Newsweek and Polarizing Politics

Friday, 10 Dec 2010 08:35 AM

By Lowell Ponte

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"Politics is becoming so polarized that neither side credits, or even hears, the other," writes veteran journalist Evan Thomas in the Dec. 13 issue of Newsweek magazine.

In recent days it has been easy to see evidence of this. A random panel of Las Vegas residents assembled by pollster Frank Luntz on Fox News Channel turned into the verbal equivalent of a food fight as these citizens shouted over one another.

President Barack Obama, elected after pledging to be post-partisan, agreed to a bipartisan deal to preserve his predecessor's tax cuts.

But during a press conference Obama described Republican lawmakers with whom he negotiated as "hostage-takers" and "the American people" as GOP "hostages."

For days thereafter, prominent liberal Democrats parroted and amplified this class warfare slander by likening Republicans to terrorists.

This follows Chicago radical Saul Alinsky's community-organizing tactics: "polarize" issues and demonize opponents.

Republicans have simply sought a single vote on preserving tax cuts for both the rich and middle class, set to expire Jan. 1, 2011.

President Obama understands and routinely uses this tactic, too. For example, he insists on "comprehensive immigration reform," a package that combines amnesty with promises of future border control, and refuses to allow a separate vote on measures to restrict illegal immigration.

Obama's intransigence holds Americans hostage to his amnesty. His hypocritical refusal to protect our southern border allows a continuing foreign invasion by law-breakers. Many loot America, and some commit violent crimes.

Evan Thomas attempts to be thoughtful and even-handed in criticizing today's political polarization.

Thomas even acknowledges that "the establishment press in the 'good old days' shared a liberal bias."

But to many of us, mainstream liberal media bias is bad, not good, and continues even in Evan Thomas and the "new" Newsweek.

Americans now have access to too many sources of unregulated information, writes Thomas.

"With too much unmediated information to choose from, people select what they wish to believe," he writes. "These days a wild rumor in an e-mail from your distant cousin can trump The New York Times."

Is this the same New York Times President Obama belittled, along with "sanctimonious" liberals, during his triangulating press conference?

Evan Thomas does not specify the censor he would empower to "mediate" what can and cannot be broadcast or published.

But he admits that gatekeepers in the "good old days" produced either balance nor diversity but information with a liberal bias.

It should worry Mr. Thomas that President Obama's Federal Communications Commission boss is rushing to impose political control over opinions on talk radio and the Internet.

This liberal media has treated President George W. Bush as either a knave or a fool for sending American troops into Iraq out of concern over its purported weapons of mass destruction.

In the current WikiLeaks scandal, a few lesser journalists who have dug deepest into the stolen classified documents have reported that they contain many bits of evidence that our troops found WMD, mostly lethal chemical weapons.

Why is the still-liberal mainstream media ignoring and spiking this potential new evidence that President Bush was right?

"Little lies can add up to one big lie. Obama is a socialist!" writes Thomas. This is being called a lie in Newsweek, a magazine whose Feb. 16, 2009, cover proclaimed: "We Are All Socialists Now."

Thomas helped put this issue of Newsweek together, wrote editor Jon Meacham therein. But now Thomas apparently wants to exclude President Obama from the "All" named on its cover.

Evan Thomas is the grandson of Norman Thomas, who from 1928 through 1948 was six times the Socialist Party's presidential nominee.

When Norman Thomas announced in 1952 that he would no longer be the Socialist Party standard-bearer, liberal journalists urged him to reconsider.

He reminded them that he had already won, that New Deal programs such as Social Security and welfare would keep growing unstoppably and transform America into a socialist country.

The 2009 Newsweek cover and continuing expansion of the welfare state under both political parties have thus far proven Norman Thomas correct.

Lowell Ponte's new book, co-authored with Craig R. Smith, is "Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse," available at

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