Excusing Sanders' Outbursts-- Not Kavanaugh's-- All Part Of Media's Partisan Playbook
As the allegations mounted you could see his face flush. The trembling of the lower lip in rage. Fighting the eyes not to well up in frustration.
Finally, when it was his turn to talk, an angry torrent of self-justification spewed out as a life’s enterprise hung in the balance. A spot in the very top echelon of the land swung on the response.
Yes, Bernie Sanders could take no more of Tim Ryan’s hectoring at the Democratic Debate. When Ryan, his presidential opponent, chided: “You don’t know that, Bernie” Sanders fired back as the crowd burst into applause. “I do know that, I wrote the damn bill,” he spluttered in choleric distemper.
Sanders had been called on his precious universal healthcare model, the product of fifty years working the socialist single-payer dream employed in Canada. His frustration was palpable.
Coverage of Sanders’ outburst was widely reported the day after, with all the mainstream commentary devoted to the content of his remarks. Few in the friendly progressive media questioned whether this uncontrolled vitriol in a pressure moment was harmful to Sanders’ credentials for president. Voices asking, “Does he have the timbre to be president?” were absent.
Were it exceptional you can understand the pass he got. But Sanders raged all night like Grandpa in the Simpsons. One opponent begged him to stop yelling. The only takeaway from the media was a chuckling, “That’s Bernie” recognition of his passion for “the little people”.
That’s a far cry from their reaction when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was hit with every kind of scurrilous libel in his confirmation hearing about unsubstantiated sexual attacks 35 years prior. from a Democrat partisan. The same media and their Democratic Party allies slandered him with other stories that all proved third-hand or completely unproven.
As the drumbeat of drivel from Democratic senators such as Dianne Feinstein, Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons reached its apogee, Kavanaugh’s face resembled Sanders’. He went beet red. His eyes watered, his chin trembled as he sought to defend himself as a family man blameless of the heinous crimes tossed to him by politically motivated hitmen.
When he’d finished there was none of the genial joshing of avuncular Bernie. The press slandered his temperament when he emotionally defended himself. “The judge displayed temperament and character flaws that normally would be disqualifying for high office,” sniffed UPI
Citing Kavanaugh’s “partisan screed”, AP reported Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer’s dismissive, ”The harsh fact of the matter is that we have mounting evidence that Judge Kavanaugh is just not credible.”
NPR quoted Lawfare blog Executive Editor Susan Hennessey saying, “I think there is this question of whether or not his prior record of service was sort of just an act, and the person we saw Thursday - that's who he really is, or if he's so disgusted and outraged by the process that it's actually going to reshape the kind of judge he is moving forward.”
“Kavanaugh fails his own test of judicial temperament,” Rachel Maddow told her faithful Trump Derangement crowd.
Remember, Kavanaugh was being savaged as a sexual psychopath, a gang rapist, a binge drinker— all of which turned out to be Michael Avenatti libels or third-hand remembrances from decades past or pimped-up yellow journalism from Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.
Sanders, meanwhile, was being quizzed on a simple policy question.
But in the estimation of the mainstream media, Kavanaugh can’t control himself. Bernie? Such a kidder. Is it any wonder the public has lost faith in the objectivity of the media, where popinjay anchors like Don Lemon lather their questions in the debate with innuendo and attacks on the opposition party?
Where were the questions about the Mueller Report on Tuesday? The radical turn in abortion policy for the Democratic Party? Elizabeth Warren’s high cheekbones? C’mon, guys, that might upset our pals. The healthcare enthusiasms of Bernie & Liz were carved by moderates candidates as suicidal. Their economics were gutted. But who won the debate according to the press? Elizabeth Warren.
Lemon’s CNN colleague Dana Bash was likewise accommodating to the politicians, not the voters. When Pete the Mayor Buttigieg bitched about the show-of-hands embarrassment from the previous debate— one of its few moments of truth where candidates fell into line for healthcare to illegals— Bash quickly promised not to ask for another show of hands that might once again force these prospective Washingtons into pant-wetting mode. Lame.
It all might be understandable if the barons of the press— and their crushes on the Left— reflected popular sentiment. But as an MSNBC analysis on Tuesday shows , they’re well out of the popular realm on issues from reparations to healthcare. On the issue of health benefits for illegal immigrants, Democrats favour the move 60/ 32. But the general public? They’re opposed 33/ 62
On single-payer healthcare that removes private plans? The Democrats arguing policy are in favour 64/ 31. The public? 41/ 54 disapprove.
On decriminalizing illegal border crossing, the DEMs saw off at 45/47. The rest of the nation? 27/ 66 against.
How about reparations for slavery? This bit of liberal wish listing gets a 46/ 40 yes from Dems. The general public: 27/ 62 in opposition.
But the people who advertise themselves as the authorities in news don’t care. Like the Japanese fleet headed to Pearl Harbor they’re unfazed by the consequences. Following policy fanatics like Elizabeth Warren as they launch themselves at the Republican battleships is too good a rush to be called back by sober second thought.
Not even Donald Trump could blow this opportunity.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the publisher of the website http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com. He’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also a best-selling author of eight books. His new book Cap In Hand: How Salary Caps Are Killing Pro Sports And Why The Free Market Could Save Them is now available on brucedowbigginbooks.ca