Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Conservative Columnists in The Anniston Star

I mentioned the Media Matters' Black and White and Re(a)d All Over study in a recent post where both Cal Thomas and George Will received attention. They're back ...

First of all, I am totally lost after reading George Will. Thankfully I had a dictionary handy as he's dropping some doozies in Monday's column. I've read the damn thing three times and I'm still not certain of his point(s).

Cal Thomas engages in his rather common self-righteousness and claims of "liberal media bias" in looking at the John Edwards scandal in 'Mama Mia' without the music. That Cal labels Elizabeth Edwards as "a co-conspirator in the cover-up" ought to show where he's willing to go. Here's a portion of Cal's writing:
The big media were enablers in the Edwards mess, though the Charlotte Observer, McClatchy and Raleigh News & Observer broke the news of the Edwards affair before his ABC confessional. After the National Enquirer scooped major papers on Bill Clinton's "relationship" with Gennifer Flowers in 1992, one might have expected them to be more aware this time.

The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times knew about the Enquirer stories on Edwards, but refused to assign reporters to look into them. When California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was said to have sexually harassed several women, the L.A. Times assigned up to half a dozen reporters to investigate.

Remember "Troopergate"? The L.A. Times had the story about Arkansas state troopers allegedly procuring women for Bill Clinton while he was governor, but didn't publish it until after the 1992 election.

Funny how it isn't important, or it couldn't be corroborated when Democrats are the subject, but let a Republican stray (Larry Craig, Mark Foley and David Vitter are some recent examples) and it immediately becomes front-page news.
It's odd that Cal is the top opinion columnist and he's ranting about "big media". Cal writes for Tribune Media Services after all. And Tribune now actually owns The LA Times. Tribune's Samuel Zell is trying to straighten out those Left Coast slackers Cal. Mr. Zell in fact just ran off Publisher David Hiller, hardly a left wing hippie I'd point out.

Does Cal really want to use the word "stray" to describe the conduct of Mark Foley? Or Larry Craig? (Yes, theAP title in that prior link is priceless!) Or David Vitter? I also wondered if he'd forgotten the recent fall of Eliot Spitzer? I also find it rather rich that concerns that John Edwards might be "rehabilitated" come from Cal Thomas after he teamed up with "Democrat" Bob Beckel to write Common Ground. Does Cal actually want to compare allegations of sexual harrassment, that The Governator admitted had some basis in truth, with a consentual affair? Finally, since the National Enquirer is such a solid example of journalism, reckon Cal wants to follow up on this line of stories? A tip of the tam is surely due Redeye at Left in Alabama for that last link to Buzzflash.

I certainly don't fault the Anniston Star for giving George Will and Cal Thomas ink yet I do like the ability to at least challenge them via my lame blog. Comment possibilities are increasingly becoming part of online papers and while plenty of threads aren't worth even reading it is I think a sign of progress that readers can share their thoughts on what the papers print. John Gunn

UPDATE ~ I might as well mention that alleged lefty Nat Hentoff supported the invasion of Iraq and is generally seen as anti-choice on abortion.

UPDATE #2 ~ I can't leave Cal's attack on Elizabeth Edwards. Citing People is not something I do every day but this reveals her "anguish". This classy, smart lady is facing death from cancer. She's already lost one child to a tragic accident. They have an older daughter but most importantly two young children. They've been married thirty years. I believe she believed, as I did, and still do for that matter, in John's populist message. She makes a tough call on a tough situtation and this wingnut SOB labels her a "co-conspirator". What a dick!

No comments: