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The Red and Blue Media

Tuesday, 21 September 2004 12:00 AM

One can imagine the suits of the elite media chortling amongst themselves while thumbing through the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post.

But soon nobody in the board rooms was laughing anymore. “Special Report” with Washington veteran Brit Hume had become the No. 1 political news program in its time slot. Bill O’Reilly, besides being one of the most-hated political commentators among the left, has the No. 1 political talk show on all of cable.

But it does not end there, for success breeds success.

Both of Fox’s prime-time political shows have spawned massive radio audiences as well. The “Radio Factor” is syndicated on over 400 stations nationwide. Sean Hannity is syndicated on over 500 stations, second only to the matchless Rush Limbaugh.

So now, instead of laughing, the old media are dying. Hemorrhaging viewers and ratings for years, the once-inviolate liberal media have seen the future. In that future, and one cannot help but read the writings within the blogoshere, the old media stalwarts are fast becoming yesterday's partisan and agenda-driven dinosaurs. The troubles that Dan Rather and CBS are experiencing are only hastening their demise.

One week after the “60 Minutes II” broadcast that accused President Bush of being the recipient of political favoritism to get him out of going to Vietnam, among other charges, Rather and CBS have only compounded their problems. Predictably, they have also cast a light upon the entire liberal media as well.

Opining to the New York Observer on Sept. 15, Dan Rather told Bush “with respect” to “answer the questions.” It turns out that Rather is the one who needs to answer some questions. Such as: What does a Kinko’s in Abilene, Texas, have in common with Dan Rather’s “60 Minutes” broadside against President Bush? (www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24635-2004Sep15.html?nav=hcmodule)

Answer: They both deal with copies.

With an effrontery that seems almost pathological, Rather and CBS News president Andrew Heyward continue to peddle an increasingly worthless bill of goods to the public. None of the allegations against Bush - the “disobeying a direct order” to report for a medical exam or the “sugarcoating” of his record by the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian - have ever been proven to satisfaction. Rumors and hearsay abound, but hard proof is still lacking.

Now we are asked to believe the substance of the charges. We are told that Bush has never answered these questions. And according to Dan Rather we are, in essence, asked to believe and act upon the seriousness of the charge:

"It’s never been fully, completely denied by the Bush-Cheney campaign or even the White House that he was suspended for meeting the standards of the Air Force or that he didn’t show up for a physical. The longer we go without a denial of such things – this story is true." (www.newyorkobserver.com/pages/nytv.asp)

Really? So if I were to say that Dan Rather is prone to jumping atop tables, dropping his drawers and singing Ethel Merman show tunes every night, it would be true until proven otherwise?

Hardly.

In 1991, we witnessed this same pointy-headed liberal arrogance when Supreme Court Nominee Clarence Thomas was accused by Anita Hill of sexual harassment. After three days of incendiary yet baseless charges, the Senate voted 52-48 in favor of installing Thomas to the Supreme Court. The press rightly dubbed the hearings the “He Said, She Said” sagas.

But you see, that’s really what it’s all about with Rather and the anti-Bush zealotry of the media elite. The charges may never be proven, or disproved for that matter. What really matters is the seriousness of the charge. It is the type of game the liberal media have been playing, and winning, for years.

After the 2000 elections, America became intimately familiar with the terms “red states” and “blue states.” Conservatism claimed the red, while liberalism abided in the blue. Within today’s political polarization, it is only natural that the media should follow this color-coded stigma of the electorate.

CBS has done more for the new media than all the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Fox News programs could ever hope to. They have opened a window into who they really are, and what is important to them. Dan Rather is giving the average viewer an education into just what not to do when your story is as full of holes as his is.

The natural conclusion of anyone looking and listening is that there is something else besides a news agency’s pride or an anchor’s reputation at stake here. You cannot row a boat without oars, can you? Nor can you charge a sitting president with an accusation so unsupported by the facts as to think no one will take notice and actually do something about it.

Here’s a theory that is beginning to take root: All roads from Dan Rather and CBS lead to the Kerry campaign. The Democratic Party power base is up to its eyeballs in forged documents, and retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett would say and do just about anything he could to defame Bush.

Unbelievable? Well, prove it. After all, if Dan Rather can continue with this grand canard under the guise of "investigative" journalism 50 days out from the election, then I can certainly echo the beliefs of many a converted “red stater.” It is fast becoming high noon for the liberal media intelligentsia.

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One can imagine the suits of the elite media chortling amongst themselves while thumbing through the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. But soon nobody in the board rooms was laughing anymore."Special Report" with Washington veteran Brit Hume had...
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Tuesday, 21 September 2004 12:00 AM
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