Culture and Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel joined "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy on Aug. 13 to discuss media coverage of Harry Reid and the media double standard on controversial statements made by liberals versus conservatives.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told supporters on Aug. 10 that he couldn't understand why "anyone with Hispanic heritage could be a Republican."
"If you watch the national media, there's no outrage," Burchfiel said when asked where the uproar over Reid's comments had come from. "There's certainly a lot of confusion, I think, among Hispanic conservatives as to the reasoning behind Harry Reid's comments. It's clear that he is not reading the same polls that other people are reading about the way that Hispanics feel about the current administration, the way that the feel about the economy and jobs, and even the way they feel about immigration."
Burchfiel suggested that Reid "maybe ask Brian Sandoval why a Hispanic might affiliate himself with the GOP or with conservative ideology." Sandoval, who is Hispanic, is the GOP's nominee for Nevada governor. He is leading his Democratic opponent, Reid's son, Rory, by 19 points in the latest Las Vegas Review-Journal poll.
The English-language media often turn to Univision anchor Jorge Ramos as an expert on Latino opinion. Ramos, as the Culture and Media Institute reported, is an active supporter of open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants.
However, a recent AP-Univision poll of Hispanic Americans found that only 9 percent rated immigration as the most important issue facing the United States. Most rated the economy or jobs as most important, and only 43 percent said they felt the current administration was doing a good job of addressing the Hispanic community's needs.
Doocy and Burchfiel also discussed the double standard in media coverage of controversial statements made by liberals versus conservatives in light of the comments made by two New Hampshire Democrats this week about the plane crash that killed former Sen. Ted Stevens.
Keith Halloran, a candidate for the state legislature, wrote on Facebook that he wished Sarah Palin had been on the plane that crashed. State Rep. Timothy Horrigan resigned his office after he wrote on Facebook that a dead Sarah Palin would be more dangerous than a living Sarah Palin. The national networks ignored the story.
"I mean you get a random guy at a Tea Party rally saying something remotely controversial and the media have his name, his address, his tax records, his elementary school report card, anything they can find that's going to help them discredit him," Burchfiel said. "But when you have liberals who are in office or running for office who literally say that they wish Sarah Palin were dead, there's media silence on it."
"It's unfortunately par for the course," he added, "but it's part of the way that the media have covered Sarah Palin since the very beginning, since she was announced as John McCain's running mate."
A Culture and Media Institute study of coverage of Palin late in the 2008 campaign found the national media had two portraits of the then-vice presidential nominee. Palin was either portrayed as a Dunce by highlighting her quirks or replaying "Saturday Night Live" impersonations of her, or as a Demon - McCain's attack dog or poison for conservatives.