They're mostly backing Obama's attack on Libya or at least keeping quiet so they don't aid those evil conservatives intent on criticizing the president. More moderate lefties had once promised a third way. Now we find out that was a typo. It's not a third way, it's a third war.
President Obama, who was swept in on a tide of anti-war sentiment and anger over GOP spending, is now running yet another unpopular war and spending more than any president in history. If the GOP tried this, the news media would beat them with their microphones. But because it's the president with journalists in his back pocket, there is little controversy.
It wasn't so long ago that Code Pinkers were the darlings of journalism. You could find them across the media landscape. The Washington Post had lovingly huge features on them titled "Protesting for Peace With a Vivid Hue and Cry; Code Pink's Tactics: Often Theatrical, Always Colorful." "Bring the troops home," that 2007 story ended. Four years later, we know no one on the left really wanted to send the troops home. They just wanted to send Bush home.
Or there was the Code Pink protester confronting Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice during a Capitol Hill hearing. As the Post described it, "an antiwar protester shouted 'War criminal!' and waved blood-colored hands in her face." Who hasn't seen that picture? The news ran that so often it was like they got royalties. (News outlets are desperate for cash these days.)
Or how about Cindy Sheehan protesting in Texas outside the Bush ranch? She and others were there long enough that they could claim squatters rights. Sheehan is still anti-war, but the crowd behind her has thinned to a bridge game.
Where did that crowd go? There are no major anti-war rallies on the mall. The crazy lefties that flock to an ANSWER event are nowhere to be seen. There aren't enough liberals singing "give peace a chance" to fill up your average coffee house.
When Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Libyan troops had "been planting bodies 'of the people he's killed' at the site of allied air strikes" media outlets reported it dutifully. Had the hated Don Rumsfeld said as much, the sound of media laughter would have been heard from sea to shining sea.
Yes, a few left-wingers have complained about Obama's attack on Libya. "Fahrenheit 9/11" director Michael Moore used Twitter to criticize the president, urging "a 50-mile evacuation zone around Obama's Nobel Peace prize." But there is no organized resistance because he's on their team.
The 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal gave journalists the chance to talk about the evils of war and blame them on George W. Bush. The Post did more than 1,700 Abu Ghraib stories and about 800 of those mention Bush. A new scandal involves an alleged "'kill team' of soldiers," and their purported crimes. It was shocking enough that Rolling Stone wrote more than 8,000 words how "U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses."
One word wasn't in that report: Obama. The commander-in-chief.
I wonder what the leftover hippies would have to chant about that. Oh, that's right, they don't chant, they're enchanted with Obama.
Some liberals claim the right is echoing Qaddafi by linking the rebels to al Qaeda. The implication is that conservatives are defending the dictator for political reasons. No sane person would defend that monster. Obama said Qaddafi "denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world." He's right. Qaddafi has funded terrorism, been responsible for the horrific Lockerbie bombing and attacked his own people with jets.
But by that measure, half the leaders in the world should be attacked and maybe more. Qaddafi is an amateur when it comes to butchery and mayhem. There's Kim Jong-il in North Korea who has nuclear weapons, blackmails his neighbors and starves his own population by the millions.
Or Bashar al-Assad, who inherited his presidency from his monstrous dear old dad. The Assads back terror both against Israel and American troops in Iraq, repress their own people and shoot them in the street as needed.
The list, while thankfully not endless, is still monumentally long. From Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, to the Castros in Cuba to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, there are plenty of targets to go around. Most on that list would laugh at what Qaddafi has done and consider it minor by comparison. And most of those would be hard-pressed to compete with Saddam Hussein.
You remember Hussein? Started wars. Invaded his neighbors. Oppressed his own people. Gassed his own people. His secret police were widely feared. Human rights groups regularly complained about his numerous violations. His sons were just as evil, raping almost as a hobby. Hussein was even "condemned by the United Nations' top human rights body for conducting a campaign of 'all pervasive repression and widespread terror.'"
Yet journalists and the left have spent years claiming that was a bad war or a "war for oil." It's easy to say the same about Libya, yet here we are, once again, in a new war and the media simply pick the side with the 'D' after its name.
Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.