THE POST Dylan Byers wrote on media bias and Ted Cruz’s “not technically a filibuster” is driving home the false equivalency fetish in the media, which has become the hallmark of Beltway media like Politico. Not even the irony of that section in quotes could keep Byers from trudging into the analytic abyss.
He got in trouble the moment he began his post titled, “Ted Cruz, Wendy Davis and media bias.”
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.
Byers evidently forgot the nugget from right-winger Erick Erickson who called Senator Davis an “abortion Barbie” on Twitter.
Then there’s the issue that “technically” and “more or less” a filibuster does not cut it.
It’s also not quite clear whether Byers is squealing media bias because Wendy Davis got attention when she talked about abortion access. There’s an accusatory implication in the way he uses “elevated to hero status” coupled with “filibuster against abortion restrictions,” as if the notion a woman would fight for access to abortion is too much for him to digest. Anyone has the right to his own opinion, but these belong on op-ed pages, not in media criticism.
There’s something else and it’s that Politico’s Jim Vande Hei, a founder of the new media site, has been openly derisive of Democrats and progressives fighting for women’s reproductive health care before. On “Morning Joe,” September 2012, he restated the canard as fact that the “country is very divided on abortion.” Only if you load the question or want to ignore the truth, which is that Republican extremism on so-called social issues worries voters more than Democratic liberalism on them. Politico’s Vande Hei also opined about progressives and Democrats showing “full-throated” support for abortion “anytime, anywhere.” Vande Hei doesn’t see reproductive rights for women as a civil rights issue or a matter of privacy, but one that is best controlled through the centrism model of political pragmatism so as not to offend anyone by demanding the constitutional protection women have won in the courts.
For some reason Dylan Byers and the editors over at Politico, in order to curry favor with the right, while giving the appearance of being fair and balance when the facts support one side over another, can’t just report the truth, which doesn’t have sides. They have to forward the canard of the “liberal media” by hoisting a laugh out loud premise that has so many holes in it Dylan Byers cred as a media analyst now lies in tatters.
The real issue is that Dylan Byers admits that what Senator Ted Cruz did was “not technically a filibuster,” so crying “media bias” when political writers deride Cruz for equating two examples, one that was a filibuster and one that wasn’t and got derisions for the showboating, shows Byers either needs a vacation or his job is above and beyond his pay grade.
Politico shot via Dave Weigel.