Monday, May 23, 2005

Mark Steyn on a News Media Fraud

Note -- I moved this up from Saturday'a posts because I really want readers to see it (weekend traffic is only a third of weekday viewing).

Les Jones had a note about this greatest hits request by Mark Steyn. Steyn describes how incredibly fraudulent the news media was in covering the so-called Million Mom March:
As to their maternal status, Wednesday's Washington Post put it this way: "The Million Mom March was conceived last August in a suburban New Jersey mother's living room." Donna Dees-Thomases "called a few friends, and they called a few friends, and within a week they had an idea." Ah, citizen activism, you can't beat it. According to ABC's Elizabeth Vargas, she's "a typical mom." According to Diane Sawyer, Ms. Dees-Thomases has "never really organized anything larger than a car pool." According to NBC's Lisa Myers, she's "a suburban mom, too busy with her two daughters and a part-time job to pay much attention to politics."

Car pool, 'burbs, daughters, Jersey: you get the idea. In fact, Ms. Dees-Thomases used to pay quite a bit of attention to politics: she was a staffer to two Louisiana Democrat senators, Russell Long and Bennett Johnston. Perhaps she snoozed her way through those jobs, spending most of her time on the phone organizing car pools for fellow soccer moms. But she's been paying enough attention to politics in recent months to be a contributor to Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign. Still, maybe she was just helping out a family member: Her sister-in-law, Susan Thomases, is Hillary's closest political advisor.

He also points out that the part about the idea being conceived in her NJ living room is also a stretch. The idea actually came while at Fire Island.
But "The Million Mom March was conceived last August in a gay resort community by a Hillary Clinton donor who's never organized anything larger than a Democratic senator's office" doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? And why should ABC, NBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times be expected to know any of this? Just because half her surname might have rung a vague bell is no reason to leap to conclusions and assume she's connected with Susan Thomases
But Steyn isn't done having fun with the extraordinary effort the news media undertook to avoid telling the truth:
By now, you may be curious about that "part-time job," as NBC coyly referred to it. A couple of waitressing shifts? A little secretarial work for the school superintendent’s office? No, Donna is a part-time publicist for David Letterman's Late Show. Before that, she was a full-time publicist for CBS news anchor Dan Rather. CBS This Morning was one of the first news shows to report the Million Mom March movement last September, when Hattie Kauffman interviewed Donna. "What," asked Hattie, "turns a mild-mannered suburban mom into an anti-gun activist?"

The correct answer is: "A leave of absence from my employer, CBS, which, by remarkable coincidence, is also your employer, Hattie." But that's not what Donna said. Only in the last week has CBS News begun disclosing that she's one of theirs. As to Ms. Dees-Thomases' work for those two Dem senators, not one U.S. newspaper or TV network has mentioned them, with the exception of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel.
Steyn also points out something I have noted on this blog -- how liberals, whether politicians like the Clintons or in the news media, assert their incompetence as a defense to charges they are corrupt.
Every year, tens of thousands of pro-life women descend on Washington on the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. And every year they're buried at the foot of the "Local News Briefs" on page E29. When you remark on the contrast between their perennial obscurity and the delirious coverage of the Milling Mall Moms, the news honchos say, "Ah, well. That's because the Million Moms are so much more media-savvy." What kind of kinky post-modern response is that? Don't worry, we're not biased, we're just easily manipulated, and who better to manipulate us than Dan Rather's press agent?

Steyn's bottom line says it all:
what happened with Donna Dees-Thomases goes beyond "bias": In essence, America's major news outlets colluded in the perpetration of a fraud on their audiences.


Blogger Ol' BC said...

He just forgot to put the last word on his closing sentence.


12:07 PM, May 21, 2005  

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