I just received a request to be a judge for the 25th straight year in the Media Research Center’s look at notable examples of press bias. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I’m doing it, but it’s not something I look forward to anymore because the challenge is gone. The bigotry is so obvious that it’s shooting fish in a barrel. And so I examined with interest veteran D.C. policy hand Peter Wehner’s article yesterday in Commentary, with his admission that “Over my career, I’ve tended to resist press bashing.” Since that’s true and he is friendly with lots of Washington journalists, his one-word summary of 2012 election coverage—“depressing”—is an indictment.
Wehner wrote, “There are a dozen examples I could cite, but let me simply focus on one: the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi.”
Wehner, who worked in the White House during the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, noted that “there is simply no comparison” of journalists’ hyper-criticism regarding to those administrations to its laid-back treatment of the Benghazi scandal, with its four dead Americans, its cover-up attempts, and the “lack of security that borders on criminal negligence. … Yet the press has, for the most part, treated this story with ambivalence and reluctance. A reliable barometer of the views of the elite media is Tom Friedman of The New York Times, who said on Meet the Press on Sunday, ‘To me, Libya is not a scandal, it’s a tragedy.’”
As Wehner wrote, “If the exact same incidents had occurred in the exact same order” with a conservative in the White House, coverage “would have been nonstop, ferociously negative, and the pressure put on the president and his administration would have been crushing. … Yet President Obama avoided all of that. … For some journalists, it’s fairly clear as to why: they had a rooting interest in Mr. Obama winning and they carried a deep dislike, even contempt, for Governor Romney. But for many others I think the explanation is more subtle and in some respects more problematic. They appear to be completely blind to their biases and double standards.”