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