He uses state-run media as his bully pulpit to attack privately owned media
outlets — television, radio and newspapers — that his administration defines as
“hostile and manipulative.”
Chavez interrupts regularly scheduled programming to broadcast whenever he
wants to rail. In recent speeches, Chavez called his opponents “ridiculous,”
said they need “psychological help” and labeled them “little Yankees,” or
flunkies of the United States. He’s been accused of using his privileges to get
Just who does Chavez think he is anyway, a Republican?
Oh, I can hear the wailing now: “You can’t compare true-blue Americans to a
Well, let’s review.
Days after John McCain announced his vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah
Palin, his party pulled out the tried-and-true “biased liberal media” card.
When Palin was asked about her foreign policy experience, religious
affiliation, gubernatorial decisions or the pregnancy of her unmarried
17-year-old daughter, GOP loyalists accused the media of being elitist, sexist,
hostile and downright mean.
Hours before Palin’s highly anticipated convention speech, McCain’s senior
adviser, Steve Schmidt, released a pointed statement saying the campaign would
no longer answer questions about Palin’s background check. The press, he said,
was only trying to create a “faux media scandal” designed to “destroy the first
female Republican nominee for the vice president of the United States.”
During her convention speech, Palin accused the media of crucifying her because
she’s not a member of the “Washington elite.” When hearing this, Tennessee and
Illinois delegates stood up, pointed fingers at the NBC booth and jeered
newsman Tom Brokaw.
The party has a willing ally over at Fox News Channel. A few days ago, former
Bush strategist Karl Rove, now a Fox News analyst, opined with colleague Bill
O’Reilly about the media’s attempts to “wipe out” Palin so Obama could win.
On another episode of O’Reilly’s show, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
trotted out results from a recent Rasmussen survey indicating that more than
half of U.S. voters (51 percent) think reporters are trying to hurt Palin and
Gee, are these folks talking about the same media outlets that ran month after
month of coverage on Obama’s alleged ties to Islamic extremists or Nation of
Islam leader Louis Farrakhan or convicted developer Tony Rezko? Wasn’t Obama
pilloried when he flip-flopped his stance on wiretapping?
Was it Obama-loving media outlets that pushed story after story about missing
flag pins, Michelle Obama’s patriotism and Obama’s so called “elitist
attitude”? And remember what happened after he called some white, working-class
voters in Pennsylvania and Indiana bitter and frustrated?
Of course, who can forget Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The
minister’s controversial rants were played continuously on the airwaves for
days. And everywhere Obama turned, reporters demanded he explain his
relationship with Wright or declare his unequivocal allegiance to America.
Can you imagine the media backing off if Obama had a pregnant teen daughter? I
have to agree with author Dan Savage, who said the news would be nothing short
of all-out feeding frenzy.
Obama has been especially challenged on the experience question. Despite the
efforts to exaggerate her credentials, Palin lacks foreign policy and hands-on
national legislative experience. If it’s fair for Obama to be questioned, Palin
needs to face the fire, too.
If elected, Palin would be a heartbeat away from running the country. We need
to know everything about the exciting but relatively unknown VP candidate.
I want to know exactly what she meant when she told church members that troops
fighting in Iraq are on a “task that is from God.” Now that she has a pregnant
daughter, will Palin advocate shrinking national funding for programs aimed at
helping pregnant teens? That’s what she did as governor when she cut money for
Covenant House Alaska, a transitional home for teenage mothers.
Palin needs to be asked how she’s going to deal with a bungled war, bloated oil
company profits and ballooning food and gas prices.
I hope my colleagues grill Palin as hard as they’ve grilled Team Obama.
Her GOP supporters can’t pre-empt the media, not yet anyway. Friends, stand
your ground, look ‘em in the eye and boldly ask:
“Just who do you think you are, Hugo Chavez?”