In conservative communications circles, operatives often lament, “It must be so easy to be a Democrat.” The frustration is always there because the bulk of the corporate media sees the world the same way as Democrat office holders and candidates, and the battle for favorable — or even neutral — coverage is never-ending and sometimes seemingly unwinnable.
Constantly, there are new examples that illustrate the point.
Just this past Tuesday, Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were among other lawmakers “arrested” during a pro-abortion protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The members of Congress were cited for blocking the street after repeated warnings to move, escorted to a nearby “staging area,” and provided snacks and water while they took self-congratulatory selfies.
Naturally, there were plenty of news cameras present and ABC was able to snap the money shots of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Omar being led away, apparently with their hands cuffed behind their backs. That image was blasted out to ABC News’ 17.6 million Twitter followers.
Only there weren’t any handcuffs.
Unfettered, they clasped their own hands behind their backs as they walked, with a video showing Ms. Ocasio-Cortez forgetting her stage direction for a moment in offering the cheering crowd a clenched fist salute.
Oops. No handcuffs. And no explanation in ABC’s tweet that there were no cuffs evident.
The temperature reached 90 degrees in Washington that day, yet both lawmakers were wearing jackets with sleeves down to their wrists — perhaps to obscure the fact that they were not actually shackled.
Why do Democrats do this? Because they know the media will not only let them get away with it but actively participate in the performance art, as ABC did by tweeting the photo that appeared to show them manacled when they were not.
In another case, where it’s hard to believe it was a random chance or a coincidence, an MSNBC host tweeted commentary on the Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting. The tweet exactly mimicked a prominent Democrat lawyer’s tweet.
“If 400 trained police officers weren’t prepared to engage, what’s the argument for arming kindergarten teachers?” read the tweet from MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle at 5:28 p.m. EDT on July 17, 2022.
This was curious, because two and a half hours earlier, Andrew Weinstein, chair of the Democratic Lawyers Council and deputy national finance chair for the Democratic National Committee, already had tweeted precisely the same thing, character for character.
Clearly, the talking points had gone out.
But Democrats go beyond instructing media types what to say and do in the moment — they can actually alter what’s being disseminated after it’s been published, even if it’s opinion.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria authored a piece for his Washington Post column under the headline, “Forget Pronouns: Democrats need to become the party of building things.”
This blasphemy against the “woke” dogma of today’s leftists was met with outrage, including from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg.
The Post dutifully changed the headline, removing the offensive “Forget Pronouns” phrase and going with just, “Democrats need to become the party of building things.”
In other news this month, National Public Radio, which is notoriously slanted hard to the left despite receiving funding from all tax-paying Americans, announced with some fanfare that it has created a “disinformation team,” ostensibly dedicated to separating fact from fiction.
The problem is that NPR itself openly admitted to suppressing the blockbuster story of Hunter Biden’s laptop in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” said Terence Samuel, NPR managing editor for news, in October 2020. “This was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”
Hunter Biden’s laptop has been confirmed to be authentic by a variety of news outlets, and many conservatives point to it as proof that President Biden was heavily involved in his son’s business. Failing to report on it while publicly disparaging its importance were simply additional forms of disinformation, with the effect of assisting the Democratic candidate for president in the crucial closing days of the last election.
Can we expect NPR to expose itself now as a purveyor of false information?
In a July 14, 2022, monologue on disinformation, CNN’s media reporter Brian Stelter declared, “One of the dominant stories of our time is a dramatic shift toward a ‘choose your own reality’ environment.”
For once, Mr. Stelter was correct. He just needed to go a step farther and admit that most of the time, it’s the corporate media shaping their own reality to benefit one side over the other — and it’s almost always in the same direction.
• Tim Murtaugh is a Washington Times columnist and the founder and principal of Line Drive Public Affairs, a communications consulting firm where he advises political candidates and corporate clients.