In November of 1994, right after Republicans took control of Congress fo the first time since the 1950s, Peter Jennings went on ABC radio and delivered a commentary that tells you everything you need to know about elite, liberal journalism.
“Some thoughts on those angry voters,” Jennings began. “Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It’s clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It’s the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week. …Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.”
Of course it wasn’t the voters who had just thrown a temper tantrum. It was Peter Jennings who was stomping his feet, rolling his eyes and screaming like a two year old. The late Mr. Jennings, like so many other journalists who live and work in a comfy liberal elite bubble, was clueless, shamefully out of touch with the American people. He just didn’t get it. How else to explain why he would conclude that “the voters had a temper tantrum” simply because they voted for Republicans!
And now it’s happening all over again. But this time, liberal journalists are throwing their little tantrums not after the November mid-term elections, but before they even happen. A mere technicality. Just as Peter Jennings saw what had just happened, journalists today see the tsunami that is coming – and they don’t like it. So they are doing what Mr. Jennings did 16 years ago. They’re stomping their feet, rolling their eyes and doing an awful lot of screaming.
What’s bringing on this display of rage is opposition to the proposed mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero.
“The right-wing is now frothing at the mouth over a Muslim community center,” says a left-wing paper called LA Progressive.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen calls opponents of the mosque “bigots, demagogues or merely uninformed.” Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent writes that opposition “is rooted in bigotry.”
Norah O’Donnell, who sarcastically has been described as “the resident deep thinker” at NBC News, says opponents of the mosque are acting “like the people who stole freedom from Americans, the people who attacked America” on 9/11. And NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd talks about “crazy demagoguery” coming from some of those who oppose the mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.
Joe Klein of Time magazine doesn’t mince words: So-called conservatives, as he puts it, who are making an issue of the mosque “for short-term electoral gain” are simply “un-American” he says.
And when they’re not screaming and stomping their feet, the media elites are taking sides the old fashioned way: by slanting the news to fit their ideology. Take the New York Times. The paper published a very long (nearly 2000 words) page one valentine-posing-as-a-profile of the imam behind the project, but left out one little fact: that just 19 days after the 9/11 attacks the imam told Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes that “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.” This wasn’t some side issue. That statement by the imam, probably more than anything else, had focused the attention of critics of the mosque. Whatever happened to “All the news that’s fit to print”?
A majority of Americans – 71 percent according to a CBS News poll – and even a majority of New Yorkers – 63 percent according to the Siena Research Institute — are against building the mosque and cultural center two blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. New Yorkers have been called many things, but right-wingers is not one of those things.
The mosque controversy has revealed that many liberal journalists, who for the most part look and dress like normal folks, have become unhinged. More than ever, it seems to me, they have become detached from mainstream America. The good news is that the American people have noticed. And fewer and fewer care what they think about the mosque controversy – or, for that matter, just about anything else.