Rush Limbaugh and Roger Ailes used to tweak the liberal media together in producing Rush's short-lived but much enjoyed weeknight television program. Now they're together again. They're both in the liberal media cross hairs, both under attack for mild or imaginary offenses.
It must not be fun being Tom Daschle in the wake of losing the Senate. Who can he blame? He can't blame the "mainstream press," which never even considered snarling the words "architect of gridlock" at him as he built a graveyard for House-passed bills. So like a sore loser... he blamed Rush. But like so many liberals who genuflect at the altar of Bill Clinton, Daschle wasn't content just to criticize his conservative adversary. He actually accused Limbaugh of domestic terrorism.
Daschle slandered Limbaugh listeners everywhere by suggesting they "aren't satisfied just to listen. They want to act because they got emotionally invested. And so, you know the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically." He added, "We see it in foreign countries and we think, well, my God, how can this religious fundamentalism become so violent? Well, it's that same shrill rhetoric. It's the same shrill power that motivates...pretty soon, it becomes physical in addition to just verbal, and that's happening in this country."
This is not just ridiculous. It's not just offensive. It is 100% ugly, poisonous, vomitous, dishonesty. It is political phlegm.
It must have seemed like a plausible complaint in the eyes of the press, because most of the media ignored it as if it was unexceptional. CNN simply found it fascinating." NBC's Tom Brokaw simply passed it on. No one challenged Daschle to deliver evidence.
This isn't the first time Rush has been so slandered. Remember how Bill Clinton blamed Rush and other talk show hosts for the Oklahoma City bombing? It's no coincidence that both of these ridiculous attack came at times when the liberals felt their most powerless, when they felt the conservative opinion leaders had whipped them.
And while on the nostalgia kick, remember all those Clintonian charges about conservatives and the "politics of personal destruction"? What about all that talk about conservative "hate"? Now we have -- yet again -- the black and white evidence of liberal vitriol, and everyone just shrugs his shoulders.
Just days before, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward unveiled excerpts of his latest book, "Bush at War," and caused a big stir by revealing that Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes had sent a confidential memo to the Bush White House after September 11 insisting the president stay tough against the terrorists. Ailes denied the memo contained advice, just outrage. But none of his competitors was buying; the opportunity to pounce all over the Fox Network was irresistible.
But the furor (and glee) from other media outlets was wildly overdone and typically hypocritical. Start with Woodward. Are we to believe this journalistic bigfoot has never sat at the feet of the powerful with his notebook and not indulged in politicians' solicitations of his opinion? If you buy that, you'll buy that he really got that deathbed interview with the unconscious Bill Casey.
Then get a load of CNN, the arch-competition of Fox, which spent most of a day throwing brickbats at Ailes. CNN hired as their president Rick Kaplan, an ABC producer famous for offering President Clinton advice on how to defuse "60 Minutes" questions about the affair with Gennifer Flowers in 1992 -- while working for ABC. He's the fellow who wouldn't deny boasting to friends that he attended Clinton staff meetings and set up the Clinton press operation. He's the guy who golfed with Clinton and slept in the Lincoln Bedroom, the man who squashed negative reporting of Clinton at ABC, and then at CNN, where he devoted hour-long programs to "media madness" against Clinton, and the evil doings of Kenneth Starr. But one memo from Ailes about the war, not politics -- and he's the issue?
The Ailes memo is a molehill compared to Kaplan's mountain -- and the media know it. The attacks on Rush are character assassination of the worst order -- and the press knows it. But this is how the left in America behaves -- and America knows it.