Skip to comments.Nouveau Slander
Posted on 05/31/2002 4:39:59 AM PDT by PatD
This past Sunday, George W. Bush, President of the United States, at a presidential press conference in Paris with Jacques Chirac, President of France, did something... presidential. It sent waves of shock through the Old Media elite and their boosters among America's intelligentsia.
Senior NBC reporter David Gregory, who has been unfailingly critical of President Bush for a year and a half, asked a blatantly slanted question of the president at that press conference, the kind of question to which no polite response would have done:
You said in reaction to demonstrations against you and your administration during this trip in Europe that it's simply a healthy democracy exercising its will, and that disputes are positive. But I wonder why it is you think there are strong -- such strong sentiments in Europe against you and against this administration? Why, particularly, there's a view that you and your administration are trying to impose America's will on the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to the Middle East and where the war on terrorism goes next?
Mr. Gregory followed that with a query to President Chirac, in French: "And, Mr. President, would you maybe comment on that?"
Bush, to his eternal credit, did not offer a polite response:
I'm impressed. Que bueno. Now I'm literate in two languages. (Laughter.) So you go to a protest, and I drive through the streets of Berlin seeing hundreds of people lining the road, waving. And I'm -- look, the only thing I know to do is speak my mind, to talk about my values, to talk about our mutual love for freedom and the willingness to defend freedom. And, David, I think a lot of people on the continent of Europe appreciate that. Appreciate the fact that we're friends; appreciate the fact that we've got -- we work together; that there's a heck of a lot more that unites us than divides us. We share the same values; we trade $2 trillion a year. I mean, there's -- so I don't view hostility here. I view the fact we've got a lot of friends here. And I'm grateful for the friendship. And the fact that protestors show up, that's good. I mean, I'm in a democracy. I'm traveling to a country that respects other people's points of view.
Mr. Gregory attempted to prolong the exchange, but President Bush did not permit it. (The complete conference transcript can be viewed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/05/20020526-2.html)
The media elite has yet to recover from this blow. Imagine! A mere United States President, daring to reply in kind to an arrogant, sarcastic, sideline sniper who'd tried for the uncountableth time to make him look bad! What on Earth can the Europeans think of such a thing?
Who cares what that illusory collective called "the Europeans" thinks? Not I. I'd bet a pretty penny that the decent individuals on that continent were as heartened by President Bush's smashing return of Mr. Gregory's serve as I was. As for the opinions of the rest, why should they matter?
We elected Dubya to be Chief Executive, not Chief Whipping Boy. I'm pleased to see that he understands that. Furthermore, I hope the rest of the media gets the message that playing tendentious rhetorical games with this president will carry a cost. Perhaps the laws of economics will kick in and we'll see this sort of "journalism" decrease.
Insofar as the president is America's representative abroad, our principal negotiator and the man who articulates our foreign policy, I prefer that he be treated with respect. Insofar as America is the most powerful nation on Earth, and, for good or for ill, has assumed the burden of keeping the global peace, I prefer that non-Americans see our chief of state as a man not to be trifled with.
But disrespecting and trifling with Republican presidents has become the American media's favorite pastime.
The pattern of the past half-century is quite distinct. Eisenhower? A retired general, intellectually unequal to the task of governance. Nixon? A crook, with no substantive accomplishments to his credit. Reagan? An amiable bumbler operated by his handlers like a hand puppet. Bush the Elder? An insubstantial patrician, beholden entirely to the oil interests that installed him in office. Dubya is just the most recent recipient of the media's disdain.
In the eyes of one television news anchor (Peter Jennings), the 1994 Republican capture of majorities in both houses of Congress was "a national temper tantrum." Another major television news figure (Tom Brokaw), when he turned to ask a colleague about a possible shift of the lead to Gore in Florida in the 2000 presidential election, asked "Are we winning?" Another (Dan Rather) has both assaulted Republican candidates with unfounded accusations and assisted with Democratic Party fundraising.
If there were ever a reason to believe in the impartiality of the mass media, I can no longer find one. Not when senior reporters from major networks assail the president rhetorically in front of foreign audiences, hoping he'll embarrass himself in response.
Press figures respond to accusations of partisanry with demurrers that they're just doing their jobs, keeping the powerful on their toes by making them aware that there's a watchdog scrutinizing their moves. It might be a defense, if the treatment politicians receive from the press weren't so dependent upon party affiliation. How long will it be before you forget Dan Rather's fawning on-screen canonization of the Clintons? Before the blinding image of Hillary Clinton, dressed in virginal white, on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, over the caption "The Politics Of Meaning" fades from your mental retina?
There are good reasons why Ann Coulter's upcoming book Slander: Liberal Lies About The American Right is one of Amazon's top sellers, despite not being available for shipment until June 25.
Yes, he did. Now, if only that spine could extend to handing out vetos... I guess you take what you can get.
As if they are going to do anything else!
If Republicans are to accomplish anything worthwhile in rescuing this country from statism, the have to accept that the mainstream media will be their bitter enemy every inch of the way. And they have to treat them that way.
What I cannot understand is WHY the reporters who follow the President daily do not see that the fate of our way of life depends so much on his interactions with world leaders. The only conclusion my feeble brain can come up with is that these reporters believe they are immune to harm; that their gated communities and private jets will protect them; that all the effort of President Bush and his administration is immaterial because it is not a Democrat administration..
Could it be that young Gregory is trying to jump to the front of the class -----over King, Carney et al? (A little Latin lingo, there.)
I wonder how long it took him to prepare his little snare? Hopefully at any more press conferences, he will be passed over and made to sit in the corner.
Then I could die a happy man.
He probably sat up all night thinking to come up with that. Remember Dan Rather's immediate career jump when he ambushed Nixon with this famous repartee:
Nixon "Are you running for political office?
Rather "No, are you?".
This was during Watergate and was considered daring and witty on Rather's part. Some standards....