Media Research Center founder and conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III says the media backlash against grass-roots conservatism following the debt-ceiling deal is so extreme as to reflect “an exercise in delusional thinking,” and charges most media outlets are “completely in the tank” for President Barack Obama in his bid to win re-election.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Bozell cited a recent MSNBC interview by Martin Bashir with a psychologist who suggested tea party members suffer from a mental disease. The psychologist, Stanton Peele, compared grass-roots activists to the deranged shooting suspect in Norway, who is being held for the deadliest shooting rampage by a lone gunman ever recorded.
“They want a state of happiness or nirvana that can't be achieved except through an artificial substance and reminds us of the Norway situation,” Peele said, “when people are thwarted at obtaining something they can't have they often strike out and Norway is one kind of example to one kind of reaction to that kind of a frustration.”
Prompted Bashir: "So you're saying that they are delusional about the past and adamant about the future?"
Peele responded: "They are adamant about achieving something that's unachievable, which reminds us of a couple of things. It reminds us of delusion and psychosis."
In attacking the tea parties, Peele has plenty of company. Vice President Joe Biden reportedly remarked of the tea parties that “They have acted like terrorists.” Also, syndicated columnist Maureen Dowd recently referred to tea party activists as “cannibals,” “vampires,” and “zombies.”
Bozell called the barrage of attacks “bizarre.”
“Think about this,” he said. “Fifty-eight percent of Americans identify themselves as sympathetic with the tea party’s goals, so they’re calling 58 percent of America delusional. That’s a good PR move on their part.
“But why is the tea party movement delusional? Because they want smaller government, they want lower taxes, they want more personal freedom. That’s delusional,” he said.
According to Bozell, many of the same channels who are attacking the tea party movement in such unvarnished terms also have been issuing high-minded calls for a return to civility in political rhetoric.
“These are the same people who need smelling salts when Rush Limbaugh calls them liberals, and they say ‘Well, that’s a personal attack.’ Yet they call us terrorists. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh went on his show and he called liberals terrorists — what would be their reaction?” he says.
The media watchdog predicted that the anti-conservative media spin will intensify as the 2012 election approaches. Media bias against conservatives already is escalating sharply, he says, and cited several examples:
- The left, says Bozell, is trying to blame Republicans for the dismal economy because they don’t want to be held accountable for their own policies. “You know, people talk about the awful Bush years,” he says. “I’d give a thousand dollars for the Bush years right now, and I think anybody in America would. This has nothing to do with the Bush years. This has nothing to do with the Republicans. The Republicans don’t control the Congress. The left has controlled it. This is entirely of their making.”
- Bozell agrees with a recent Newsmax.com op-ed by NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, who said Attorney General Eric Holder should have to resign for the Operation Fast and Furious program under which the administration allowed U.S. guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug lords. Media coverage of the scandal has been “inept,” he says, adding: “They’re not covering it. I can guarantee you, if this were the Bush or Reagan administration, this would be front-page news every day. This would be Iran-Contra all over again.”
- He predicts media favoritism toward Obama will be greater in 2012 than it was in 2008. “They’re not only going to be 100 percent in Obama’s corner, they’re going to be 100 percent devoted to the destruction of his Republican opponent, and of Republicans in Congress,” he says. “You’re seeing it happen, you saw it with the debt-ceiling debate. You’re seeing it now, with aiding and abetting the accusation of being terrorists. You’re seeing this character assassination campaign develop before your very eyes. This is a news media that are, as a body, completely in the tank for Barack Obama."
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