Old Media Shame

February 16, 2006

If I were to utter the statement, “Vice President Dick Cheney is an extraordinarily decent man who doesn’t deserve the unwarranted presumption of guilt affixed upon him by the Old Media,” the statement would be met with profoundly polarized reactions.

No matter, I’ll boldly step out here. Consider the statement made.

Truly, I marvel at the degree to which our differing worldviews lead to opposite assessments of individual human character. I see the vice president as an honorable, forthright gentleman who places the nation’s best interests above his own. Others prefer to believe he would sell out his own mother to line his pockets with oil-slicked greenbacks.

The Old Media, of course, fall into the latter category. Most of them, as their reaction to the Cheney/Whittington hunting accident make clear, are anxious to believe the worst about Cheney, viewing him as an evil man always poised to commit bad acts.

To them, Cheney’s sin cannot be any negligence that may have been involved in accidentally shooting his friend because no one has established that he was negligent. Indeed, initial signs point to the victim’s failure to announce himself.

No, Cheney’s crime spree began with his appearance on the ticket with George Bush in 2000 when Bush’s father’s cronies on the Supreme Court divested the eminently stable Albert Gore of his entitlement to the presidency. It continued with Cheney’s support for the 2003 military action against Iraq, his failure to march alongside pro-abortion activists and every other policy deviation the Bush administration has dared to make from the prescribed liberal line.

Cheney is also reviled because he doesn’t kiss the feet of the narcissistic media scavengers who believe the First Amendment establishes them as royalty who must be catered to, fawned over and accorded immunity for their own abominable behavior.

These Old Media pariahs, like NBC’s David Gregory, apparently believe their summary trial and conviction of Cheney, their accusatory and disrespectful tone toward White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan and their cloak of liberal righteousness in general qualify them for deferential treatment in return. They are aghast when Cheney chooses to be interviewed by Fox News’ Brit Hume instead of facing the post-conviction firing squad — not a truth-seeking inquiry — by some malignant member of the Old Media.

Consider The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank appearing on the venom-spewing Keith Olbermann’s unwatched talk show on MSNBC in a dorky hunter’s outfit hoping to lampoon Cheney, then purporting to write an objective report on Cheney’s behavior, excoriating him for not “correctly” apologizing.

Long ago, the Old Media gave up any pretense they were interested in truth. Their mission is to advance a leftist agenda, to obstruct a conservative one and to actively participate, when possible, in the politics of personal destruction against those, like Cheney, working for the things they oppose. That’s why the actual facts in the Cheney mishap must take a backseat to negative, unsupportable innuendo. If they were committed to reporting the news, they would focus on informing — there’s plenty of important real news out there — rather than indoctrinating.

These liberal icons are forever telling us they are, above all, compassionate. But do these self-styled humanitarians ever pause to reflect on how this unfortunate accident might be affecting Cheney? How would they like to find themselves in a similar situation only to have their political enemies, unarmed with any facts and impervious to any opinion not squaring with their own jaundiced prejudgments, pronounce them guilty? In all the ink spilled by the Old Media over this trumped up controversy, I’ve yet to see an ounce of sympathy expressed for Cheney.

Instead, we are treated to conjecture ranging from “Cheney’s actions were deliberate” to “he was drunk” and “he was engaged in a cover-up of the affair.”

The sad reality is the Old Media, along with the national Democratic leadership, have long since adjudged the Bush administration guilty of the worst imaginable offenses, and they are determined to substantiate their prejudgment with whatever convenient “facts” might become available along the way.

Together, they have been making the case for five years that this administration is the author of a pervasive “Culture of Corruption.” All they’ve needed are anecdotal tidbits to retroactively validate their charges.

When they serendipitously happen on to a story like the Cheney hunting accident, their blood lust to bring down the administration is too overpowering to be tempered by any circumspection, reasonableness or fair play.

Of all the Old Media’s egregious behavior over the last few years, their despicable treatment of Cheney concerning this incident could be their worst. They have richly earned their new moniker, “Old Media.”