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April 20, 2015

For the Media, Democrat Scandals Can Never Be Reported Straight, But Must Always Be Controversialized/Partisanized By Noting that the GOP is "Seizing" on Reports of Scandal

Some time ago, Sharyl Attkinson introduced a new concept to me: that when she wrote about Republican malfeasance, her media employers were perfectly willing to run her stories straight, but when she reported on Democrat malfeasance, the left immediately began to "controversialize" her reportage, and her employers often gave in to their narrative.

She didn't say what "controversialize" meant, and I was left to guess.

But I think I know.

Let's look at the VA Scandal. The scandal involves dishonesty, forgery, fraudulence, improper taking of bonuses (as those bonuses are granted based on performance, the record of which has been forged), and, by the way, a lot of dead veterans, many of whom died while on the secret wait lists.

The scandal is itself controversial -- but surely the reporting on it should not be. There is no one who would admit to being pro-dishonesty, pro-forgery, pro-fraudulence, and pro-improper taking of bonuses.

Opposition to these practices should, in theory, be noncontroversial.

But extreme partisans make everything a partisan issue. And the VA scandal isn't just about the VA, of course-- it's also about Barack Obama's administration, and his personal vow to fix the VA.

Thus, it becomes useful to hardcore partisans including those in the press to "controversialize" what should be a noncontroversial, nonpartisan issue. No one should be arguing that the VA Scandal is not a scandal.

But Obama needs it to not be a scandal -- and thus, his administration pumped out a report claiming that they couldn't tell who actually died on the waiting list, so that conservatives claiming that people who died were liars.

The media ate this report up, of course, and ignored later proof that the report had been ordered to be written that way by Obama flacks.

This then is what I think Sharyl Attkisson meant by "controversializing" an issue. Partisanizing it, making it seem as if there is a Progressive Side and a Conservative Side and the Conservatives are of course liars and even if they're not, it's all just a big silly political food-fight anyway, and only an extreme partisan would take sides in a big silly political food-fight.

Therefore, anyone reporting on the VA scandal must himself be an extreme partisan. After all, if it's just a big political food-fight, who else but partisans would weight in?

Thus does the media turn all stories about Democrat malfeasance into mere political name-calling squabbles.

But stories about Republican malfeasance are not presented as political squabbles-- these, of course, are presented as Serious Matters of National Interest Which Should Concern Us All.

The latest example of this was discovered and documented by the Free Beacon.

You might imagine that a story about the Clinton Foundation taking millions in donations from individuals with an agenda, and then changing government policy based on that well-heeled donor's agenda, would be a Serious Matter of National Interest Which Should Concern Us All.

But Nope. It's a story about Democrat malfeasance, and thus must be transformed instantly from a story that should bother any patriotic citizen concerned with his country into a mere political squabble.

Not a squabble between Hillary and "investigators," mind you, and Hillary and "experts."

Those terms sound official and neutral. Those terms make it sound like something serious is alleged here.

No, the squabble must be between Hillary and "GOP critics" who "seize" upon reports of malfeasance, as if the GOP alone stands against the bribery of high political officials.

Thus is a serious story reduced in seriousness to yet another talking-heads shouting match -- something that readers who do not consider themselves above hardcore partisanship (which even -- or especially -- the hardcord partisans do consider themselves above) should completely ignore.

"Controversialize" is just a method of trivializing a story.

The Gosnell case, which involved the murder of seven babies (they were liveborn, and thus even extreme abortion advocates are forced to pretend they think these were murders) was similarly transformed from an important story into one that was merely about a shifty doctor and his "political critics," such as "abortion rights opponents" and even "Republicans."

Of course, this is just another example of a hardcore partisan media -- and not merely an ideologically biased media, but a partisan one, which will support the Democrats even when the Republicans agree with the media on ideology-- constantly "claiming the center," and claiming to represent non-political interests, a non-political POV, when in fact it is an institution more corrupted by cheap partisan advantage than the actual political parties themselves.

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posted by Ace at 05:17 PM

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