This is how left-wing media establishment-types hack away to protect the left-wing media establishment:
1. Kurtz Invents Straw Man that Right Is ‘Blaming’ the Media for Murder Spree
While Kurtz might not have written his own headline, it does fit the tone of his intellectually disingenuous piece:
Blaming media in California gun rampage is nuts.
I know of no one on the Right “blaming” the media for the murders Christopher Dorner is suspected of committing, and neither does Kurtz. He cites no one who has said or written such a thing. What Kurtz does instead is to invent a straw man, because this allows him to argue against a manufactured extreme instead of the real argument. Which is: How’s the taste of your own medicine, mainstream media?
Within minutes of the “Dark Knight” movie theatre shooting, the media blamed the Tea Party. Within an hour of the news of the Tucson murders breaking, the media blamed Sarah Palin. Both of those connections were eventually proven 100% wrong.
Last week, though, Karma delivered an actual connection between a suspected mass-murderer and members of the elite media (many of whom personally participated in the two-week libel against Palin). All we Righties are doing with Dorner’s manifesto is what the media has done to us time and again — which is, night and day, to “blame” the media, and Kurtz knows this.
But since he can’t shoot down reality, Kurtz invents an absurdity and takes aim at that.
2. Kurtz’s Only Example of a Media ‘Blamer’ Didn’t Blame the Media
Check out what Kurtz does here. Talk about a slippery sleight-of-hand:
‘This is very telling that you’ve got a direct association of liberal luminaries with this killer,’ Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, told Fox’s Sean Hannity.
Actually, it’s not telling at all. At least Bozell added that the luminaries should not be held responsible for Dorner’s actions just because his screed invoked their names.
Kurtz uses Bozell as the only example he has to justify the premise of his piece. Except, oops, Bozell doesn’t think the media is responsible.
What was Kurtz’s point again?
3. Kurtz Pretends Dorner Is ‘All Over the Map’ Politically
More slippery sleight-of-hand:
Dorner seems all over the map. He wants Hillary Clinton to be president, but calls Chris Christie his second choice and praises George H.W. Bush and Colin Powell.
Some of the television figures he hailed clearly lean left, others are hard-news anchors and reporters. One — “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough — is a former Republican congressman.
Only in Kurtz’s sheltered, provincial media-bubble does being an admirer of Democrats and media-approved Republicans mean you’re “all over the map” politically.
4. Kurtz Is Reduced to Citing Anonymous Tweets
This is nothing more than pathetic:
Some [on Twitter] blatantly promoted the notion of payback: ‘You guys smeared Palin over Tucson. Now it’s your turn to be linked to a murderous madman. Only this time the link’s legit.’
In other words, if Dorner admired some liberal media figures, they’re somehow to blame for inspiring the murders.
What’s hilarious is that Kurtz is not only reduced to grabbing some anonymous Twitter feed to bulk up his straw man, but the Tweet he quotes still doesn’t make his case.
Kurtz stretches like a wild man to interpret the tweet as saying the media are to blame for Dorner. From where I’m sitting, though, the tweet says nothing of the sort, but does illuminate an inconvenient truth Kurtz is loath to acknowledge: that unlike the media’s manufactured Palin connection, there really is a link between the elite media and this suspected mass-murderer.
5. Kurtz Pretends Only the ‘Left’ Attempted to Link Palin to Tucson
Looks as though Kurtz’s sheltered, provincial media-bubble doesn’t have Internet access or cable television.
Now it’s true that some on the left tried to tar Palin when Jared Loughner opened fire in a Phoenix shopping center, killing six people and wounding Gabby Giffords. Palin’s team had posted a map with crosshair targets representing Democratic lawmakers, including Giffords, that she was singling out for defeat in the 2010 midterms.
What a breathtaking lie of omission.
“Some on the Left?”
Who is he kidding?
Within an hour of the Tucson news breaking, the mainstream media came together, locked arms, and piled on Palin for a full ten days.
But this is how Kurtz interprets that pile-on:
The Giffords shooting sparked an important discussion about the need to tone down incendiary rhetoric[.]
No, Howard, the media did not have an important discussion about toning down rhetoric; the media had an insanely partisan discussion about Sarah Palin using crosshairs on a political map — an age-old political tradition in which Democrats have also engaged.
The very idea that political rhetoric was made a major part of the discussion of the Tucson murders means the media saw a connection. That the media focused almost solely on Palin’s “incendiary rhetoric” means the media wanted to connect Palin to rhetoric and then to Loughner.
Before we learned there was no link whatsoever between Loughner and Palin, there was open speculation throughout the media that Palin’s “incendiary rhetoric” and crosshairs might be to blame for the shooting. It was only after no link was found (much to the disappointment of the media, no doubt) that the jive about an “important discussion” was invented. But only as a fig-leaf so that the media could STILL pile on Palin.
Someone with a lot of time and Google might find the rare exception, but we all know — and so does Howard Kurtz — that the media trained its withering fire on Palin and Palin alone.
How does a guy who reportedly makes $600,000 a year get away with just making stuff up? And not stuff from decades ago, stuff from 2010 — as though we’re all crazy and misremembering.
Like I’ve said before, Howard Kurtz is nothing more than a palace guard for Obama’s media palace guards, and whatever salary he’s paid isn’t a salary — it’s hush money.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC