by then. But it doesn’t matter: the nature of the cuts—barely a second of cheering before playing Romney’s remarks, combined with the body language of both Romney and Ryan—should have been obvious; that they weren’t tells us what his mindset is.

In response to Election 2012: The Long Hot Summer: For election blogging outside of California.

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