Monday, June 20, 2005

Right out of the playbook

This whole Dick Durbin episode has been a case study as to why blogs matter and why the MSM can't stand them. It took five days of constant pressure from the new media, (blogs/talk radio/cable), to force the MSM to break their silence on the issue. They ignore and protect and then they characterize things like this.

LA Times headline: Sen. Durbin's Regret for Remarks Not Enough for GOP

This is so classic, right out of the MSM playbook. It's laughable at this point. Then again, we are talking about the LA Times.

Here is Patterico, the go to guy for LA Times bias busting,

Sen. Durbin’s Regret.” That’s a hell of an interesting headline for a guy who had this to say in a radio interview conducted on Friday morning:

Q: No regrets on the statements you made?

Durbin: No, I don’t, and I’ll tell you why. I went to the floor and read a memo from the FBI. This isn’t something I made up.

Do you think that it would have helped L.A. Times readers to understand GOP outrage if they had been told that, earlier that same morning, Durbin had maintained that he had no regrets for the statements? I do. But that is nowhere mentioned in the article. Instead, we hear that the guy has apologized, but that the rotten stinkin’ GOP won’t accept the heartfelt apology:

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the assistant minority leader, subsequently said he regretted that his comments were misunderstood as criticism of U.S. troops. But Republicans have continued to call for a more forthright apology.

. . . .

“I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood,” he said in a written statement. “I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support.”

But that language, Republicans said, was not enough. On Saturday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on the Senate to censure Durbin because his statement of regret did not retract the comparison.

The closest the article comes to alerting readers to Durbin’s hypocrisy is to say that he “initially seemed unrepentant.” Initially? What about on Friday morning, when he said he had no regrets? The paper skips over that and says: “By Friday, however, he relented.”

No. On Friday morning, he seemed unrepentant. On Friday afternoon, he “relented” to the extent of being sorry that others were too thick to understand what he was really saying.

If Durbin were a Republican making a ridiculous statement about policies of a Democratic administration, his Friday morning remarks would have been the focus of the story.

Instead we get a headline talking about “Sen. Durbin’s Regret.” Nice.