Thursday, September 26, 2013

Both Sides Not

Right wing pundits have their asses in an uproar over the snarking of Ted Cruz’s pointless talkathon versus Wendy Davis’s actual filibuster in the Texas legislature:

Sen. Ted Cruz has been speaking on the Senate floor for almost 19 hours, as of this post. The talk is not technically a filibuster — he can’t actually block the Senate from going about its business — but symbolically, it’s more or less the same thing. The point is to show one’s opposition to something through a demonstration of physical will.

Which is why you can forgive conservatives for being upset with the mainstream media’s coverage of the Cruz affair. When a Democrat like Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis filibusters against abortion restrictions, she is elevated to hero status, her tennis shoes become totems. When Cruz grandstands against Obamacare, he is a laughingstock in the eyes of many journalists on Twitter, an “embarrassment” in the eyes of The New York Times editorial board.

“Gee I wonder why NYT and WaPo and everyone else gave ecstatic coverage to Wendy Davis but not to Ted Cruz. I just can’t make sense of it!” John Podhoretz, the conservative columnist, tweeted on Wednesday morning.

Perhaps it’s because Ms. Davis’s filibuster actually had a purpose, which was to stop a vote on heinous abortion legislation, whereas Mr. Cruz’s show could not accomplish anything.  He had already acknowledged that the bill he was speaking against would be voted on at a time certain and he’d even worked out his plans in advance with the Majority Leader.  His was a study in foregone conclusions, and he ended up voting for the bill to come to the floor for debate anyway.

If you want to see some media bias, though, Charlie Pierce reminds of how Ms. Davis was handled by the right-wing press during and after her real filibuster — which, by the way, actually did accomplish her goal, at least for that session.

Shall we fire up the ol’ Wayback Machine and see what was said by certain folks about Wendy Davis at the time of her actual filibuster?

Here’s Fox contributor, and former CNN employee, Erick Erickson, calling Davis “abortion Barbie.”

Here’s Laura Ingraham, surely as important a figure on the right as, say, Josh Marshall is on the left, implying that Davis would like to see children killed.

Here’s Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and once (and future) GOP presidential candidate, ripping Davis for having been a teen mom. Presumably, Perry has some access to the “mainstream media.”

Do your damn job, “journalists.”

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