Using the Press to Attack Political Opponents
Everyone is weighing in on what Bill Bennett said on his radio program. Everyone is eager to offer their opinion on his words and whether or not he should have said them. Everyone is missing the point.
The travesty is that we’re even talking about this at all. The most abhorrent behavior that occurred regarding this issue came from the Associated Press (AP). Allowing news hit men like John Conyers, Bruce Gordon, Ralph Neas, Howard Dean and many elected Democrats to assault Bill Bennett is detestable and the AP should be held accountable. The only way liberal Democrats can win is by fighting without honor and by perpetrating hideous attacks on innocent citizens.
Dissecting exactly what happened to Bill Bennett helps unveil the insidious vast left-wing conspiracy and exposes the culpability of the AP. A Google search sorted by date creates a timeline that shows that the tail wagged the dog.
On Wednesday, September 28, Bill Bennett had a discussion with a caller to his radio show. Like Bennett, the caller was pro-life. The caller offered the idea that they could advance the pro-life position by pointing out the negative economic impact abortion has on our society. Bennett countered by arguing this would not be the best way to debate the abortion issue and that we should continue to use the stronger moral argument instead of the economic issue the caller identified.
To explain what he meant Bennett used an absurd example of how the other side could use an economic argument to show that abortion has a positive economic impact on society. Bennett’s view is that we should debate abortion on morality not economics. The end of the phone call should have also marked the end of any discussion about it.
The only people who have standing to be offended at this point are listeners who heard the call in real time. If they were to spontaneously call and complain, the phone call may have evolved into a discussion that would be worthy of national exposure. News should come from events that actually occur and not from false issues manufactured by partisan ideologues. The flap about Bennett’s phone call did not happen naturally; it was promoted by the members of the vast left-wing conspiracy and artificially propelled onto the National arena.
The Bennett phone call offended few, if anybody, who heard it. The hypocritical liberals actually had to expose tens of millions of people to the remarks they deemed offensive in order to create this issue. Ironically, the vast left-wing conspiracy had to "offend" millions of people in order to try to take down Bennett.
Making Something Out of Nothing
The same day of the phone call Media Matters for America decided to make it a national issue. On their website they posted the Bennett phone call with the incendiary headline:
Media Matters exposes Bennett: “[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down”
The next day, Thursday, September 29, the left-wing groups that monitor Media Matters began issuing press releases.
Democrat Congressman John Conyers in a press release disguised as a letter to Salem Radio Network said:
. . . we simply cannot countenance statements and shows that are replete with racism, stereotyping, and profiling. Mr. Bennett’s statement is insulting to all of us and has no place on the nation’s public air waves.
Keep in mind that Conyers released his letter to a wire service with the hope that the story, now with him in it, would get play on the air waves. Conyers was attempting to gain more exposure of Bennett’s statement. If he were sincere and did not want to “insult” more people, and if he actually believed the statement did not belong on the air waves, he would have sent a private correspondence to Salem Radio Network instead of splashing it on a wire service.
Bruce Gordon, President & CEO of the NAACP issued a press release that said:
. . . Bill Bennett should apologize for racist comments made yesterday . . . I am personally offended and angry that Bennett felt he could make such a public statement with impunity.
Since Gordon is playing for air time and trying to get more exposure to what Bennett said and since we know that not many members of the NAACP actually heard Bennett on the radio, we must conclude that Gordon is attempting to offend and anger his membership.
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights issued a press release that said:
. . . Bill Bennett’s blatantly racist remarks are outrageous.
People For the American Way President Ralph Neas’ press release said:
. . . if there’s anyone who doubts that racial insensitivity still plays a role in our society and political culture, they should listen to these appalling remarks by Bill Bennett.
It looks like Neas is hoping there is racial insensitivity so that he can justify his job.
According to the Google timeline, all of the above press releases were issued BEFORE any of the main stream media (MSM) published one story about the Bennett call. At this moment the only people in the general public who knew what Bennett said were those who heard it on the radio.
This unseemly group of barnacles attempted to get ahead of the issue and attach themselves to it for their own self promotion. They were also sending a strong signal to the (AP) that they want this to be a national story.
AP Misuses its Power
The 500-pound guerrilla of the vast left-wing conspiracy, the AP, was not about to disappoint their allies. They promptly secured a quote from the top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid and filed a story.
