Liberal Writer: Mainstream Media Fail to Expose GOP’s ‘Bigotry,’ ‘Intellectual Dishonesty,’ and ‘Ignorance’

Neal Gabler is an author and cultural critic who may be best known to NewsBusters readers as a longtime panelist on Fox News Watch. On Friday, lefty sites such as BillMoyers.com and Salon ran an article by Gabler in which he argued that for several decades, the mainstream media have greased the skids for movement conservatism and the Republican party.

For example, Gabler asserted that after President Reagan took office, the MSM “seemed to lose its nerve [as] the Republican Party lurched not just rightward, but extremist-ward…The media behaved as if extremism were business as usual.” Nowadays, Gabler contended, the GOP is “quite possibly America’s primary institutional force of bigotry, intellectual dishonesty, ignorance, warmongering, intractability and cruelty against the vulnerable and powerless.”

From Gabler’s piece (bolding added):

Donald Trump…is the fulfillment of everything the [Republican] party has been saying and doing for decades...

…[T]he biggest political story of the last 50 years…is the decades-long transformation of Republicanism from a business-centered, small town, white Protestant set of beliefs into quite possibly America’s primary institutional force of bigotry, intellectual dishonesty, ignorance, warmongering, intractability and cruelty against the vulnerable and powerless.

It is a story you didn’t read, hear or see in the mainstream media...

...The sainted Reagan blew his party’s cover when to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 he spoke at the Neshoba County Fair, just outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers had been brutally murdered in 1964…

But if some in the media did call out Reagan on his disgusting curtsy to George Wallace voters, the press seemed to lose its nerve once Reagan became president and the Republican Party lurched not just rightward, but extremist-ward…[T]he media behaved as if extremism were business as usual.

…[T]he media…would say they don’t take sides…

But…not taking sides against extremism is just another way of taking sides by legitimizing extremism and making it the new normal…We know the media are afraid of a right-wing backlash. We know that they protect themselves by insisting that our two major parties are equidistant from the political center – more nonsense...

And yet we now know that the media can be assertive if they want to be, that they can take sides, and even correct the record if they choose. We know because that is precisely what they are doing against Trump, but only because they see Trump as an outlier from the GOP establishment – a disruptive, fringe force…[Ted] Cruz may be even more of an outlier from the American mainstream than Trump, and yet the media don’t seem anywhere near as lathered about him.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters