Out here in MediaWorld, the three best-known "media critics" are the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, Politico's Dylan Byers, and the Washington Post's Erik Wemple. There's also only one Fox News in a literal ocean of broadcast, cable, online, and print publications. And yet, Fox seems to eat up a disproportionate amount of attention from these guys. Hrm, wonder why. (Note the lack of a question mark).
This morning, Wemple served up a perfect example of what I mean, proving my point about the disproportionate amount of attention Fox receives.
In a post titled, Bill O’Reilly threatens (fascist, un-American) boycott of Mexico, Wemple rips O'Reilly for a supposed hypocrisy over the issue of boycotts:
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has carefully followed the story of Marine veteran Jon Hammar, who has been imprisoned in Mexico for having carried an antique shotgun into the country. In passionate segments on Fox News, O’Reilly and other network personalities have called for his release, along with chiding U.S. officials for failing to make his case a priority.
Given the apparent hopelessness of the situation, O’Reilly is now calling for drastic action. In a discussion on the Fox News show “The Five,” O’Reilly said this:
“If Mexico doesn’t release the corporal by Christmas, I’m going to call for a boycott of Mexico. Nobody goes.”
And what would that boycott entail?
None of the roundtablists of “The Five” saw fit to call O’Reilly a “fascist” and “un-American.” ‘Cause those are the words that O’Reilly used earlier this year to describe a headline-making boycott.
Lefty groups in March organized a boycott of Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers following the host’s misogyny toward Sandra Fluke. O’Reilly made clear his opposition to such tactics:
“The entire boycott movement is garbage. The far left threatening sponsors who advertise on programs they don’t like is flat-out un-American.”
With so much bad media out there; so much bias, unprofessionalism, bad reporting, and bad behavior -- especially in the wake of Sandy Hook -- the Washington Post's media critic finds going after Bill O'Reilly on this issue a priority worth highlighting? I'll get to Wemple's weak "gotcha" in a bit, but why use all this time and focus all this attention on a guy who's open about the fact that he's an opinion journalist?
As far as O'Reilly's hypocrisy, unless you’re some kind of hyper-literalist, there just isn't any.
The George Soros'-funded, tax exempt Media Matters launched a crusade (with no small amount of help from the mainstream media) to silence a leading voice in the American conservative movement. And over what? A gotcha. The kind of humor left-wing dahlings like Jon Stewart and David Letterman use every week.
Limbaugh said something dumb, apologized, but for that a national movement was launched to silence him. It was extreme, and, yes, it was a tad fascist.
The Limbaugh situation isn't even in the same universe with another country jailing an American citizen on a trumped up charge -- especially when our government hasn't been able to do anything about it since August. How do you even compare that situation with a partisan crusade to shut down a Rush Limbaugh?
For a host of reasons I won't bore you with, no one opposes boycotts more than I. I've never advocated or even joined one. But when we're talking about a foreign country wrongfully imprisoning an American citizen, what we have here is a situation so outside the realm of my principled boycott of boycotts, it doesn't even feel like a contradiction.
So at the risk of being mocked by the Washington Post…
Boycott Mexico, baby!
You know, I'd like to think that when it comes to silencing an American and freeing an American, we're all a little flexible on that front -- even if that flexibility means an attack by the Washington Post.
Moreover, Leftist outlets like WaPo are always slamming those of us on the Right for being inflexible. But look at what happens the moment we bend a little. It's a trap, no?
But let me go back to my original point…
Really, with all that's going on out here in MediaWorld, the weakest of weak gotchas against an opinion journalist is a priority?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC