Now that Greg Gianforte has won a seat in Congress after violently attacking a reporter, the "liberal" press has been wringing its hands as the right wing media smugly enjoys yet another victory over decency.
The New Republic's Brian Beutler justifiably finds the entire scene nauseating:
In a healthier political culture, the condemnation would have been nearly unanimous, and the context of the incident would not have been a matter of controversy. What we witnessed instead was a political media—confronted with a one-sided assault on its most basic freedom—rendered by its own constructs largely incapable of identifying the threat with any precision
He follows this with a tweet from Chuck "It's not my job to report facts" Todd complaining about how politics is broken as if all of the damage is coming from one side of the political spectrum:
And that right there is the problem. No matter how crazed or demented the right gets, Todd and his insipid cohort will deliver what Beutler calls "preformed even-handedness." They will always find a way to avoid laying the blame where it belongs because holding Republicans accountable for what they do and say is "biased."
I wrote yesterday that allowing Giantforte's assault to stand will legitimize it as a tactic, but it's a tactic that only the right can employ. Let's be honest, if Al Fraken choked out Tucker Carlson, he'd be forced to resign. On the other hand, if Ted Cruz punched Rachel Maddow in the face, he'd be re-elected for life. And possibly given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump. We can start counting the days until another up and coming Republican finds an excuse to assault a reporter and brag about it to his followers. Maybe we'll start calling it "The Press Punch Bump" when it boosts their polling.
Meanwhile, not to be left out of mildly condemning the right in non-confrontational terms, perennial enabler Chris Cillizza was all kinds of perplexed that the right could be such meanie pants. Beutler patiently explains to the living embodiment of "both siderism" why he's so clueless:
This is attitudinally correct, but his incredulousness belies a misunderstanding of movement conservatism and the media outlets that the movement has spawned. With exceptions, they do not conceive of themselves as playing on the same turf, let alone by the same rules, as establishment news organizations and liberal media outlets. The fact that Republicans are defending Gianforte and conservative journalists piled on Jacobs isn’t confusing or an outgrowth of “broken politics,” but the inevitable consequence of virulent illiberalism in the American right.
None of this will penetrate Cillizza's self-righteous haze.
Last year, we witnessed the single greatest act of journalistic malpractice since Republican president George W. Bush lied the country into the Iraq War. By going to extraordinary lengths to normalize Trump's numerous scandals while going after Hillary's every sneeze with both barrels blazing, the "liberal" press did more than its fair share to give us an autocratic lunatic squatting in the Oval Office. Now, confronted with a political party that is spiraling out of control, much of that same press is paralyzed by its obsession with balance even when there is none to be found.
What will it take for the Chuck Todds and the Chris Cillizzas to finally stop treating the GOP as a normal, healthy political party instead of the malignant tumor it really is? And will it already be too late when they finally snap out of their self-imposed stupor?
There are 528 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
Please consider becoming a paid member of The Daily Banter and supporting us in holding the Trump administration to account. Your help is needed more than ever, and is greatly appreciated.
Correction: the original article placed Beutler at The Nation instead of the The New Republic because the author is a bad person. He will be flogged accordingly which he says is still preferable to being Chuck Todd or Chris Cillizza.