Double Standards

In all seriousness, can somebody please enlighten me? How is it possible that the President of the United States of America can go on the record saying that Fox News is “destructive” and no one bats an eye? I don’t recall former President Bush ever saying something similar to news outlets that were ideologically opposed to him.

These are words from the same party that wants to have the Fairness Doctrine re-instituted to combat the popularity of talk radio. The United States is supposed to be about freedom of speech and the freedom of the marketplace.  I get it: some of you disagree with the point of view that many of Fox News’ pundits, such as Sean Hannity hold. The difference is that these same pundits aren’t out there advocating for the removal of those on the opposite side of the political aisle such as Chris Matthews.

We used to live by the credo, ” I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it (Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 1906).” But it seems to me that those who are supposed to be the free thinkers and intellectuals, try to shut down discourse or resort to personal attacks rather than discuss the issues.

The last two national election cycles couldn’t be clearer on the stark double standards applied to each side of the aisle. Obama’s daughters were off limits, but Palin’s children were the subject of frequent headlines and late-night comedians.

If it weren’t for the “dissent” of Fox News and talk radio our media would be filled with uncontested focus on O’Donnell’s comments on witchcraft (really, people?) and masturbation. Where is the focus on her policy in “mainstream” outlets?

Some of my friends on the left complain about the “quality” of the candidates being put forth by the GOP. I consider myself a decent person, and as such would never want to subject my family to the kind of scrutiny that is applied to conservative candidates. Whether or not they could defeat my viewpoints, my family and my personal history would be used for cannon fodder. This never happens to liberal candidates in the ‘mainstream’ press. If you can find it, please… prove me wrong!

Where is the outrage of the media stalking NY governor candidate Carl Palladino’s 10-year-old daughter? Where’s the backlash against the Florida Democratic Party for releasing a mailer with candidate Allan West’s social security number on it?

In the case of Alan Grayson (D) running against Dan Webster (R): Grayson released a campaign ad dubbing Webster as “Taliban Dan” and cut up an old video to make is sound like Webster was saying women should submit to their husbands. The problem is in the original video that Grayson’s campaign edited, Webster actually says the opposite.

The Associated Press, LA Times, MSNBC, and among others reported on the original ad, but failed to follow up and clarify the original context. Funny how these same outlets were quick to criticize Breitbart for taking Sherrod out of context ignoring the fact that Breitbart claimed he released the video more to show the racism present among the crowd than by the speaker.

Does this mean that the AP, LA Times, and MSNBC should also be shut down because they have a political leaning in their reporting? Political activism isn’t always about what you report, it’s often about what you do NOT report on.

If you are truly are honest with yourself, do you really believe that the national ‘mainstream’ press would ignore these stories if a Republican had done it against a Democrat? Let’s not forget that Trent Lott was forced to step down for praising Strom Thurmond at a birthday in honor of Thurmond, but Reid says actual racist remarks and he gets a pass.

We can disagree, and we can do so passionately. But whatever standards we choose to apply to one side of the aisle, should apply to the other. If Democratic families are off limits, so too should Republicans. If a Republican needs to stand down for saying something that can be remotely inferred as racist, so too should a Democrat need to stand down if he actually says something racist.

We should be criticizing both sides of the aisle when they focus on personal and ad hominem attacks over the fight of ideas. Enough with the double standards.

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