Parker: Conservatives and Mainstream Media teaming up

May 16, 2013



Breaking news: Conservative organizations suddenly have found common cause with one of their favorite objects of contempt — the benighted Mainstream Media.

Or as the Tea Party queen and former Alaska governor likes to put it, the “lamestream media.”

In a twist of irony, the two groups have coalesced around a common enemy: the U.S. government.

Revelations the past few days that the Internal Revenue Service has been giving special attention to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status have converged with the news that the Justice Department has been seizing phone records of The Associated Press. Reaction from both camps has been outrage seasoned with constitutional fervor.

Not to overstate, but nothing less than free speech is at stake, about which no one should be confused.

Briefly, the IRS singled out specific groups with words such as “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names for special scrutiny, including asking for donor lists. Needless to say, this would have a chilling effect on donors who prefer anonymity, but it also smacks of intimidation. The implication: Criticize the government and you will pay. Literally. The targeting, moreover, was not a rogue operation by some random field agents in Cincinnati, as originally claimed, but, according to The Washington Post, involved IRS officials in Washington.

“Outrageous” was the term President Obama used Monday during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Obama promised to get to the bottom of it even though, as president, he can’t directly contact the IRS about a tax matter. This is owing to the legacy of Watergate, when then-President Richard Nixon used the IRS to intimidate his perceived enemies. The unavoidable comparison is, well, unavoidable.

Obama can rattle some cages, though, given his administration’s almost daily scandal production, he’s going to be a busy zookeeper for the foreseeable future. No sooner had the Benghazi hearing concluded than the IRS story broke, followed by reports of the Justice Department probe. The latter’s investigation pertained to reporters’ phone records over a two-month period affecting four bureaus, including the AP’s congressional office, and more than 20 lines potentially used by hundreds of reporters and, significantly, their sources.

Americans accustomed to hating the media — a popular pastime of self-proclaimed “new media,” often meaning someone with an iPhone and a laptop — should stop hitting “snooze” on their wakeup call right about now. When the choice is between distrusting reporters and distrusting the government, there’s no contest, especially when the aggrieved are groups of people (Tea Partyers and self-proclaimed patriots) whose chief organizing principle is distrust of government.

Reporters, though they are merely human with all the attendant imperfections, are fundamentally on the patriot team. They’re sort of like cops: You hate them when their blue lights appear in the rear view, but you love them when something goes bump in the night.



The manure pile just keeps getting deeper.

You know it's bad when HuffPost slams MediaMatters on their fabricated talking points!


Progressives like me chuckle when we hear conservatives talk about a supposed left-leaning mainstream media. As if far-right-leaning publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post don't exist. As if ultra-conservative columnists such as George Will, Ross Douthat and Charles Krauthammer don't get equal print space in newspapers across America. As if 3/4 of the small-town Ohio newspapers don't show obvious conservative leanings. As if 90% of the political radio talk show hosts aren't ultra-conservative.

What I see is that progressive-leaning news outlets such as the SR make a concerted effort to include conservative OpEd articles and conservative Letters to the Editor. This very article is an example of that: Kathleen Parker is a conservative leaning columnist from the Washington Post.

Contrast that with conservative news outlets, such as Fox, whose "information" is always 100% conservative in nature. When was the last time you saw Bill Maher appear on Fox? It's amusing that the network that brands itself as "Fair and Balanced" is the best example of "Unfair and Unbalanced". Small wonder that many on the Right are so intolerant of any viewpoint than their own, since for many, it's the only viewpoint they ever see. They are poster children for "confirmation bias", the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs.


@ coasterfan:

Reads like you're seriously flailing by attacking the news media.

So if I happen to watch the weather on a Fox station - they're lying?


In my experiences they probably aren't lying about the weather, they're just wrong (as weather tends to be hehe).
But generally watching Faux News makes you less knowledgable about current events than watching no news at all. There is research to prove it.

What bothers me is how awful Kathleen Parker's articles are. They are frequently over "popular" issues but usually have nothing of importance. The Register always puts her and Leonard Pitts in and they are two of the worst OPED writers. There are conservative columnists who actually write substance!


The point: I NEVER outright dismiss or accept info strictly based on the source.

As the old grizzled newspaper editor said to the young cub reporter:

IF your MOTHER says that she loves you - check it out.

Or as Pres. Reagan so famously said: Trust, but verify.


I've personally found I get more truth on RT and Al Jazzera TV, they cut through the BS and actually tell you what is going on with little or no right or left bias.


SHHHHHHH!!!! If you say you watch that news network that sounds like a terrorist name the bigoted Repubs will come after you! How dare something sound middle eastern and be fair! The middle east is the new commie scare! (heavily applying sarcasm)

DEEPsix's picture



I don't dismiss information based on the source, either. What I HAVE found necessary is that I check multiple sources for the same story. After awhile, you learn that everything the stories all agree on is probably factual. Everything else? Well, that's probably reporter bias, network bias, sloppy writing/reporting, conjecture, or outright lies.

In fairness, that kind of thing is also dependent on the type of story being reported. I think it's safe to assume that if CNN says there were tornadoes in Texas last night, there were tornadoes in Texas last night. If Fox News says OJ Simpson wants a new trial, you can probably bet that Mr. Simpson is continuing to claim innocence in one way or another.

But political coverage? Hah. Read everything you can from everyWHERE you can. Common sense will fill in most of the blanks after that, and what little empty space still remains is likely to be found between the ears of the politician(s) most closely associated with whatever it is.

DEEPsix's picture



@ Pete:

You're right - it is gettin' DEEP!

One of my favorites was the story of Pres. Obama's half brother gettin' a pass on collecting illegal charity contributions.

Increasingly PILES of political dirty laundry are startin' to come out and even Mr. Clean can't make some of these stains go away.


It IS about free speech (AKA 1st Amendment)!
Nixon was impeached for less.....

coasterfan's just silly, the whole witch hunt thing. Conservatives are so so so desperate to invent some scandal that leads back to him, some way to de-legitimize the Obama presidency. Can't find a real "smoking gun"? Then use a tragic situation in which 4 Americans died overseas, and try to tie it to the White House, thus exploiting it for purely political reasons. And never mind the fact that it was Republicans who voted to cut funding for security at Benghazi - that doesn't matter. Never mind that a few thousand Americans have died in Iraq/Afghanistan as a result of the WMD lies put out by the Bush White House. To conservatives, THAT'S OK...

And you're actually going to say that Benghazi is a bigger problem than Watergate? Than Bush ignoring the pre-9/11 intelligence reports that stated Bin Laden was going to hijack airplanes for an attack within the U.S? Benghazi is a bigger security/defense problem than 9/11? Seriously?

I must bow out of this discussion, for it's a waste of time trying to communicate with people who have left the Land of Logic and Common Sense. Some conspiracy nuts would be well advised to get their heads out of their Fox-hole...


@ coasterfan:

Still seriously flailing.

So 'when in doubt,' return to the ol' playbook of moral equivalency: Pres. Bush did it also?

Ask yourself one question: Who CURRENTLY is POTUS?

Bonus question: Does the “buck” stop with him?

Reads like you've got the “cold sweats” of personality cult withdrawal. Loss of faith is a b*tch eh?


IF the Repubs take the White House back, what are the chances the Dems decide to play the same game... i.e. make everything the Repub presidents fault, make up scandals (although i do realize this one isn't "made up"), refuse to pass any legislature he supports even though 90% of americans support background checks....


@ WiseManOnceSaid:

Little doubt that would occur as DC is a cesspool for the wealthy and powerful.

Some believe that there are some positives to gridlock and/or compromise (Reagan & Clinton yrs.)

Remains to be seen.


the libs credit Bush for many of Obama's problems although he is in his 2nd term. If a president's actions can influence what happens to the next president that much and that long then I think that Bush 41 must have influenced the good economy that we had under Clinton


I just love the way you progressives say, "But Nixon...! But Bush...!" It's a quasi-effective argument, of course, because you're RIGHT! Nixon DID do bad things. Bush DID do bad things.

The disconnect occurs right here: How do OTHER bad acts excuse THESE bad acts? How does Nixon's impeachment/resignation or criticisms of George W. Bush legitimize comparable acts by another president?


Reminds me of a pediatrician I once read about who said: If you're not getting sued, you're not working. ALL doctors get sued.

Comes with the territory.

The Big Dog's back

Yep, the Cons tried the black, racist thing and that didn't work. Now they are playing "Let's make up a scandal" to try and put him "back in his place".


Fail on your attempt at deflection Brutus.

Obie The Clueless did this all by his lonesome.


Coasterfan, I suppose you have a source for your revelation that Bush ignored intelligence about 911. Admitted that you know nothing of history. GOOGLE Jamie Gorelick and the wall. Jamie Gorelick was a clintonista!!!


I have a feeling we're finally going to see a shift of media support, to include the SR (since they are owned by the AP), away from the warm body currently residing in the white house. Love to see Westerholds face when his supervisors tell him to stop reporting on obamas fairy tale world and start reporting on whats really going on.


Google Operation PATCON


Sadly, I take no pleasure in this state of affairs. It's unfortunate that it had to come to this.

Ultimately, the country's needs and security are more important than the political career and legacy of one man.

IMO, the quicker Pres. Obama resigns and VP Biden takes the oath the better off our nation will be for it.


Even if you hate obama, could you really see Biden doing a better job?>


@ WiseManOnceSaid:

I wasn't a fan of Pres. Ford either, but he helped give the country a chance to 'catch its breath' and put some of the scandals behind it.

Ford knew how to "politic" on Capital Hill, Biden does too - Obama does not.


BETTER job? No. Less damaging job? Almost certainly.

Obama has gotten away with a lot over the course of the last five years in no small part thanks to the cult of personality he leads. Mr. Biden has nowhere near the charisma Mr. Obama has, and certainly doesn't have ready access to almost limitless sycophants to do his bidding! Even a STANDstill would be far better than our current "progress," and absent the cult, even some reversals under a President Biden might be possible.


I concur, get the lame duck out and give Biden a go at it. He certainly knows his way around DC and might be able to reach across the aisle and actually do something to help the economy and other pressing issues. BHO said he would have the most transparent administration in history and all I am seeing is lies and cover ups.

The Big Dog's back

The only reaching across the aisle should be a backhand from Obama.


Can't dispute your Messiah is going to crash & burn can you?

At least Biden has had a job before and knows how manage people. Barry not so much.


Which "aisle" Buttercup? Even high ranking libs like Levin & Rangel are givin' him the business.

Pres. Obama is increasingly playing a weak political hand and the Dems are running for cover.

Let's have one more ONGOING investigation on political corruption with this WH.

This ain't about just gettin' a BJ in the Oval Office - this gets to the heart of trust in govt.

The Big Dog's back

Ongoing investigation. Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah Ken Starr.


The Starr Report makes for some fun reading. I've read it - have you Buttercup?

Clinton was "mentoring" Lewinsky. LMAO!!!


Heard part of an interview yesterday with Rick Santelli, CNBC.

The question was asked: Why doesn't Pres. Obama take credit for the rising stock mkt. (GOOD QUESTION!)

The answer: Because his core constituency are not the ones benefiting from it.


"They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices."

- Pres. Obama, May 5, 2013

Yea...RIGHT. LOL!!!

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of OZ

The Big Dog's back

Good old Texas politics.


Yep, it sure is. Texas unemployment rate 6.4% and the US rate 7.5%. Creating jobs and lowering the overall tax rate and expanding the base, seems to be working fine in Texas. I don't see any former governors of Texas sitting in any prison, can't say that for good ole Illinois :)


Glad Rob Perry croaked. He was a stinking liar too. People like him are 1 of the real reasons America has problems. Oh, w made the stolen valor act go away..figures. Blo on about the media. People who were part of history know the facts.


Been here. Done it. But keep saying Benghazi over and over again. Is there anyone left in Washington actually working? Or are all of the committees only working to fabricate a crisis?

This time actually pass Shield laws. This is what the Patriot Act wrought.

When did the description on the application for tax exempt status change from "exclusively non-political" to "primarily non-political"? Seriously. When?


@ eriemom:

So having the State Dept. essentially doing their OWN internal investigation regarding Benghazi is OK with you?

SOMEBODY dropped "the ball" - WHO was it?

The British and other consulates had already pulled out of Benghazi due to warnings of terrorist threats; why was the U.S. still there and so lightly guarded????

According to RT, the CIA gave AP the go-ahead to print the story.

Why not have the DOJ and the IRS investigate themselves?