Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Main Stream News Media Comes Through for Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) aka "Dingy" Harry

Have you noticed how the mainstream news media, which originally ignored the Rush Limbaugh-Harry Reid Letter flap, now that it has been pointed out, are now giving it a little coverage, but with a positive slant toward Reid? Yesterday, I checked out some of the main news outlets. Here is what I found:

New York Times writer, Stephanie Strom wrote an article (which was printed in the Orange County Register, a libertarian paper in California, on 10-20-07), which started out like this:

" After Rush Limbaugh referred to Iraq war veterans critical of the war as 'phony soldiers' he recieved a letter of complaint signed by 41 Democratic senators." (P A 23)

* Note that Ms Strom presents as fact that Limbaugh's comments were directed at Iraq War veterans opposed to the war, an accusation Limbaugh denies, stating that his comments were directed at Jesse MacBeth, who has been proven to be a fraud.

As the article continues on a back page (A 26), the sub-headline reads:

Limbaugh: "Reid Hails Sale of Letter and Donation of Proceeds"

The article goes on:

"He (Limbaugh) predicted that the sale's success would anger one signer of the letter, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, whom Limbaugh calls Dingy Harry."

" But in a statement on the floor of the Senate on Friday, Reid, D-NV, praised the auction.' I strongly believe that when we can put our differences aside, even Harry Reid and Rush Limbaugh, we should do that and try to accomplish good things for the American people', he said."

The ABC News website on 10-20-07 ran an article by Byron Wolf headed:

"Who says the political fingerpointing in Washington is all for naught?"

Wolf also opened his article by characterizing Limbaugh's comments as calling "soldiers who opposed the war 'phony soldiers'". He continued:

"For their part, Democrats sent a letter calling for Rush Limbaugh to be reprimanded for calling soldiers who opposed the war 'phony soldiers'".

Wolf then goes on to describe Betty Casey, who sent in the winning bid, listing her donations to various Republicans. He also repeated a 2004 characterization of Casey by the Washington Post as "eccentric and press-shy". As to Reid, Wolf describes the senator as conciliatory toward Limbaugh, repeating some of Reid's statements of 10-19-07.

The Washington Post ran this headline:

"Limbaugh Spins Reid's Letter into Charity Gold"

NBC's Web Site ran an article by Thomas Ferraro on 10-19-07 that included this:

"Regardless, Reid, speaking in the Senate, saluted Limbaugh for raising the money on behalf of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which helps children of Marines and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty".

"' What could be a more worthwhile cause?', said Reid, urging support for the fund-raising drive shortly before the bidding closed."

"Limbaugh, in his posting on eBay, did not appear conciliatory with Reid, who is referred to as Dingy Harry."

"Reid spokesman, Jim Manley, declined comment on Limbaugh's challenge, but said, 'Senator Reid is happy something good came from Rush's outrageous comments.'"

Then there was this from LA Times blog editor, Andrew Malcomb, who spun it this way in Reid's favor:

" Turns out that a genuine letter of complaint about Rush Limbaugh's recent on air 'phony soldiers' remark is producing some real money for a good cause."

"Then, Harry Reid did a clever thing right back. He went on the Senate floor and praised Limbaugh's attempt to raise money for a good cause off his letter and said he could have gotten every Democrat senator's signature if he'd had time. To watch video of Senator Reid's statement and Limbaugh's, uh, firm reaction, click here."

"The bidding on the letter closed today. The final price: 2.1 million."

"Makes you want to sit down and write someone right now, doesn't it?"

Note: The above article is by an LA Times writer via the paper's blog page, so I assume it is supposed to be opinion writing.

Thus, we see examples of how the mainstream news media originally chose to ignore how Limbaugh was making Reid and his colleagues look like fools. Then, when conservative bloggers, who were pretty much alone in reporting the story, mocked the media and pointed out their selective reporting, the mainstreamers grudgingly put out selected articles, which pretty much accepted the Democrats' position that Limbaugh was smearing any and all soldiers who were against the Iraq War, and then described Reid as a gracious figure who was only pleased to see a worthy cause get money off the letter. The reading public, especially those who depend on the mainstream news media for their news, should see this as an example of how said MSN is, in reality, an arm of the Democratic Party. In this case, they are doing Harry Reid's spin for him.

It's bad enough when opinion columnists engage in ridiculous spin, but it is infinitely worse when reporters do it in the guise of straight reporting.

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