It has been interesting, to say the least, to watch the MSM twist itself into knots trying to report this story of Pelosi backing the extremist Murtha for Party leadership over the objections of the so-called "blue dog" Democrats who were recently elected to Congress.
Pelosi has decided to ardently back the extreme anti-war activist, John Murtha (Dem, PA), for the Democrat's Majority leader position in a move that has 'baffled" many Democrats, especially those incoming Democrats who ran as conservative alternatives to Republicans -- as well as other incumbent moderate Democrats -- who are instead backing Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer.
Hoyer is well known on the floor not to be quite as extreme as Murtha is on a pull out from Iraq (Hoyer voted to give Bush the OK to go into Iraq in 2002, but he IS for gradual withdraw to be sure), but few Americans will have even heard of Steny Hoyer, he not being much of a "national" figure. On the other hand, anyone who had paid politics much attention knows that Murtha is against the war and is a vocal critic of President Bush. Murtha is well known for his many extreme positions and statements.
So, we have a "moderate" in Hoyer facing an extremist in Murtha in this fight for Party Majority leader. But, one would be hard pressed to see any MSM outlet presenting the facts in such a light. In fact, the MSM seems to want to present the story as a corruption issue instead of a war issue, even as they want to assume that the recent election is a vote by the electorate to get out of Iraq.
The New York Times lamented the loss of "unity" with this leadership fight, seemingly pleading for the Democrats to stop giving the GOP something to be so "giddy" about. Not a word, though that this is a fight between the "moderate" Hoyer and the more extreme Mutha. Of course, at the top of the story are a few jabs at Republicans, even though this is NOT a Republican story. I think it is impossible for the NYT to publish a story without taking a shot or two at the GOP. Those mean Republicans are reported as the "(d)owntrodden Republicans" who were "were enjoying the spectacle" and as being "giddy" over it all.
But, the Times does not use descriptives like "extreme" to describe Mr. Murtha, oh no! As close as they get to it is saying that he played some role in "building Democratic opposition to the Iraq war, an issue that was crucial to the party’s victories last week."
The Baltimore Sun also heads their story on the Pelois/Murtha/Hoyer issue with jabs at the GOP by resurrecting Trent Lott's troubles from 2002 at the top of their story. Trent Lott is part of the Democratic Party Majority leader story... how? Obviously, the Sun wants to take as much of the light off the troubles in the Democrat leadership as they can with a they-are-bad-too type of finger pointing, with hopes that most people will only read the first few paragraphs of the story leaving them with only bad thoughts about Republicans, presumably.
The L.A. Times has used their story to highlight the allegations of corruption leveled at both Murtha and Hoyer, a common (and unavoidable) thread running through all these stories.
But to Murtha's obvious position as the leading extremist against the war, the L.A. Times merely describes Murtha as a "tough-talking veteran who made headlines last year by denouncing President Bush's policy in Iraq". No hint of his being an extremist on the war in comparison to Hoyer's somewhat less dogmatic stance on the war.
How often in the last 4 years did we hear pro-war Republicans as "Hawks" or "Neo-Conservatives", or "War supporters"? And how often has ANY moderation on the war been seen as a cause to highlight at the cost of all else?
But, where is the "fairness" and "balance" in this case where one man, Murtha, holds a very extreme position and one, Hoyer, a lesser one?
Interesting how suddenly there are no extremes and no moderates when we are reporting on Democrats, eh?