I’ve never considered the Politico blog to be anything more than a forum for Democrats to disseminate their talking points through the liberals that write there. I’ve always thought of it as more a toned down version of the Daily Kos or Huffington Post than an objective source for news. The formal, symbiotic relationship that exists between the Politico and MSNBC (see Morning Joe) further validated my assumption. However, since I never actually visit the website unless it’s to refudiate their latest hit piece on Governor Palin, I didn’t know how correct I was. I do now.
Yesterday, in an article at his website, Hugh Hewitt took a rigorous look at how off the deep end biased Politico really is. He first ridicules Politico’s transparent attempt to cast themselves as bipartisan by giving Joe Scarborough a column (yes, that Joe Scarborough). Hewitt then highlights parts of Slow Joe’s latest drivel and explores just how vacuous his writing is:
This particular column is the perfect example of why Scarborough isn’t a “conservative” columnist at all. Not only does it serve up the anti-conservative slant of the week just ending, it also contributes to the very media environment –poisoned and vitriolic– that it purports to condemn.
We don’t know yet if politics moved the gunman to action, but I do know that politics doesn’t belong anywhere near our reaction to it.
We can’t yet understand what led a domestic terrorist to try to assassinate a good congresswoman and kill so many others.
But we do know that we can’t afford to miss this warning. No one should give a free pass to talk show hosts and their political guests who have spent the past several years spreading hate speech in search of big ratings, political contributions and book sales.
As I have said for years now, such hateful words have consequences. As Giffords presciently warned less than a year ago, so does the violent imagery that has infected our politics.
This feedback loop of hate speech has created an angry environment that inspires the most troubled.
In that loop lives a talk show host who called this president a racist, another who called the last president a fascist, a congresswoman who urges her constituents to be armed and dangerous and a national figure who told her followers to “reload” against her political enemies.
This is a remarkably logic-and-specifics free half-dozen paragraphs. We have known since at least Sunday that the killer wasn’t a political actor. We have a pile of evidence that he is deranged and developed his deadly obsession a year before Sarah Palin arrived on the national political scene. At least one friend has attested that he didn’t listen to talk radio.
So this is the best argument about the shootings from a conservative that Politico can find? Scarborough could have more convincingly argued that the moon made the killer shoot than he made the case for poisoned political environment making him do it.
The point isn’t the lousy argument. That argument was made and exiled from all but the hard left by mid-week, and like the false documents held up by Rather in 2004, only the extreme media will continue to peddle the idea that the Tucson massacre was about political media.
The point is that Politico’s chief conservative columnist made the extreme anti-conservative argument –a week after it had been discredited.
It’s difficult to argue with that. On the exceedingly rare occasion Slow Joe makes any sense at all, he’s always a day late and a dollar short, and nobody would ever mistake his points as conservative ones. If the Politico wanted to establish some bi-partisan or non-partisan cred, wouldn’t they try to find a few conservatives who are considered as such by actual conservatives? Instead they hire a guy from MSNBC who is openly ridiculed by conservatives on a daily basis. Hewitt next takes a rather startling look at the double standards employed at Politico by looking at a few stories and how they were spun on a recent, average day at the liberal blog:
A conservative reader reacts to the Sacrborough column just as a conservative reader reacts to this Politico headline from this morning: “Retreads Still Drive GOP Agenda.” This headline comes in a week in which not one but two former senior Clinto Administration officials return to take the helm of the president’s and vice-president’s staffs.
A little further down the page, another headline slamming the GOP: “GOP Event Dodges Immigration Fight,” and further down a second headline on the same gathering, “Jeb Bush: GOP ‘incredibly stupid’ to ignore Hispanics.”
Other interesting headlines: “Admin reunites Clinton centrists” (not “retreads) and “Obama speech recalls Reagan.”
Er, no bias there, right? Hewitt’s ends his piece by noting that, although he has visited the site in the past, those visits will become fewer and further between because, as he puts it:
…any news organization that is leading with this Joe Scarborough column on this subject and backed up by a list of headlines that could have been penned by Robert Gibbs? Well, that just isn’t a serious place, and certainly not one where you would go to get news of the crucial political battles of the next nine months.
Read the rest of Hewitt’s piece here. It’s a good read. But, that said, I do have a couple quibbles. Hewitt, inexplicably, seems to regard Jonathan Martin as a quality reporter, or at least a good “second round draft pick”. I have respect for Hewitt, but this simply makes no sense. There has been no “journalist” (I use that term lightly) at Politico who has been more biased, dishonest, and underhanded when it comes to Governor Palin. Whether it’s ginning up bizarre controversies out of thin air (see here and here), lying about non-existent slights by Governor Palin to Glenn Beck, Steve King, Chuck Grassley, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity, to name a few, or laughably biased reporting, Martin is nothing more than a third rate flack for Obama, certainly not a serious reporter. I associate myself with Governor Palin’s characterization of the guy. My other disagreement with Hewitt is with his opinion of Jennifer Rubin who, since landing her new gig at the Washington Post, seems to have misplaced her brain and is no longer qualitatively different than Joe Scarborough, and she’s giving him a run for his money in the PDS department.
Update: (h/t Stacy) Dr. John at Flopping Aces has a piece today in which he painstakingly documents the bias Politico has exhibited this week against Governor Palin:
And Politico effectively joins Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
Politico’s increasingly leftward lean has finally caused it to fall over entirely. The sheer volume of anti-Palin stories over the last week was breathtaking. It’s clear that they have targeted Palin.
First they were critical of Palin for not saying anything:
Then Politico set her up as the fall guy:
Then as soon as Palin opened her mouth, they set loose the dogs of hell.
This is very well done. Go here to read the whole thing.