So on Thursday, less than 36 hours after the Bennett phone call, hundreds of newspapers and television stations that make up the MSM mindlessly published what the AP served up.
On Friday, September 30, the AP got the White House to go on the record with a negative comment about the Bennett phone call. This led to another AP file and for the second day in a row hundreds of MSM went with the story.
On Saturday, October 1, a staff writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote an unfair and blatantly biased article about Bennett. Her hook for the article was that the University of Cincinnati College Democrats announced that they would protest a previously scheduled appearance at the University.
Bennett ended up canceling the UC appearance which prompted the AP to file a story that once again hundreds of MSM printed and put on the air. Many of these stories carried the headline:
. . . Outcry Prompts Bennett to Delay Talk
Also on Saturday, Mensah Dean of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote an unfair and biased article about the Bennett mess. The hook this time was that Philadelphia parents and education activists were demanding that the city’s school district cancel a $3 million contract it had with K12 inc., because the company’s Chairman of the Board was William Bennett.
The Intellectually Myopic Left
The October 2nd edition of Fox News Sunday included a discussion about the Bennett issue. Juan Williams provides an excellent example of the fact that in the war of ideas the left is only able to manage fire power equivalent to a pea-shooter. The following day James Taranto, an excellent example that the right has intellectual fire power equivalent to nuclear weapons, responded to Williams’ remarks:
. . . On “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, Juan Williams joined the attack on Bennett. The way in which he did it made our jaw drop, and let us count the ways. This is from the Factiva transcript . . .
What’s clearly wrong is if you wanted to say, oh, gosh, you know,  maybe we should have abortions for every woman who has a history in her family of mental illness or anybody who has a disabled child, or  let’s get rid of all the Christians, they certainly have been involved in lots of wars.  How about the Jews? You know what?  We have trouble with older people in this country. Clearly, they, you know, cause a great burden on our Social Security system. Maybe we should do away with some of these older people.
You know, Brit, it really speaks to a deeply racist mindset to imagine America somehow as better off if we didn’t have those black people around and all those racial issues and all there–you know, so many of these blacks end up in jail, as if they’re criminals because they’re black . . . He certainly said to me. That’s what . . . I heard, Brit . . .
Brit, if I’m sitting here on a national talk show and I say, you know,  maybe if we killed off these white people, we wouldn’t have so many mass murders in America, you’d say, Juan, are you out of your mind? . . . Words have meaning, Brit . . . I think what you’re misunderstanding is it’s the idea that he gave voice to this notion. If you were in a Nazi regime and said  you know, gee, you know, a lot of these Jewish people have businesses and they dominate the academy, and therefore wouldn’t it be better–that’s not a good idea, Brit. Not a good idea to give voice to.
No fewer than six times in a 10-minute segment, Williams did exactly what Bennett did that so offended him—namely, offer an outrageous hypothetical to illustrate a point. We’re no more offended by Williams’s doing so than we were by Bennett’s, but Williams’s hypocrisy is simply mind-boggling.
There are only two substantial differences between what Bennett said and what Williams said. First, Bennett made his remarks off-the-cuff and Williams had 72 hours to think about what he was going to say. Second, and more importantly, Williams is not going to have his life turned upside down over his remarks.
Williams was not alone. Amazingly dozens of liberal editorialists did the same thing and used similar examples to explain why what Bennett did was wrong. Thursday, October 6, one of these liberal columnists, Rick Badie, had a column published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with the headline:
What if we aborted every white baby?
My wife sent Mr. Badie an email:
Have you listened to the whole radio transcript? Bennett was making a ridiculous analogy, JUST like you are. How come it’s ok for you to do it and not him? Bennett is pro-life, are you?
Mr. Badie’s email response:
Yes, listened to the whole transcript. And it was ridiculous, as my ‘abort white babies’ was meant to be.
Mr. Badie then wrote another column on Sunday, October 9, commenting on the unfair response he got to his column three days earlier. Not only are the liberals not smart enough to avoid making the error of doing the exact same thing they are complaining about, they can’t even understand their error when it is pointed out to them.
News or Propaganda?
One fact about the Bennett issue that cannot be disputed is that the liberal MSM fueled by the AP succeeded in misleading millions of Americans. If news is supposed to inform people, how come nobody seems to be concerned that a large mass now believes something that is incorrect? If a product does the opposite of what it is supposed to do, it should not be able to succeed in the market place. The media is eager to jump on a story about a company with a product that doesn’t perform the way it is marketed. Who holds the media accountable when they spread misinformation?
