O'Donnell "stupid" on 1st Amendment; um…wait

I think the most nefarious and reprehensible game the press plays–beyond spiking stories to protect the politicians they love–is the trick they have of creating blaring headlines for distorted or misreported stories, and then, in a day or two, or three (or, in the pope’s case, four – always four) they either run a discreet “correction” no one sees, or an even more discreet “clarification” that runs under a nothing-headline and usually turns the original story (and newly-established “narrative”) on its head.

They do this, as I say, to the pope and the Vatican with such frequency that even my Baptist friends have learned not to react to a story about Benedict XVI until at least four days have passed, and the “clarified” version surfaces and quickly floats away.

The mainstream media–who do still control the national conversation, but only just–do this to politicians, too, particularly those pols they are determined to see defeated. This election, the scalp the press most fervently desires to wave before America belongs to Christine O’ Donnell. The press understands that they will have little to feel happy about on election night, so they’re intent on at least being able to gloat that the “dumb” Ms. O’ Donnell did not win her race for the US Senate against the latest “brilliant” Democrat, Mr. Coons.

Which is why they’ve played their game on her with regards to the recent “she doesn’t know the first amendment” brouhaha, as Patterico points out here:

How much did the left show its keister on O’Donnell’s alleged gaffe? So much so that the AP/WaPo story on the subject was almost completely rewritten last night, and without an official correction. After the break I will have screen caps and a cut and paste of the text of the article, but let’s start with just the first paragraph.

Before:

WILMINGTON, Del. — Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

After:

WILMINGTON, Del. — Republican Christine O’Donnell challenged her Democratic rival Tuesday to show where the Constitution requires separation of church and state, drawing swift criticism from her opponent, laughter from her law school audience and a quick defense from prominent conservatives.

Literally I ran a document comparison in Word between the original text and every paragraph is completely rewritten. Update (III): At the end of the post I show that 76% of the words in the revised version of this article were not in the original.

You’ll want to read it all.

I get into trouble with some people for not “loving”
Christine O’ Donnell (even though I have defended her, when I think she’s right). I don’t “love” anyone currently in politics; it’s just my mood. But when someone is being treated in a patently unfair manner, by people who insist that they are both the smartest and the fairest guys in the room, my back gets up.

The ’08 savaging of Sarah Palin was profoundly disturbing and disgusting; Palin terrified the press because, as Camille Paglia noted immediately, “she is a natural, and powerful” and because when she arrived on the scene McCain’s numbers began to pass Obama’s. Palin was dangerous and needed to be destroyed. The press hasn’t quite gone into the same feeding frenzy over O’ Donnell, both because the race is smaller, and the senate is not a GOP “lock.” She does not scare them, but she could grow into scary, and they don’t want that to happen; they also “need” a high-profile defeat, and hers will fit the bill. Hence, this nonsense.

More here at Ace’s (language warning) and at Legal Insurrection. Via Instapundit.

You know, it seems to me that the press and the Democrats would help rehabilitate themselves in the public’s eyes, if they could just manage to be as “fair” as they like to say they are, and less inclined to double-standards. Like, for instance, the DOJ finding clear cases of voter intimidation not worth prosecuting, and others, less clear cases, a bit more worthy.

Somewhat related:
A Malkin-response to Maureen Dowd’s Mean Girls Obsession with a few of her own.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    the scalp the press most fervently desires to wave before America belongs to Christine O’Donnell

    That is not only because that is what the MSM does, but also because there were people supposedly on her own side, Republicans and conservatives, who gave permission for such treatment, just like Palin before her, and Bush before that.

    One reason that Nancy Pelosi was ever in a position to become Speaker is because of Republicans and conservatives bad-mouthing Bush and giving the Dems ammunition to be used against them.

    And THAT is another reason why Bender has been “so angry” lately. Too often the smarter-than-the-rest-of-us crowd in conservative circles end up screwing us by directing their most venomous fire on other conservatives/Republicans.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    By the way, for those decrying what an imbecile the conservative O’Donnell is, including those Republicans and conservatives who apparently have this need to ooze contempt in order to make themselves feel superior, let’s take a look at the Maryland governor’s race (a re-run of the last race) since Maryland tracks fairly well with Delaware politically.

    On one side, we have the former Republican governor Robert Ehrlich, and even though he was quite successful in office, and no one has ever claimed that he is a stoopid maroon, and he is the good moderate on all the right issues. And on the other, the current Dem governor who has overseen Maryland crashing into the ditch. And yet, despite Ehrlich’s intellectual brilliance over that laughable brain-dead O’Donnell, and despite the incumbent’s disasterous record, Ehrlich is still down about 10 points in the polls.

    It is pretty clear, then, why O’Donnell might also be down in reliably Democratic Delaware (which proved for decades that it has no problems in voting for know-nothing boobs, such as Joe Bite-Me).

