- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The liberal media are “shamelessly” using President Obama’s re-election to steer the Republican Party away from the conservative mindset, says a pithy new Media Research Center study on recent national news coverage. Indeed, conservatives have been painted as a moldering, deranged bunch in the last week.

Among other examples, The New York Times and Newsweek dismissed them as “grumpy old white men,” while a panel discussion on NBC’s “Meet the Press” agreed that conservatives were simply “loons and wackos.” CNN host Piers Morgan also cited the tea party for “archaic politics,” the analysis found.

“We hear this from the liberal media every single time the Republicans don’t win something. They have only one solution for the Republican Party: don’t be conservative,” observes Brent Bozell, founder of the watchdog group.

“It’s never about the failures of the candidates or a poor voter-turnout effort. It’s that Republicans are too conservative — a false conclusion that ignores the successful campaigns of conservatives Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush,” Mr. Bozell adds.

THE SOFTBALL GAME

“President Obama, Washington press corps gather for a game of slow-pitch softball.”

- A description of Mr. Obama’s news conference on Wednesday — his first in 253 days — from conservative blogger and Pajamas Media contributor Bryan Preston.

“It was a bizarre mix of softball questions from his press sycophants, false righteous indignation from the president over his administration’s Benghazi failures and lies, and an oddly blustery position shift on tax hikes as opposed to tax loopholes.”

- A description of the same news conference from Breitbart.com contributor Ben Shapiro.

INDIGNATION FATIGUE

Yes, we live in a world of scolds. But at last, someone has finally chronicled the phenomenon for those weary of shrill finger-pointing and righteous indignation among pundits and activists, mostly of the left-leaning persuasion. Just published Wednesday, here’s “The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage” by Fox News “Red Eye” host Greg Gutfeld, who has dedicated his book to the late media maven Andrew Breitbart. It includes chapters with titles like “To Obama, Borders was Just a Book Store” and “Fluked for Life.”

Says Mr. Gutfeld: “We’ve created a new, frantic world of the enraged, the phony grievance, the manufactured outrage. If you make fun of something or say something truthful, someone, somewhere will be unhappy. Or say they’re unhappy, even when they’re not. When they’re bored. When they’re lonely. When they need attention. They come for you, whining, crying, screaming. And they are coming for you — the children of the corn, with a platform Everyone wants everyone else fired. No one rests until they get a scalp of contrition, a symbol of victory revealing to all that you just bested someone you don’t like.”

Hm. Sound familiar? Such a touchy world. The 216-page hardcover or Kindle book is already No. 1 on Amazon’s lists of political books. It homes in on all the selective and creative outrage, says publisher Crown Forum.

“The double standard: You can make fun of Christians, but God forbid Muslims. It’s okay to call a woman any name imaginable, as long as she’s a Republican. And no problem if you’re a bigot, as long as you’re politically correct about it,” the publisher notes.

Mr. Gutfeld begins a brief national book tour at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Nov. 26.

HIS SHARE OF THE TASK

“Portfolio is happy to announce that retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s memoir, ‘My Share of the Task’ has been rescheduled for publication on Jan. 7. The book was originally scheduled for November 2012, but had to be delayed until the security review by the Department of Defense was completed,” says a spokeswoman for Portfolio Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA.

“Gen. McChrystal spent nearly two years working closely with military officials to make sure he followed all the rules for writing about the armed forces, including special operations. He was extremely careful not to include any information that would endanger any military personnel or their mission.”

The four-star general was, incidentally, former commander of the U.S. and NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan. Mr. McChrystal resigned and later retired following a controversial article published two years ago in Rolling Stone magazine, to be replaced by then-Gen. David H. Petraeus.

MAYBE NEXT TIME

About 88 percent of Americans who voted in the presidential election support national standards for voting, including the hours polls are open, who is eligible to vote, and the design of ballots, according to a new poll by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Currently, rules and procedures differ from one community to another.

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents also support consistent standards, as do voters from “all races, genders, incomes, and geographic regions,” the survey found.

“On the heels of an election that required some Americans to endure a long line to cast their vote and others to face confusing new requirements, the message from this poll is clear. Our democracy and our electorate deserve better rules and procedures for efficiently administering federal elections,” says MacArthur President Robert Gallucci.

POLL DU JOUR

• 45 percent of Americans favor reducing the federal budget deficit with an equal balance of spending cuts and tax increases.

• 24 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of independents agree.

• 40 percent of Americans overall favor reducing the deficit primarily through spending cuts.

• 69 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of Democrats and 34 percent of independents agree.

• 11 percent overall favor reducing the deficit primarily through tax increases.

• 5 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of independents agree.

Source: A USA Today/Gallup Poll of 1,009 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 9-12.

Nervous titters, grumbles and shouts to jharper@washingtontimes.com