The news in this case is simple and undisputed. Pro-Life Bill Bennett took a position that abortion should not be debated on economics and the focus of the debate should revolve around morality. Whatever anyone thinks about the Bennett phone call if they don’t at least understand the argument he was making, they have been misinformed, period.
In the October 1st, Philadelphia Daily News article mentioned above, the ‘reporter’ Mensah Dean includes a quote from the mother of a third-grader:
I find it hard to see any explanation for why they’re here in Philadelphia educating many of the black children Mr. Bennett clearly finds it provocative to call expendable.
Anyone with an average IQ who has taken the time to look at all of the facts knows with 100% certainty that Bill Bennett did not call black children expendable. He did just the opposite; he implied that ALL black fetuses should be carried to term so that there would be MORE black children. Mensah Dean is either incompetent or he is intentionally libeling Bill Bennett in his zeal to make sure the article has a liberal spin. Millions of people like this third-grader’s mom got the wrong idea from the AP and then thousands more people got the wrong idea because of Mensah Dean’s irresponsible reporting.
On Saturday, October 8, Bennett had an appearance at the Bakersfield Business Conference that provided the fuel for another AP salvo against him. Local television stations across the nation picked up the AP story with the headline “Bennett Appearance in Bakersfield Draws Protest”. The following day newspapers ran the story in their Sunday papers with the headline “Bennett Defends Remarks on Black Abortions.
So, people who did not hear Bennett’s radio show on September 28th were misinformed because of the AP. Motivated by the fact that the press will cover them, they show up to protest Bennett on October 8. This results in the AP filing another story that will misinform millions more. And the pathetic spectacle continues.
Liberals cannot win on the merit of their ideas. The only reason they are kept in the game at all is because of the power of the vast left-wing conspiracy. When they create a “Bennett controversy” they do their best to use it to tarnish all conservatives and all Republicans. They do everything they can to hold this as an example why the entire Right is bad. They are not happy attacking just one individual; they go after millions at once.
Time to Make a Stand
What happened to Bennett was a travesty, but it is relatively small potatoes. The vast left-wing conspiracy is constantly peddling misinformation in an effort to stop the conservative agenda. Sometimes the issues are small and sometimes they are big (the War in Iraq). The cumulative effect is devastating.
It’s time for conservatives to take a stand against the vast left-wing conspiracy. It’s time for us to fight back. Let’s start with the Bennett story.
Bill Bennett should file suite against the Associated Press to recover what he lost by having to resign from K12. This would be an excellent PR platform that would educate millions of Americans what the AP and barnacles like John Conyers, the NAACP and PFAW are really up to and make it harder for them to perpetuate an assault like this on somebody else in the future.
The people with big money in the conservative movement need to fund a news gathering organization that can compete with the Associated Press. The monopoly must end. We must avoid becoming complacent with the fact that we finally have a voice that can be heard in the media. Conservatives need to understand that the gains made over the last ten years merely give us a fighting chance to play defense. It is the equivalent of playing football and having to punt on first down.
We should express our dissatisfaction to the White House for them issuing a comment on Bennett’s remarks. A Republican White House has no business providing the vast left-wing conspiracy logs to throw on their fire.
Conservatives across the country must tell their local television stations and newspapers that we do not appreciate them blindly feeding us AP stories that have been manufactured for the sole purpose of advancing the liberal agenda. This is the foundation that will make it possible to create a news gathering organization that can compete with the Associated Press.
The war between liberal ideology and conservative ideology will be won or lost based on which side makes the strongest impressions with the people who refuse to participate. Most Americans just live their lives and do not want to engage in the battle. They don’t pay attention or dig deep into issues. They form their opinions from sound bites and shallow thought. Like advertisers marketing their product the passionate ideologues on both sides fight for a share of awareness from the uninformed. Their success is measured by the opinions expressed from those who haven’t bothered to put forth the work necessary to understand the issue. We must control the message and set the agenda to succeed.
In the War on Terror we are happy that Bush has adopted the preemptive strategy of hunting down our enemy and stop them before they can harm us. We recognize this is much wiser than simply reacting to attacks after they occur. The war of ideas is no different. We must all do what we can to preempt future attacks. It is time for each and every one of us to decide, right now, if we are passively going to accept the problem, or if we are going to actively combat the problem.