  • saveliberty

    Relative to not loving anyone in politics right now, I disagree. I love Governor Chris Christie. You know where you stand with him; he does the hard work that needs to be done; and he often can do this while easing tension by saying it in a way that you can laugh.

  • c matt

    In the last five years or more, I don’t think I have read a single MSM piece that has not been run through the blogoshpere scrubber first. It is a necessity if you want to get the actual truth of a matter (or at least close).

  • Jeff

    The MSM really screwed this one up, especially Jeff Toobin characterizing the 16th amendment as one of the “civil war era” amendments to the Constitution. I got a laugh out of that one.

    I just wish O’Donnell had been a little faster in her commentary. Her halting delivery made her sarcasm sound a little like uncertainty.

  • CV

    For the Dems and sidekick MSM, O’ Donnell serves to put a “face” on the Republican party (and Tea Party to boot). That’s why this one senate candidate from one small state is so intensely interesting to them. They’re not downright fearful of her as they are with Sarah Palin, but she’ll do.

    I think they also think that spotlighting O’Donnell and her supposed gaffes will motivate women to vote their way (an effort helped along by mean-girl-in-chief MoDo and others).

    I don’t think women are buying it, but as with young voters, black voters, etc. they’ll try anything.

  • Doc

    It is true that conservatives have a higher standard for Republicans than liberals do for Democrats. I think this is a good thing. The corporate media allows Democrats to get away with incompetence and corruption for as long as they can and as long as the corrupt and incompetent are useful to the progressive agendas. This has and will continue to hurt the corporate media. I just hope the corporate media’s decline accelerates. Remember, Evan Thomas, in a terrible moment of honesty, admitted that MSM support of Democrats was worth 10-15 points in every election. Without that heavy finger tipping the scales Democrats would be forced to modify some of their most unpopular positions in order to survive. For example, Catholics alone could force Democrats to abandon the abortion industry within 6 years if Catholics were committed to life and made it clear that abortion was the reason for their abandonment of the Democrats.

  • OLD FAN

    Well, Mrs. O’Donnell certainly is not bright about focusing on the Separation of Church and State, when the issues of the Economy are the priority.

    This is where a very bad Candidate, no substance, accomplishment, dishonest offering, built on a facade of Conservative “IDENTITY”, has decided to further play on a stereotypical offering – making it easy for Democrats.

    The TEA PARTY EXPRESS, Malkin, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., all revealed they are simply not Conservative in this case – for a Conservative sticks to facts and basis for their position, not hype and fashion. They basically helped give a Six Year Senate Seat dominated by the Democrats for decades, back to the Democrats.

    It is a symbol for the foolishness on the right side of History today. The Conservative Fashion offering such a mindless denial of tunnel visioned nonsense, they enable the opposite. Same can be said when they spend most of the time after 2004 undermining their own interests – basically giving the Democrats the Majority in all for 2006, all while the Republicans were leading in the admirable effort to wage the GWOT – and facing the most unethical slander via the Democratic Partisan Machine via the MSM in Our History. Seeing these same Conservative “KNOW IT ALLS” from the Sidelines, many whom have managed nothing in their lives, vilify and demean those with the burdens of leading Our Bravest in Harms Way was disgusting.

    And we watched some like Mr. Reihl, offer vivid distortions of the likes of Mr. Castle, to get their way. Mr. Levin showed an utter unethical foolishness as he distorted the offering of Mr. Mirengoff.

    Mrs. O’Donnell is the worst candidate one can offer, not even having paid her bills, not even being honest about her own educational background. Remember when these fashionable Conservative Elites told us how wonderful the ‘I am not a witch’ advertisement was?

    They are a product of fashion, so afraid to lead an emotive frustrated BASE of followers, they are reacting and accepting any folly that comes their way, which is actually enabling the very worst.

    Recently one of the best, Don Surber predictably advertised a very predictable play by Ms. Noonan. Don Surber is so much better than this, but he rushes to play the fashion yet again – just as he was overtly inflating Mrs. Palin in the past. He jumped again, to say “she (NOONAN) gets it”. No, Mrs. Noonan played the game. Mrs. Noonan has lost all credibility since 2004. She seemed to have maintained a personal disdain for the Bush Administration after 2004, which looked a great deal like professional jealousy. It crushed her objectivity – she played to anti-Bush Fashion repeatedly. For example, Ms. Noonan actually believed the Bush Administration was not moderate enough – and longed for the moderate Democrat version of terrible John McCain. She clearly was influenced by being in the Beltway far too long, greatly shaped by her association with the mad Matthews on the partisan MSNBC. In her latest, Noonan tries to play to the fashion in Conservative Circles who have rejected her, desperate to placate and appease. She further tosses an easy prey, the Bush Administration under a bus even further – which is all too easy for her and even further ruins her credibility. NO, Mrs. Noonan, the Tea Party Protests (which I participated in) did not save the GOP from GW, that is absurd. It is the disastrous Democratic Party which is the culprit. The Democratic Party is so bad, they make anyone look attractive. But no, Mrs. Noonan should be insightful enough to realize Americans do not view things in a vacuum. The reality is, the Republican Leadership of GW Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, Frist, etc., post 9-11 was simply not as bad as the Conservative EXPLOITERS have made it out to be. President Bush’s admirable non-Partisan demeanor is so attractive in contrast with the sophomoric Obama-Clinton-Pelosi-Reid, sor are his Tax Cuts, his honesty about Social Security, his Patriot Act, his waging the GWOT, his warnings about Fannie and Freddie, etc. Hannity’s sophomoric ‘they abandoned their principles’ is a tag line to bow to the fashion, but it is hardly Conservative – lacking sincere basis and objectivity. It isn’t accurate. The Bush Administration was a sincere positive when one reviews the Record. We even know the economy tanked because of the disastrous Democratic Party’s undermining of the Mortgage Industry – which they still have failed to reform.

