Staff Column:  Fear and Loathing in the Media
By: StaffJuly 21, 2016
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Staff Column:  Fear and Loathing in the Media

'Don't Believe The Liberal Media!' 

That message is hard to miss if you take a stroll near the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland this week. 

The Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group that has been barking at the left-leaning media for 30 years, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for billboards and advertisements carrying that warning. 

But there's a little problem.  The MRC, invaluable though it may be, is engaging in what the military calls asymmetrical warfare.  Essentially, they are throwing spitballs at the battleship known as the mainstream media. 

Let's face it.  Most people in the so-called 'media elite' don't much care for conservatives and Republicans.  To be more precise, they loathe and fear them. 

It's in their bloodstream, it's who they are, it's what they do.

This week, watchdogs notwithstanding, the media hounds have been unleashed in Cleveland.  They reached deep into their bag of negative adjectives, finding new and innovative ways to characterize the GOP. 

'Dark,' 'divisive,' and 'humiliating' were among the words heard frequently.  One CNN analyst, displaying his obvious command of the language, described the Republican message as 'doggie poo.'  Seriously.  Over at MSNBC, Chris Matthews likened the 'lock her up' chant to something one might expect in Venezuela. 

The media's list of Republican villains is a long one, but here are a few of their most-despised speakers:

- Governor Chris Christie, who powerfully listed Hillary Clinton's alleged crimes and blunders.  Immediately after his speech, ABC News' correspondent Terry Moran confronted the governor and accused him of inciting a 'mob.'

- Patricia Smith, whose son was killed in Benghazi and who has accused Hillary Clinton of being responsible.  According to the aforementioned Chris Matthews, her 'gross accusation' ruined the whole darned evening.  Even if Ms. Smith was over the top, it's hard to recall the media bashing the sainted Cindy Sheehan when she accused George W. Bush of murdering her son.

- Ben Carson, who invoked Lucifer during his talk.  Whether joking or not, you just don't bring up the horned netherworld dweller around secular progressives.  In response, CNN devoted an entire panel to smacking the good doctor.

- John Tiegen and Mark Geist, survivors of the Benghazi attack.  The Washington Post's fact-checker actually took them to task for claiming there was an order to 'stand down' that night in Libya.

- And, of course, there was Melania Trump, whose aide apparently lifted a passage from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech.  That was wrong and embarrassing to the Trump campaign, but it was not the end of the Republic.

Our pal Bernie Goldberg points out that the media expressed more outrage over Mrs. Trump's error than over the blatant lies told by Susan Rice after Benghazi or Hillary Clinton after her email debacle.  Hey, folks, get a grip.  Melania's speech and presentation killed, but only in the figurative sense.

As we write this, Donald Trump has yet to deliver his big convention speech.  But whatever he says, we'll confidently predict that some in the media will rip it as 'divisive,' probably even 'xenophobic' and/or 'racist.'

All this would be perfectly fine if the scales were balanced.  But any thinking person knows that most reporters, correspondents, and anchors are secretly, or actively, rooting for Hillary Clinton.

Let's watch how they cover next week's Democratic convention in Philadelphia.  Will the platform be described as 'doggie poo?'  Will Secretary Clinton and other speakers be relentlessly fact-checked?

There will certainly be some rare sightings of honesty and fairness, but the overall message will be crystal clear:  Democrats are on the side of the angels, Republicans are on the side of Lucifer.  Sorry, CNN, for that devilish reference.

So Donald Trump's challenges going forward aren't merely winning Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.  He also has to overcome a media that despises him and his party. 

They see Trump as a vulgarian who is beneath them and destructive to the ideology that is such an essential part of their identities.  That, unfortunately, is the world in which we live. 

Conservative media watchdogs will continue to howl, but their complaints will largely go unnoticed.  They might as well be baying at the moon.