Bozell Column: The Media's Republican Latinophobia
At what point will the public tire of liberal journalists lamenting that the Republican Party is overwhelmingly white and thrilled about it? They've been drawing that cartoon so long surely they'll eventually run out of ink. They love their 2012 narrative that every non-white group is rushing to Obama and the Left, and they want to keep it that way.
So what do you do when the GOP elects or nominates a black, or Hispanic (as they've done constantly)? You rip them personally, mercilessly. Ask Justice Thomas.
This is why everyone should have expected something absurd from the media when Sen. Marco Rubio was picked to give the response to President Obama's State of the Union address. But this year perhaps they went too far. They made utter, complete fools -- of themselves.
Few happenings in politics have been more overhyped than Sen. Marco Rubio taking a swig of water in mid-response, and few reporters have looked more ridiculous on that trivial subject than CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "So can a drink of water make or break a political career? U.S. Senator, possible presidential candidate. We're going to find out, whether he likes it or not."
On screen were the words "CAREER ENDER?" The befuddled masses at CNN tried to claim they were joking, but you never send personality-challenged Wolf Blitzer on a comedy mission.
NBC anchor Brian Williams, who simply will not stop fainting at the sight of Obama, piled on, hyping "the televised moment from last night that just might live on forever." Forever? Who's betting they'll be discussing The Swig in 2112? Williams insincerely called it "one of the cruelest aspects of politics in the television age," that any cruel journalist would dwell on this kind of fluff. "That will certainly be the case" with Rubio, Williams promised. If up to Williams, sure.
At least Chris Matthews focused on the substance, which is no compliment since he'd been wiser to comment on water. "It was Tinkertoys. It was a kid's presentation of a philosophy, reduced to maybe the ninth grade level." This is the same Matthews that muttered "Oh God" into his microphone before Gov. Jindal began in 2009, so he's not exactly open-minded. Rachel Maddow said it was "claws out."
Now imagine someone saying that to Matthews after Obama's 2004 convention speech. Obama's speech was unoriginal "Tinkertoys" from a ninth-grader, or came from a speaker with "claws out." He would have denounced this rhetoric as incredibly racist, if not mentally unbalanced.
The media elite have the same knives drawn for Sen. Ted Cruz, like Rubio a Tea Party favorite. Cruz drew media hostility for daring to underline the truth that the government of Iran put out a statement expressing its fondness for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. James Fallows, a former editor of U.S. News & World Report and current NPR pundit, wrote a blog suggesting Sen. Cruz was "Separated at Birth" from Joseph McCarthy, and then others reflexively followed suit, like Chris Matthews.
The "Hardball" host insisted "I rarely say it, but there was echoes of Joe McCarthy there. Really strong echoes....The jackals are in the street tonight." This is not new turf for Mr. Matthews. He also insisted in 2010 that Michele Bachmann and Rush Limbaugh were McCarthyites, or worse.
One would think at this late date a "historian" like Matthews could recognize that ahem, there were a pile of Communist Party operatives inside the U.S. government during the "Red Scare." (He should read "Blacklisted by History" by Stan Evans.)
So now we have Matthews calling one Latino senator a boy playing with Tinkertoys and another one a jackal in the street. Imagine the apoplexy if a Fox News host used these terms for Obama or a Latino liberal.
From Clarence Thomas to Rubio and Cruz, media liberals have never been able to stand the idea that Republicans admire and welcome conservative minorities, not just for their talents but for the courage they display to endure the endless mudslinging of liberals.
Rubio and Cruz could see how easy it is to sit on the other side of the partisan aisle. See Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who has not only admitted failing to disclose several free trips to the Dominican Republic from a major donor, but faces charges he enjoyed prostitutes on those trips. From January 24 through the morning of February 18, there have been a total of just seven stories aired on the Big Three network's evening and morning shows.
NBC had four stories, and CBS three, most of them heavily loaded with the Menendez side of the story. ABC has yet to do a single morning or evening story on the brewing scandal. Sen. Menendez actually appeared on the January 27 edition of ABC's "This Week," but guest host Martha Raddatz embarrassed herself by not asking a single question about the scandal.
It's ridiculous that a Latino Senator can get in more "hot water" for drinking water than for a corruption scandal. But that's the way our "objective" networks play with Latino Republicans.