Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bias Schmias

Interesting comment (easily verified via Lexis-Nexis) from Dafydd (Patterico's post noting blatant bias in the LAT is good, too):
Pat, this is one of those “perfect storms” of bias that are so clear, even James Carville would be forced to recognize them.

Here’s one I saw a number of years ago. It begins in the 1980s: Ronald Reagan is president, and we’re ramping up the rhetoric against Iran, which is involved in the Iran-Iraq war.

During the middle of the night (D.C. time), two Iranian MiGs paint a couple of American Navy Tomcats — who promptly splash the MiGs. They duly report up the chain that they engaged and shot down two Iranian fighter jets.

It’s relayed to the Pentaton, from there to the National Security Advisor, who talks to the White House Chief of Staff… and the pair decide not to wake the president, since the incident is over. Instead, they tell him as soon as he comes downstairs in the morning.

When the news heard about this, they went ape: this proves, they shrieked, that Reagan is just a doddering old man, asleep on watch and mentally negligible to begin with, who’s already senile and has delegated away all the presidential authority to low-level flunkies (such as F-14 pilots and RIOs). They had a field day with the “hands-off” president snoozing his way through his second term.

Flash forward about six years. Bill Clinton is president. This time, a pair of Iraqi jets light up a couple of USAF F-16 Fighting Falcons… and swiftly become a duet of smoking holes in the ground. This, too, happens at zero-dark-thirty Washington time.

Again, the various folks in la Casablanca decide (rightly) not to bother waking the president; the incident is over, and there’s nothing he can do about it now in any event. They tell Clinton in the morning.

The news heard about it… and (I know, you’re way ahead of me) they inform the American people in story after story how this proves that Clinton is such a great and well-respected Commander in Chief that he’s not afraid to leave such decisions to the boots on the ground… or in this case, the butts in the cockpit.

A great leader delegates, intones Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw in near unison.


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