Bozell & Graham Column: Helping the Democrats Avoid the Victims

For a moment, imagine yourself back in 2006, at the height of liberal aggression about the “imperial hubris” of George W. Bush in the War on Terror. The left's contempt for this man was rampant. Liberals savaged him for turning the world against this country. Keith Olbermann announced “the beginning of the end of America.”

Now imagine, in that milieu, if during the Bush administration we'd witnessed a mass shooting by an Islamist at Fort Hood. Or a terrorist bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Or a deadly terrorist attack on a consulate in Libya. Would liberals have granted President Bush a pass for any of these? Or would he and his policies have been blamed? 

You know how the press would have played it. The hard news coverage would quickly give way to the analysis and it would be brutal. Words like "fiasco" and "failure" would have dotted the news landscape.

So why, when these events occurred during the Obama years, has the press continuously disassociated the events from President Obama – except for his laudable efforts as the Mourner-in-Chief, healing the country from its pain?

In the Bush years, the media celebrated “Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan confronting President Bush about his horrendous war in Iraq, in which she lost her son Casey. But when Obama and Hillary Clinton ignore the victims or relatives of the victims from recent attacks, the media stay silent.

It’s not like the media elites fail to notice. See a report from ABCNews.com with the headline “White House Denies ’09 Fort Hood Victim's Request for Meeting With Obama.”

Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford was shot seven times in November 2009 when radical Islamist Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 32 more. Obama’s Department of Defense continues to refuse to classify the shooting as terrorism. It’s just “workplace violence.” Survivors have been denied Purple Hearts and combat-related benefits afforded to victims of other terrorist attacks.

“As you may know, the President and high-ranking members of the military promised me, my family and the other Fort Hood terror attack survivors that the federal government would 'make them whole.' After more than four and one-half years, however, the government has yet to make good on this promise,” Lunsford wrote to Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough a day before Obama's visit to Fort Hood after a second fatal shooting. “We believe that if the President could hear, first-hand, our plight and our mistreatment at the hands of his bureaucracy, that he would take the steps needed to set things right. Therefore, we ask for ten minutes of his time.”

Lunsford didn’t get it. Not only that, but ABC, CBS, and NBC stayed silent on this attempt to get Obama to greet reality on Hasan’s terrorism. There’s no risk to Obama dismissing these survivors.

Or take Hillary Clinton, just honored for bravery for dodging a shoe at one of her $250,000-plus-expenses speeches in front of scrap-metal recyclers in Las Vegas. (It was a “ten-strike,” boasted analyst Mark Shields on PBS.)  Her next stop was going to be a speech at the annual Western Healthcare Leadership Academy in San Diego on April 11. But she cancelled her visit in the midst of planned protests, where protesters would have included Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who died in Benghazi. Instead, Mrs. Clinton appeared via satellite. “Scheduling conflict” was the excuse.

There was no coverage. The networks had no interest in Mrs. Smith, or the other protesters. If you're a journalist it's incumbent you protest Bush and the military-industrial complex at every turn. It's also imperative you bring aid and comfort to Obama and the international left. It's what they call "news."

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis