Bozell Column: Arizona's 21-Bottle Salute
Arizona officially joined the South this month. In other words, it became for our Northeastern media elitists a state dominated by backward, slack-jawed racists. The Associated Press marked the passage of a tough new anti-immigration law with the leftist version of a Welcome Wagon: “The furor over Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants grew Monday as opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol.”
Disagreeing with the left – and more importantly, handing them a political defeat – brings a lot of ugliness these days from the forces of “tolerance.” Character assassination is required. A citizen of Arizona cannot be concerned about higher rates of crime and strained government budgets without being Mexican-food-smeared as an adorer of Adolf Hitler.
But what’s truly outrageous if not surprising is that the same media that visibly quivered with anger that anyone would draw a Hitler moustache on their hero Barack Obama now present these Nazi smears as not an embarrassment to the left, but as a way of augmenting the left. The “furor was growing” over the tough new law, they dutifully report.
On the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric calmly forwarded as credible the Nazi charge against those who support enforcing federal immigration laws. On April 23, CBS reporter Bill Whitaker suddenly liked the Catholics: “In Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the country’s largest Catholic archdiocese, called the law mean-spirited and compared it to Nazi oppression.”
On April 26, CBS spotlighted a swastika sign with the words “Achtung! Papers Please,” and Couric relayed the AP line that “some of those opponents vandalized the state capital building, smearing refried beans in the shape of swastikas on the windows.” Ho hum.
Don’t these “journalists” see the contradiction? Are they really that blind, or that dumb?
A month ago, when the Tea Party movement brought their ardor to Capitol Hill against a government takeover of the health industry, “ugly” was the defining word.
Here’s David Muir on ABC’s March 20 World News: “Protesters against the plan gathered on the streets of the Capitol, where late today we learned words shouted turned very ugly – reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one protesters actually spitting on a Congressman.” There were no arrests, and no actual proof of the “slurs” alleged. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver backed off the claim he was spit on. The N-word was never used, as so dishonestly claimed.
And still, the Tea Party is “very ugly.”
When protesters are left-wing, how it changes. Look at the Arizona coverage. On the same network on April 24, ABC reporter Mike von Fremd was spinning wildly: “Riot police were called in to try and control demonstrators protesting outside the capital. Most were peaceful. A handful threw bottles at police and were arrested.”
This spin line – that rioting protesters were “mostly peaceful” -- was repeated by the New York Times, and by CNN (who called them “largely peaceful”). The Times made sure its photo choices radiated sympathy for the protesters. On Saturday, they stood enveloped in a huge American flag. On Sunday, they were holding a sober candlelight vigil. There were no photos of a cop getting hit in the head with a bottle. ABC and NBC noted the protests, and mentioned neither the violence, nor the “mostly peaceful” spin.
A leftist protester of the World Bank was also arrested in Washington on April 24 for felony assault on a policeman, one of eight arrests. No one heard about that violence. Media liberals may dismiss the notion of violence by insisting that policemen haven’t been hospitalized.
But leftist protests, in the architecture of their organizing principles, rely on making days miserable for police, forcing arrests for disturbing the peace, on forcibly blocking traffic and then going limp and forcing officers carry them to jail. In the interest of drawing media attention, they often plan on violence against policemen and property. They must sneer at conservative protests as placid garden parties by comparison.'
And the tea party protesters are the “ugly,” “violent” ones.
A Washington Post article glorifying this last weekend’s leftist jog in our nation’s capital as a “run on the bank” to “destroy capitalism” offered a telling line. One protester described the expected behavior for their “convergence space” before protest activities, warning “Don’t be a jackass in the neighborhood. Save that for downtown.”
The sick joke in that line is that protesters can be as aggressive and offensive anywhere they want, and they can count on their media sympathizers to romanticize their struggle against whatever power structure that has failed to bow to their utopian wishes.