Published: January 12, 2014
Waiting in traffic can be such a drag. Big media would have us believe it's worse than a government assault on free speech and religious liberty. Based on media coverage, a corrupt ploy to jam traffic is umpteen times more important than a corrupt ploy to quell religious and political expression.
The public no longer ponders whether the mainstream media promote a left-wing bias. The media's dominant ideology has become no less reliable than the sun rising in the east, said national sage and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Krauthammer in a conversation with The Gazette last year.
Today, it's a question of degree. How extreme is the media's left-wing bias?
Consider two recent controversies with similar components: President Barack Obama's IRS scandal and Gov. Chris Christie's "Bridgegate."
The Media Research Center, which measures national media coverage, found a staggering 88 minutes of combined coverage devoted to the Christie scandal by ABC, CBS and NBC in a span of 48 hours. The same networks gave the IRS scandal exactly 2 minutes and 8 seconds of combined coverage over the past six months.
Each scandal involves employees of government executives abusing authority to punish political opponents.
Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, routinely polls as his party's most promising nominee for the 2016 presidential race. He's a star among fiscal conservatives for taking on teachers unions and government excess, making him a villain among the liberal media establishment.
Christie was the center of the media's universe last week after an aide was caught arranging traffic jams in retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., refusing to support the governor's re-election.
The traffic story warrants serious attention. We cannot have employees of government executives harming the public to carry out political disputes. Some argue the traffic jam may have cost an elderly woman her life, as it slowed an emergency response. So the media was right to obsess.
While the traffic scandal should trouble us, recent and ongoing IRS abuses are magnitudes more serious. At the top of the IRS scandal isn't a governor but the president of the United States. Just as Christie claims no prior knowledge of the designed traffic jams, Obama The Great Divider insists he had no prior knowledge of IRS officials retaliating against Americans deemed as his political opponents.
The IRS atrocity involves abuse committed by direct employees of an Obama appointee. They have badges and guns and enter American living rooms. They've been caught oppressing constitutionally protected activities of citizens who oppose abortion or the president's fiscal policies. In documented cases, the IRS refused tax-exempt status for organizations throughout the country if they were deemed unfriendly to the president. In some cases, federal employees bullied individuals about the content of their prayers.
So let's review. One scandal involves backed-up traffic in a city most Americans have never heard of. The other involves the most brutal agency of the United States government curtailing the most fundamental and important rights of individuals throughout the country - liberties countless Americans have fought and died to protect. One scandal involves employees of a governor; the other involves employees of the most powerful politician in the world. One involves a conservative Republican; the other a liberal Democratic. One received 88 minutes of TV coverage in two days; the other was ignored, for all but 2 minutes and 8 seconds over six months.
If the collective media were rational and objective - if the trade respected liberty - those numbers would be reversed in deference to the grave and insidious implications of a federal government that punishes people for their values. Any semblance of objectivity has been sacrificed for an unprecedented media frenzy to promote the left and a president journalists adore. No wonder big media have lost the public's trust.