By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media
Not long ago the mainstream media were gleefully considering the prospect of a contested, drawn out Republican convention. Now that the Republican Party has begun to unify behind Donald Trump’s “presumptive nominee” status, however reluctantly, these same reporters continue to try to stoke tensions in the party, hoping that they can weaken the presumptive nominee. Contrast this with the media treatment given Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is being encouraged to quickly concede the Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton and thereby unify the Democrat Party.
Sanders has stated his plans, which are being treated as an inconvenient truth: that the Democrat convention in July will be a “contested contest.”
The media treatment of these two parties couldn’t be further apart. On May 14 The Washington Post published “Inside the GOP effort to draft an independent candidate to derail Trump,” which details the many possible third party candidates and their reluctance to run against Trump, a move that might split the party and hand the election to Hillary Clinton. As of today, even that effort appears to have reached a dead end, with Mitt Romney giving up on finding someone willing to challenge Trump, in what Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called a “suicide mission.”
The liberal media, of course, could care less about the Republicans losing this presidential election—in fact they see it as their duty to continue to fan the flames of the anti-Trump activists even when there is little prospect for their success.
But it is the Democrat Party which has a significant problem that could cause havoc at its own convention, with Sanders refusing to yield to Mrs. Clinton. As we havereported, “in December 2007 candidate Barack Obama had only 63 superdelegates to Mrs. Clinton’s 169. Yet in 2008 President Obama won the Democratic presidential primary with 463 superdelegates to Mrs. Clinton’s 257.”
Perhaps Sanders is hoping that, once again, most of the superdelegates will swing his way at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this July. If enough of the superdelegates switched their allegiance, Sanders already has enough pledged delegates that he could surpass Mrs. Clinton’s delegate count. It’s obviously a longshot, but with his recent run, winning 11 of the last 18 primaries, he and his supporters believe in that longshot. And even if he can’t win the nomination, they believe that the longer he stays in, the more he will be able to influence the policy positions of the party platform.
“Party regulars look to the past for comfort, citing the tense 2008 contest between Clinton and Barack Obama that ended in a unified effort that shepherded Obama into the White House,” reports Cathleen Decker for The Los Angeles Times. “But Clinton faces a tougher task—an opponent who appears less willing to cooperate, leading a band of supporters who, in many cases, consider Clinton and the Democratic Party abhorrent.”
Decker’s article is titled “Passion of Bernie Sanders and his supporters turn against Democrats.”
So while Trump’s followers’ shenanigans have been labeled the actions of a fascist-leaning mob, Sanders’ followers’ are merely impassioned American folks pining for a progressive future. Washington, D.C. radio host Chris Plante, the 2015 recipient of Accuracy in Media’s Reed Irvine Award for Excellence in Journalism, played a package of many instances where the media, and White House press secretary Josh Earnest, used the mantra “passion”—as if they had been given marching orders—to describe the energy of the Sanders supporters.
In reality, Sanders supporters have made death threats against Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange after the Nevada state convention, according to Slate. They also shouted epithets and threw chairs during the proceedings. Among the threats made against Lange were “a voicemail that suggested the chairwoman should be ‘hung in public execution,’ and a text message that read, ‘Hey [b—h], loved how you broke the system, we know where you live, where you work, where you eat, where your kids go to school.’” Who could be fomenting all of this rage on the left?
Sanders was asked to discourage and apologize for the violence and threats. Yet Slate’s Josh Voorhees accuses him of instead “fanning the flames.”
“Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook simultaneously praised the passion and participation of Sanders’ supporters while adding that Clinton believes that ‘no one should be intimidated, harassed or threatened in this process,’” reports CNN.
The Democrats hope that Hillary Clinton can win these “passionate” voters over in the general election. In other words, “passion” is praiseworthy as long as it comes from the Democrats. Passion for anyone else is a precursor to thuggery.
“But what he [Trump] has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the ‘mobocracy,’” writes Robert Kagan in an opinion piece for The Washington Post. He then resorts to the disgusting comparison of Trump to Adolph Hitler. “Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation,” writes Kagan. “Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how.”
This is the mainstream media’s double standard, characterizing the actions of Republican candidates as fascism but excusing death threats and throwing chairs as mere flights of passion when initiated by Democrats.
Mother Jones, Daily Kos, and Talking Points Memo are becoming highly critical of Sanders’ candidacy now that he threatens Mrs. Clinton and party unity, notes Niall Stanage for The Hill. Of course, Stanage labels these publications and websites as the “liberal media.” In reality, the liberal media are composed of mainstream organizations such as The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, and ABC. These news organizations have long been pushing for Sanders to concede to Hillary. For example, on April 24 Chuck Todd interviewed Sanders on NBC’s Meet the Press. Todd’s comment immediately after was, “So did we just hear, intentionally or not, the Bernie Sanders exit interview?”
Todd was still showing his preference this week when he interviewed Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver in what The Washington Free Beacon called a “testy exchange.”
“Isn’t the bottom line between you and Hillary Clinton and who would be the stronger candidate, that she is now fighting a war on two fronts, getting beaten up by Donald Trump on a daily basis?” MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked Sanders, “‘So she’s fighting Donald Trump, she’s fighting Bernie Sanders,’ the host continued as Sanders interrupted her with a plea of ‘one second, one second, one second,’” reports Matt Wilstein for The Daily Beast. “[Sanders] cut her off just as she began to say that the war on two fronts is ‘depressing’ Clinton’s overall support.”
The liberal media want Sanders to concede so that reporters and Democrats alike can push for a unified, progressive presidency with heir apparent Hillary Clinton. This narrative states that the time to take a principled stand is over—it is now time for the media to encourage Democrats to unify behind the most viable presidential candidate. In the meantime, mainstream media organizations will continue to stoke Republican disunity wherever it can be found. This media double standard, featured in election after election, is as prevalent as it is predictable. But what’s not predictable is Trump, and his relentless pushback on the media. It’s almost as if he doesn’t care what they say about him. Imagine that.