Greetings from the Buffalo Niagra International Airport. Just put Ali Akbar on his plane back home and, with deadline looming for the December issue of The American Spectator -- subscribe now -- the National Desk has been set up at the airport bar for a few hours.
I'm being forced to watch CNN, where the host of "American Morning" just finished interrogating (not interviewing) Rep. Michelle Bachmann. CNN's John Roberts did his assigned job, reading from DNC talking points and forcing Bachmann to respond point-by-point to the liberal argument -- which, however, was not presented as a liberal argument, but rather as "some critics say" or, simply, as facts.
At one point, Roberts raked Bachmann over the coals for calling ObamaCare "socialized medicine." That is to say, he was spinning for the Democrats, who know that "socialized medicine" has negative connotations compared to "health care reform."
This rhetorical battle is, however, only about politics, and has nothing to do with the policy at dispute. In terms of policy -- what will it cost taxpayers? how will it affect delivery of health care services? et cetera -- it doesn't matter if you call it Super Duper Rainbows And Unicorns Sexy Delicious Health Care Paradise. The policy is the policy is the policy.
John Roberts made no acknowledgment of this underlying reality. His job was to pretend to be objective while striving to depict Bachman and all other opponents of ObamaCare as extremist fringe kooks: "Socialized medicine! How dare you call it socialized medicine!" And he did that dishonest work with transparent enthusiasm.
This segment was followed, a few minutes later, by a puff-piece profile of Valerie Jarrett, who was given the kind of tough, aggressive, critical treatment that the Jonas Brothers get from the editors of Tiger Beat.
It is CNN's pseudo-objectivity -- a liberal perspective presented as The Way It Is -- that annoys the informed viewer.
The White House has waged a propaganda campaign against Fox News (which frankly presents a conservative perspective as The Way It Is) while Fox's two cable rivals (both liberal) slide into Nielsen irrelevance, unable to attract a mass audience. And the geniuses at CNN can't seem to figure out why this is.
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