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The "Liberal Media" Discusses Compassionate Conservatism

trifecta's picture

This story really pisses me off. It's a puff piece on how wonderful and compassionate the right wing blogosphere has been regarding Elizabeth Edwards' illness. I wrote a post on Thursday, detailing some of the lovely reaction by Free Republic members to the news. Here are a few selected quotes.

Thank God that we aren't living under Edwards socialized medicine plan. She has a great chance for recovery.

He could be using this as a cynical ploy to get a sympathy vote later. He is a sleazy trial lawyer after all. I don't put anything past them.

Perhaps I looked too early. Maybe the tone had changed.

Not that it makes any difference, but isn't Mrs. Edwards a practicing DUmmy?

Leaving the graveness of her illness aside, we're going to be treated to MONTHS of how wonderful John is for Elizabeth.

Sympathy for Mrs. Edwards is warranted, but The Silky Pony is such a sleazeball, cynicism is awfully hard to avoid.

Yes, and if all this is true, count on the press to offer Edwards up for sainthood. The media loves Edwards almost as much as they love Hillary's Magic Negro. He's pretty and he spouts all the right platitudes. If he "suspends" for now and then jumps back in later, for whatever reason, the press will slobber all over themselves to beatify him.

Media Matters also reports that Rush Limbaugh was being his usual obnoxious self when it came to this story.

On the March 22 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh suggested that the presidential campaign of former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) intentionally "leak[ed]" false information -- that Edwards would "suspend" his campaign because his wife's cancer had recurred -- to Politico reporter Ben Smith in order "to jump-start the campaign.

The Boston Globe's story on the Free Republic reaction had just one quote.

A contributor to freerepublic.com , another right-leaning site, said: "I'm not an Edwards fan either. In fact, I've said some downright nasty things about him virtually every time I hear his name. Nevertheless, I shall pray for the health of his wife and for peace/comfort to be brought to the Edwards family."

This is in stark contrast to the media's coverage of the Cheney bomb scare. Some anonymous posters on Huffington Post said things to the effect that they wish the bomb got Cheney. Those comments were stripped. The media went into overdrive with Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post devoting a column to those foul mouthed liberals on the internet. It was 5 pages long, and with quotes lovingly supplied to him by Michelle Malkin. Glenn Greenwald, in Salon, noted how absurd the reaction was by Kurtz and others.

That is why every right-wing outlet from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to Kurtz's best friend, Michelle Malkin (and now Kurtz himself), have been pumping this story madly -- not because anyone would ever try to suggest that these comments reflect negatively on liberals or the left, but merely because it is so very, very significant to discuss as prominently as possible the views of 200 stray, arbitrary, anonymous blog commenters (whose identity can never be determined even for authenticity purposes). Nobody -- and certainly not Kurtz -- is attempting in any way to suggest that these comments should be tied to anyone beyond the individual commenters. Not at all.

That is also why Kurtz's own newspaper is touting this grave and important matter of the anonymous commenters on its front page.

So here you have a story of two potential dangers to a Republican and a Democrat. When the Republican story breaks, the media picks out random anonymous ugly comments, front pages it in the Washington Post and smears liberals with it. When a Democrat gets sick, the Boston Globe cherry picks quotes to show that conservatives are compassionate and caring.

Some liberal media we have here.

Also available at NewPairodimes.

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leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

I saw the Boston.com story and had to rush to the sink to pour water on myself to douse the flames.

In addition to the selective reading of rightwing websites, there are all those interspersed analysts voicing the most negative possible voter responses to the Edwards tragedy in that noxious form of the "they have to be careful, lest....," which is a construct almost always directed at liberals and Democrats, and almost never at the right. How many times has anyone ever seen the press suggest that President Bush has to be careful lest...and only 30% of Americans approve of him.

BTW, I notice your appearance in various comment threads at the pro journo blogs, like Swampland, I believe, good job there, too.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

...at the wingnut blogs, why it's a form of peace that passes all understanding. At least, it passes mine. I actually have had the totally astonishing observation made in response to a comment I made at one paramilitary blog, that Jimmy Carter failed this country by not nuking the embassy in Iran and taking out all the forces there - our own included.

(I was invited to and did post at the same blog, Winds of Change, a few times, but just didn't feel like my time was being used in the best way and haven't been back in about a year.)

Ruth