Ted Cruz Shows the GOP How to Tackle Media Bias Head-On

May 23rd, 2015 8:30 AM

The setting: An interview with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and KMBT-TV’s Kevin Steele in Beaumont, Texas. Steele repeatedly asked Cruz if he had a “personal animosity against gay Americans?”

Cruz would have none of it. The exchange, as reported here in both video and print at Real Clear Politics reads this way:

SEN. TED CRUZ: Let me ask a question: Is there something about the left, and I am going to put the media in this category, that is obsessed with sex? Why is it the only question you want to ask concerns homosexuals? Okay, you can ask those questions over and over and over again. I recognize that you're reading questions from MSNBC…

You're wincing. You don't want to talk about foreign policy. I recognize you want to ask another question about gay rights. Well, you know. ISIS is executing homosexuals. You want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals. That ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic.

REPORTER: Do you have a personal animosity against gay Americans?

CRUZ: Do you have a personal animosity against Christians sir? Your line of questioning is highly curious. You seem fixated on a particular subject. Look, I’m a Christian. Scripture commands us to love everybody and what I have been talking about, with respect to same-sex marriage, is the Constitution which is what we should all be focused on. The Constitution gives marriage to elected state legislators. It doesn’t give the power of marriage to a president, or to unelected judges to tear down the decisions enacted by democratically elected state legislatures.

And right there is what should become the media role model for Republican presidential candidates when dealing with the aggressively liberal media. NewsBusters exists to document liberal bias in the media. Strangely, as this incident with Ted Cruz illustrates all too vividly, there is never a lack of material. Imagine that.

The other week Senator Cruz was also on the receiving end of this exchange with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin:

HALPERIN: Senator, people are really interested in you and your identity. I just wanted to ask you as a historical matter, when you filled out your application to Princeton, to Harvard Law School, did you list yourself as an Hispanic?

CRUZ: I listed myself as Cuban-American. That’s my heritage and my background.

HALPERIN: I want to close by talking a little more about your Cuban heritage, and ask you in the following categories if you have an affinity for or a connection to anything part of your Cuban past, do you have a favorite Cuban food… Cuban dish?

CRUZ: Oh, I grew up eating Cuban food all the time, I…

[Halperin immediately cuts him off to hammer the question]

HALPERIN: What’s your favorite dish?

[Cruz answers with a litany of food from his childhood, and customs his family enjoyed during the holidays.]

HALPERIN: Alright… do you like Cuban music. Do you have a favorite Cuban Singer? Y

CRUZ: You know I have to admit in that I’m much more of a Texan. I tend to listen to country music more than Cuban music. …

HALPERIN: Finally, I wanted to give you the opportunity to welcome your colleague Senator Sanders to the race and I’d like you to do it, if you would, en espanol.

The exchange was appalling and as many astonished critics noted it sounded appallingly racist. Indeed, Breitbart’s John Nolte’s piece linked above was titled at the start: “Sing Us a Song Boy”, harkening back to the days when all those progressives formed the racist backbone of the Democratic Party. Halperin, it should be noted, stepped up to the plate and apologized to Cruz.

Yet whether taken individually or together, these two incidents are telling about the state of today’s American media. They are left-wing - and as left-wingers they have sold their journalistic souls to the immorality that is identity politics. Everything - everything - proceeds from those two sources. Thus when it comes to Republican presidential candidates the underlying assumption from the liberal media is that they are questioning Candidate X who is secretly or not-so-secretly a racist/homophobe/sexist/Islamophobe/Christian religious nut. Thus making it Journalist X’s job to expose that fact to the country. Even more to the point it matters not whether the GOP candidate’s name is (in alphabetical order) Bush/Carson/Christie/Cruz/Fiorina/Graham/Huckabee/Jindal/Kasich/Pataki/Paul/Perry/Rubio/Santorum/Trump or Walker. No matter who the eventual GOP nominee is, in the run-up to the nomination all these candidates, as the treatment of Ted Cruz attests, are guilty in the eyes of the press. Guilty of some aspect if not more than one aspect of the racist/homophobe/sexist/Islamophobe/Christian religious nut charge.

The question then becomes - what’s a candidate to do?

Ted Cruz has provided the template for how to answer. Understanding that a lot of these “journalists” are in fact players for the Other Side - they should be treated as such. One doesn’t have to be unpleasant - Ted Cruz was nothing if not pleasant in answering the Texas reporter Kevin Steele as the latter tried repeatedly to paint Cruz as anti-gay. But Cruz was unafraid to pleasantly turn the challenge around with his observation that the left was “obsessed with sex” and his recounting of exactly what life is like for gays under ISIS rule - they are executed. This response left the reporter “wincing” as Cruz astutely observed out loud in the moment. But more to the point this incident did nothing but add to Cruz’s positive reputation for being a stand-up fighter for the conservative base whether the arena is the floor of the US Senate or a TV interview in Beaumont, Texas.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but when Cruz can win praise from both Mark Levin and Bill O’Reilly for standing up to the gay question then other GOP candidates should take note.  Here’s Mark discussing Cruz, saying that “this constant effort to pigeonhole conservatives” was part of the left’s effort to “nationalize” moral issues so they can be tossed into the Supreme Court. He went on to add that “as conservatives, we’re the real minority in this country. The media despises us…they lie about us…and we’re supposed to take it.” Cruz understands this exactly and gave “the perfect answer."

And here’s O’Reilly, who said "This reporter was trying to make a name for himself, so I like what Cruz did. Republican candidates better start doing the same thing or the media will slaughter them."


This doesn’t mean a candidate has to turn querulous or cranky. Cruz was the very epitome of politeness as he answered the question. It does mean Republicans have to understand when they deal with the liberal media that they are dealing not with journalists but with liberal partisans who are wearing the albeit invisible jerseys of the Other Side. And when in appropriate situations - as Ted Cruz was with that Texas reporter who was on an insistent mission to paint Cruz as having a “personal animosity”towards gays - calling them out. Turn the tables.

Do it politely. But firmly. Because most assuredly liberal journalists - who are liberals first and journalists second - will not be deterred from their mission in life. And that mission in terms of 2016 is to use their microphones, cameras and laptops to ensure that no Republican will be president - no matter who he or she may be.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. And a thank you to all the men and women in uniform who sacrificed their lives to make the freedom that is living in America a reality.