How the media size up scandals

In comparing Christie and Obama, there seems to be two sets of rules

The embarrassing scandal centered on New Jersey Gov. and presidential contender Chris Christie alleges that he pulled strings to snarl traffic on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge to exact political revenge on the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J.

For now let’s set aside the possible extent of Christie’s guilt or innocence. Let wonky talking heads and America’s justice system chew on that bone.

Let’s look at how the overwhelmingly liberal media are focusing laser-like intensity on Christie, a Republican.

With each passing moment of breathless coverage of the unfolding events out of New Jersey, one wonders: Why wasn’t comparable coverage and attendant media outrage heaped on another chief executive who appeared to have used the strength of his high office to score political points?

You needn’t look far to realize that the other chief executive is President Obama. And it takes about two seconds of thought to rattle off ways that governmental muscle has been flexed to work in his favor.

Obama’s IRS bureaucratically harassed conservative nonprofit groups ahead of the 2012 election to suppress Tea Party activism. The Obama administration tried to push Fox News out of covering news events.

But perhaps the most blatant example is the 2013 government shutdown that saw Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon closed to tourists, but the president’s military golf course remained open and his private chefs stayed on the job. Additional staff had to be dispatched to shoo people away from Washington’s National Mall and the open-air World War II Memorial. It seemed to take more government resources to keep venues closed than to simply keep them open.

Washington Times Editor Emeritus Wesley Pruden quoted a National Park Service ranger at the outset of the selective closures: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

But the media’s narrative then was not how Obama and his minions engineered the discomfort of an entire nation. They instead chose to focus their funhouse mirrors on those mean old conservatives whose demand for fiscal sanity somehow compelled the White House to reluctantly act this way. Hogwash.

And when Obama is confronted directly with the shortcomings of his administration, too often he can’t be troubled to personally take any blame. Other officials who should be blamed – Attorney General Eric Holder over Operation Fast and Furious, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the disastrous Obamacare rollout – inexplicably keep their jobs.

Now compare that behavior to Christie’s. Christie knows he can’t control the media’s standards, but he can control his own. He spent nearly two hours at a press conference Thursday answering questions and apologizing to his constituents for the days of traffic pile-ups.

Also, he fired his deputy chief of staff and removed one of his closest advisors from his political organization. We also would suggest that Christie underscore his claim that he has nothing to hide by allowing access to any and all correspondence that could shed full light on how this affair unfolded.

That’s how you lead, and Obama should have been taking notes.

With Republican scandal, it’s a media feeding frenzy. With Democratic scandal, the media shrug and ask, “What difference does it make?” Sheer hypocrisy.

More

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 23:31

Flood warning

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 11:13

Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon