The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

UK Telegraph on American Media Bias

Posted by iusbvision on February 5, 2009

The coverage of Tom Daschle’s withdrawal  as nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary seems to have left some in the American media utterly bereft. I’ve never met Senator Daschle and I have no doubt that he was a dedicated elected official who did much good in his time. He seemed well fitted in many respects to tackle healthcare reform.

But check out the quotations below and ask youself whether any Republican – never mind one who had enriched himself to the tune of millions by peddling influence after being voted out of office and was embroiled in a scandal over non-payment of $128,000 in taxes for a limousine and chauffeur – would ever be spoken about by CNN pundits in these reverential tones:

David Gergen, on Tuesday: “He clearly was contrite tonight. He’s apologetic…I think that…he’s going to get the job, he’s going to be confirmed. One cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity, for his public service…The general view in Washington has always been extremely positive toward Tom Daschle.” (Hat tip Alex Massie)

David Gergen, on Wednesday: “I think most of us who have known and worked around or with Tom Daschle over the years are actually very saddened tonight… There’s nothing villainous about Tom Daschle. He’s been a terrific public servant who is known for his integrity, as well as his sort of general likability.”

Er..”cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity”? Gergen, of course, is the personification of Washington conventional wisdom (wrong, as it so often is, in this case – he wasn’t confirmed).

A former Nixon, Reagan and Clinton aide, Gergen is now deeply enamoured of President Barack Obama, though his ardour will doubtless cool if the President’s approval ratings should slip. If you’ve never read this brilliant, devastating piece about him by the late Michael Kelly then you should.

Gloria Borger, on Wednesday: “Tom Daschle, being an honourable man, knew that he was, as he put it in his statement, a distraction to the new president, and that he didn’t want to stay that way…Suddenly, his nomination had become very partisan. Health care is one of the new president’s priorities. And Tom Daschle’s been around Washington for a while, and I think he knew that it was probably time for him to pull the plug on this, on his own. By all accounts that is what he did, that the president did not nudge him at all.”

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