    Certainly no one is perfect, but this pathetic blind Partisan Fan FARE, which the TEA PARTY EXPRESS has taken over, is far from serious, strong, reasoned, or Conservative.

    Mrs. Noonan plays the game, desperate to recover in the eyes of a Base who lost interest in her games. And there are so many fashion followers (sadly Mr. Surber takes the bait), many fall for it – revealing they simply are not worthy of the acclaim. Did they forget about Mrs. Noonan’s honest reaction about the choice of the Hockey Mom as the VP GOP Selection? Of course, if it fits their narrative at the moment, they will.

    This is why so, so, so many of those on a very good side, are losing their CREDIBILITY forever. It is sad to watch. The mighty SISU, even championed Mrs. Palin’s TEA PARTY EXPRESS 3 appearance. Frankly, threatening the GOP when you are THE VP selection of the so-called Party Establishment is really absurd. Did Mrs. Palin threaten the GOP to play the game of the Super Conservative Ideal, forgetting she herself created “Climate Panel” Bureaucracy in Alaska? Or raised the taxation on Oil Companies, further raising the cost of living for us all? Is this the Principles she is threatening others to follow? Or is it the, “abandon your sworn responsibility after just 2 years to sell your Celebrity for Millions” principle?

    The reality is, these Conservative Pundits and Celebrities wish they could be as sound as a Reagan, a Bush, a WFB, etc. But they jump on any fashionable push, foolishly following the worst conceived offerings time and again. They simply make it much easier for the disastrous Democrats, playing right into the ugly stereotypes the Democratic Partisan Machine exploit to gain power.

    They should know better, and they can begin by returning to a little more reason, a little more study on the facts, especially an honest review of the Bush Administration offering.

    Mrs. O’Donnell was a gift to Mr. Obama, Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Reid. 6 Long years for a Senate Seat to the Democratic Party in Delaware once again. And those who cannot be honest about it, should not be trusted.

    Now, after this NOV vote, which should be the priority, we will look to 2012. Unfortunately, Mrs. Palin resembles Mrs. O’Donnell in so many ways. Her poll Numbers are in Hillary Clinton danger zones, as she even loses to the disaster named Obama 55% to her weak 35% today.

    This is a problem, and all the Conservative denial and fashion will not help save the day. You cannot give the Democrats another ‘Delaware’ again.

    Thank you.

  • OLD FAN

    I agree with CV on some points…

    Races are tightening on the East Coast, and part of the reason is the Democrats exploitation of the simple stereotype Ms. O’Donnell provides.

    Some foolishly suggested Biden and Obama are heading to Delaware because they are afraid of losing the race – but in fact they are eager to advertise O’Donnell as the face of the opposition to the Democrats. Which is easy prey for them, and a loser for the GOP and us Conservatives.

    On the other hand, I disagree with CV, Democrats are NOT afraid of Mrs. Palin. They advertise the Hockey Mom Celebrity at every turn as well, hoping to portray her as the face of the GOP as well. It is another easy stereotype which works for them, and many Conservatives foolishly fall for this game, actually enabling these poor offerings.

    Some continue to say it is the GOP which is the problem on Our side, but in reality it is the Conservative fashion which is also giving life to the disastrous Democratic Party offering.

    O’Donnell is a not a quality, serious, accomplished, candidate, and anyone who claims otherwise is far from Conservative.

    One can see the Fashion, when one encounters a hostile reaction to this type of dose of reality. An opposing view from the Conservative side is often vilified in the most sophomoric manner, just like the Democratic Partisan often do to voices suggesting they are not right.

    We used to be better than this, and some best wake up. I said the same things opposing McCain for the Nomination, knowing he would lose. I knew full well the FRED HEAD Movement was a similar fashionable offering lacking substance, which was actually enabling Our worst offering in that race. WE all payed for it in the long run – the Maverick Ticket was a disaster, and Mrs. Palin was a principle player in that ugly offering.

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