Posted on | November 14, 2011 | 29 Comments
No, I’m not talking about the bias of Tabitha Hale in excluding me from the BlogCon agenda for the second consecutive year. The final word on that has not only been said, but also set to music. Rather, I’m talking about the evidence of bias by John Dickerson of CBS:
In a slip of the finger that quickly ignited a furor among Mrs. Bachmann’s supporters, Mr. Dickerson e-mailed his colleagues that he would prefer to “get someone else” other than the Minnesota congresswoman for an online show after the CBS News/National Journal debate on Saturday night. The e-mail said that Mrs. Bachmann was “not going to get many questions” in the debate and that “she’s nearly off the charts” — an apparent reference to her low standing in many polls.
The problem was that Mrs. Bachmann’s communications director was copied in on the e-mail, and Mr. Dickerson hit “reply to all.” Oops.
Smitty has said that it is “whining” to call attention to such vicious backstabbing dishonesty, as though no one — least of all Michele Bachmann herself — should call attention to Dickerson’s contemptuous disparagement of her candidacy, lest they be accused of irrational and unseemly self-pity. Bachmann’s campaign manager Keith Nahigan, by contrast, complained of the insult with the obvious goal of exacting retribution.
Now, imagine yourself in Dickerson’s place, while your bosses at CBS News are being deluged with e-mails demanding your immediate termination. Imagine the next 24 hours, as Dickerson is denounced on the radio airwaves by Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, et cetera.
Even if Dickerson doesn’t get fired by CBS, he is now marked for life — his name a despicable epithet, so that no Republican will ever trust him again — thanks to the success of Nahigan in calling attention to that 29-word e-mail.
But there are many more scoundrels like Dickerson in high places amongst the soi-disant elite of the media establishment, and the way they’ve stage-managed the GOP presidential debates this year is the subject of my American Spectator column today:
Whether they’re accused of trying to gin up rating-friendly “fireworks” or limiting questions to a candidate they deem to have dropped out of contention, suspicions toward debate moderators are part of an ongoing erosion of the media’s credibility. Perfect fairness and complete objectivity are perhaps an impossible ideal, but when a candidate claims to have discovered “concrete evidence” of bias, it is a serious charge that merits serious consideration. Republican voters will ultimately decide their party’s nominee, despite efforts by the media elite to decide for them. And Bachmann’s poll numbers are still higher than Huntsman’s.
Please read the whole thing, because among the many unintended consequences of Dickerson’s insult to Bachmann was the fact that I was compelled to spend three hours writing that column in a McDonald’s in Spartanburg, S.C. The necessary delay in my departure meant that I was on the road driving 452 miles to arrive home at 3:15 a.m., utterly exhausted at the end of a grueling 19-hour day.
Journalism as an act of personal vengeance — seeking vindication against bullies, backstabbers and other such miscreants — is a topic worth at least an essay, if not an entire book, but I’m too tired to write it now.
And why write that story at all, when I’m living it every day of my life?