Media Protests: No Bias on Cruz vs Davis Filibusters

Earlier today, Breitbart's Ben Shapiro detailed some of the attacks on the Ted Cruz quasi-filibuster perpetrated by the progressive media. Shapiro compared this to how they fawned over Wendy Davis' pro-abortion filibuster in Texas. The media might be feeling the heat, because at least two news outlets have posted stories defending themselves against charges of bias.

Shapiro noted how the old media gave "near-orgasmic attention" to Wendy Davis' anti-life filibuster in Texas, a failed attempt to stop pro-life bills from going through the Texas legislature. But for Cruz, Shapiro said, the media had little else but "mockery" to dole out as he attempted to shine a light on the failures of Obamacare.

When HuffingtonPost, for instance, calls Wendy Davis' efforts the "filibuster heard 'round the world" and excoriates Cruz for "hijacking the Senate," it is a bit hard to see where the even handedness might be coming in.

But today, September 25, both ABC and The Atlantic have published pieces defending themselves and their fellow journalists, claiming they aren't being biased at all. The Atlantic has posted two stories on the issue, in fact.

ABC demurred from charges of bias by explaining that Ted Cruz' efforts were a "spectacle" that "will not stop the Senate from holding a vote to end debate on the budget measure that Cruz opposes." So, this means that Cruz just wasted his time.

On the other hand, ABC notes that Davis "succeeded" in her goal of temporarily stopping the Texas Senate from pushing forward on the anti-abortion laws she was targeting. "Her filibuster was a real one," ABC reports.

ABC then points out that Davis' filibuster was better because she couldn't lean on the dais whereas Cruz could move around. Also, Davis was restricted to talking only about the bills she was protesting while Cruz could read from Green Eggs and Ham.

The truth is that Davis's filibuster was just as meaningless as Cruz's because her efforts didn't stop the pro-life bills at all and they are still Texas law today.

For its part, The Atlantic put up two apologias for the progressive media, one at The Atlantic and a second piece at The Atlantic Wire.

The former posits "five reasons" why the media has treated the two filibusters differently. 

One point presented is that the media covered Rand Paul's anti-drone filibuster, so that must absolve them from being biased against Republicans. It doesn't seem to have occurred to The Atlantic, though, that the media covered Paul's effort because he talking against drones, an issue the media likes.

Like ABC, this piece attacks Cruz for launching a filibuster that "doesn't matter." The Atlantic ignores that Wendy Davis's filibuster was not consequential either.

The Atlantic Wire piece noted that there couldn't be bias, because the press talked about Cruz's filibuster more than it did about left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders' 2010 filibuster, and Davis's and Rand Paul's filibusters from earlier this year.

Interestingly, the second Atlantic piece did not bother to quantify negative vs positive coverage, merely assuming that more coverage must be good.

In all, if the media is feeling enough pressure to issue these denials and "explanations" as to why they are treating Cruz differently than Davis, that says quite a lot. Where there's smoke...


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