Two comfortable institutions of the liberal media establishment, the Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, have discovered once again that five times as many national reporters (34 percent vs. 7 percent) identify themselves as liberal as conservative. As for that broad middle of 54 percent that declares itself to be "moderate," just consider them liberals with an honesty problem.
For liberal tilt, look no further than this number: 55 percent of national reporters think they haven't been "critical enough" of President Bush. After the media's aggressive air war on the White House this year, the only way they could be tougher would be to physically beat the President with clubs and baseball bats. But that's precisely the attitude of the liberal media elite. Bush isn't a completely roasted turkey yet. Turn up the oven another notch.
Or perhaps the media bigwigs think they're wimps because they don't sound like Nancy Pelosi - yet. The House Minority Leader, the woman aspiring to be the first female Speaker of the House, is so sputtering with Bush hatred that she needs a lobster bib. This is what she said last week: "Not to get personal about it, but the president's capacity to lead has never been there. In order to lead, you have to have judgment. In order to have judgment, you have to have knowledge and experience. He has none,'' she declared. "He's gone,'' Pelosi said of Bush. "He's so gone.'' No, nothing personal there.
But it grew only harsher. Pelosi also said Bush has American blood on his hands: "He has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops, because he would not heed the advice of his own State Department of what to expect after May 1 when he...declared that major combat is over,'' Pelosi charged. "The shallowness that he has brought to the office has not changed since he got there.''
So where are the media, that institution so supposedly intolerant of uncivil speech and red-meat partisanship? After all, in 1995, when then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey inadvertently used the words "Barney Fag" to describe gay Congressman Barney Frank, it led the nightly newscast on CBS, and had ABC opening the show wondering about Armey's "deep prejudice."
To believe that the press would now shine that civility spotlight on Pelosi would be to forget one important network-news rule: Democrats are incapable of gaffes. How much coverage did the big morning and evening news shows provide of Pelosi's reckless and mean-spirited remarks? ABC had none. CBS morning and evening stories buried the remarks in a story on Bush speaking to the GOP on Capitol Hill, and those took a less offensive snippet from Pelosi: "The emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality? Pull this curtain back."
Credit Tom Brokaw, at least on this story, because his little anchor brief captured the essence of the remarks: "Especially harsh criticism today of President Bush by one of the leading Democrats in Congress. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California charged that the president's action in Iraq show what she called his incompetence and that his bad decisions have resulted in the deaths of American troops." But even NBC went from there to a full story on how Republicans like Speaker Dennis Hastert don't show enough love to John McCain - and bingo, we're back to Republican haters again.
But the networks aren't the only media outlets who buried the Pelosi outrage. The New York Times submerged it into the bottom of a story on page A-18. The Washington Post also wrapped it at the bottom of an inside-the-paper story. USA Today didn't even notice in the same week, getting to a mention on the following Monday.
Mrs. Pelosi wants to be Speaker, and the liberal Democrats are trying to paint her as a president-in-waiting. In the new American Prospect magazine, Rep. David Obey called Pelosi "our Maggie Thatcher. She's tough as hell - and has a very nice style to her." If Pelosi has such an impressive style, then why are the partisan media trying to stick her in the attic? Why not showcase this rhetoric for all of America to see?
The public deserves to hear the words, and see the face, of the hate-filled Left.