The media doesn’t have to cover the many scandals swirling around President Obama because people don’t care about them because the media doesn’t cover them.
That’s The New York Times’ circular logic anyway.
Saturday’s edition had a particularly good example, when graphics-editor-turned-columnist Charles Blow checked in with a piece, “Resonance Resistant,” that began this way:
“Whether one thinks the demiscandals being howled about in Washington should or should not resonate more widely, they don’t.”
Blow then mentions a recent Gallup poll that found relatively few Americans are paying attention to the Benghazi/IRS/AP scandals embroiling the administration, offering reasons that might be so.
Among them: Conservatives lack credibility. Everyone knows they hate the IRS, so the IRS must be right; Americans are too ignorant to judge the issues or their leaders (6 percent think Benghazi is in Cuba, according to a recent Public Policy Polling survey); Conservatives lack credibility, and New York Times readers don’t like them anyway.
In short, “We’re right because they’re wrong.”
But look again at Blow’s lead-in to the column and insert any cause dear to the hearts of liberals – or The New York Times editorial page – and try to imagine what he’d have been writing in years past:
1955: “Whether one thinks the demiscandals being howled about this so-called ‘bus boycott’ in Alabama should or should not resonate more widely, they don’t.”
1969: “Whether one thinks the demiscandals being howled about the alleged American military action in the Vietnamese village of My Lai should or should not resonate more widely, they don’t.”
2004: “Whether one thinks the demiscandal being howled about a prison in Iraq should or should not resonate more widely, they don’t.” (6 percent of Americans probably think Abu Ghraib owns their local 7-Eleven.)
Those three examples made history precisely because the people in charge of covering the news at the time thought they were important enough to merit attention. Those people happened to be mostly liberals.
And now The New York Times is confronting stories of fatal deception (Benghazi), unconstitutional persecution (the IRS) and an assault on the press (AP). The newspaper responds with a remarkably insipid column that basically says, “There’s no story here to care about because you don’t care about the story here.”
To paraphrase Mr. Blow: Whether The New York Times thinks this is journalism, it isn’t.
And that’s why so much of the public long ago lost its faith in the mainstream media.
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