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Saturday, October 14, 2006

GOP a Victim of Their Own PR Campaign

The Foley page scandal has the right spinning its wheels. They can't figure out how to get out from behind it and the mainstream media, which was so uncritical of them until relatively recently, has been absolutely no help at all.


A conservative media watchdog group is reporting that its research exposes the mainstream media's biased treatment of sex scandals among lawmakers in Congress. Democrats, say some pro-family leaders, are pouncing on what that media group calls a "Foley feeding frenzy" as a tool to regain control of both the Senate and the House.

The Media Research Center (MRC) decided to measure what it calls "the aggression of TV assignment editors" surrounding the Mark Foley scandal since it came to light on Friday evening, September 29. According to their research, the "Big Three" networks -- NBC, ABC, and CBS -- aired 152 stories about the matter between that time and Wednesday morning, October 11. NBC aired 56 stories, ABC 50, and CBS 46. Only a fraction of those stories, says MRC, were "brief anchor updates."

In contrast, MRC points out that media reaction to another Capitol Hill sex scandal several years ago -- specifically, one involving a Democratic congressman who was eventually convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography. In covering both the 1994 indictment and 1995 conviction of Representative Mel Reynolds, the same three networks' coverage amounted to 19 stories. MRC calls that an "undeniable double standard."

By golly, that's right. Comparing Foley to Clinton/Lewinsky wasn't flying, so they had to come up with something else. In fact, I'd say you wouldn't have to go so far back to find something to compare it to.

Boston Globe:

US Representative William Jefferson, the subject of a 14-month bribery investigation, was videotaped accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from a Virginia investor who was wearing an FBI wire, according to an affidavit released yesterday.

A few days later, on Aug. 3, 2005, FBI agents raided the Louisiana Democrat's home in Washington and found $90,000 of the cash in the freezer, the document said. The cash, in $10,000 increments, was wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed in frozen food containers, it said.

This earned Jefferson the nickname 'Dollar Bill'. But the Jefferson scandal never really took off in the press. So, is the MSM so pro-democrat that it'd jump on something like the Foley story to throw an election on the dems' behalf? Look at 2004 and you tell me. But the right comes to a different conclusion. The right seems to think this is all about sex. According to Agape, "'This double standard reeks of political partisanship and proves how far the liberal media will go to downplay the sexual degeneracy of a liberal Democrat and trumpet the sexual degeneracy of a Republican,' contends MRC president L. Brent Bozell."

No one ever accused Brent Bozell of understating his case.

What's happening is that the GOP has become a victim of its own PR. It's got nothing to do with a 'liberal media'. Look at the run-up to the war -- how critical was the media of Republicans then?

By casting themselves as the party of 'values', they pretty much guarantee that stories like this become 'man bites dog' stories. When a Democrat gets caught up in a scandal, it's just another corrupt politician. When a Republican does, it's hypocrisy. And when the Republican co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children is outed as a internet predator, then it's a boatload of hypocrisy. Add to this a coverup by House leadership and the hypocrisy spreads throughout the party.

Claiming perfection when you're imperfect is hubris at best and arrogance at worst, with stupidity in the middle. Sooner or later, you will fail. And when that happens, all your claims to moral perfection aren't going to help you at all -- they'll do the opposite. They'll illuminate your imperfections and contrast them with the mask of perfection you put forward. It makes you a punchline. It makes you a phony.

And that's where the GOP is today -- exposed not only as corrupt and secretive and willing to cover for an internet predator to hold on to political power, but as a club for world class hypocrites.


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