This week we were treated to the best side-by-side comparison ever of how the Media treats highly similar news reports TOTALLY DIFFERENTLY, depending on whether the report is concerning a liberal or a conservative.
***SPOILER ALERT: the results are exactly as you’d expect.
On Friday, all three network morning shows fretted over a woman throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a speaking event in Las Vegas. NBC Today co-host Tamron Hall was particularly melodramatic: “I mean, but how scary is that?…Had it hit her, that would have been awful. It would have been awful.”
Weatherman Al Roker added: “Jeez, that’s frightening.”
Hall declared: “It’s hard for me to watch, actually.”
But wait a second here: I distinctly recall being told that shoes heaved at politicians were, like, TOTALLY cool. Honest! C’mon, think back to 2008:
“…when an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at then-President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. At that time, ABC and CBS referred to the shoe-thrower as a “celebrity” and “folk hero” who “thrilled the Arab world“.
In 2009, then-MSNBC host David Shuster actually cheered the release of the footwear assailant from prison…”
See? Only a scant six years ago, and shoe-throwing at the horrendum politicus was sufficient to turn you into a celebrity and a folk hero! Gee, I wonder what the difference is between then and now?
Oh, yeah. That’s right:
It temporarily slipped my mind that George Walker Bush will always be the “Universe’s Ultimate Evil”, at least until the next Republican president. Sorry; my bad…
There were plenty of news reports following the “Shoe Heard Round the World”. Some news outlets joked about it more subtly, while others like the folks at the New Yorker came right out and said what they were so obviously thinking:
“Ten Reasons the George Bush Shoe Attack Was Completely Awesome”
And Michael Hirsh from Newsweek magazine wasn’t much better:
Bush Shoe Throwing “Somehow Appropriate”
Going one step further than that, About.com had (and still has) the Bush/shoe incident as a motion GIF on their “Political Humor” page. A series of “Throw a Shoe at Bush” online games popped-up, almost overnight. To this day, KnowYourMeme has a whole section of “humorous” GIFs about it.
By contrast, having to dodge flying footwear TODAY practically warrants a Purple Heart:
“…on Friday’s ABC Good Morning America, White House correspondent Jon Karl reported: “Hillary Clinton took that with good humor. But it was a scary moment.”
Co-host George Stephanopoulos remarked: “Yeah, Hillary Clinton, quick with the quip. But that was a scary moment there for a second.”
On CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose observed that Clinton “handled that quite well” before noting that the thrower was “facing federal charges.”
Fellow co-host Norah O’Donnell gushed: “You know, it was amazing to see how calm she [Hillary Clinton] was….she didn’t really react much at all and had a great retort, you know?” Rose agreed: “It was amazing.” O’Donnell concluded: “Incredible, indeed…”
Call me cynical, but I’m doubting that we’ll be seeing a similar page of “humorous GIFs” all about Hillary (aka: the Sole Survivor).
So there you have our three lessons for the day, boys-n-girls:
- Two shoes thrown at George W. Bush = AWESOME!!
- Only one shoe thrown at Hillary Clinton = SCARY and FRIGHTENING.
- The Media IS NOT BIASED in ANY way.
You might wanna write that last one down…
***UPDATE: (4-14-2013) – Thanks to the video techs over at Fox, we now have this brief clip which summarizes what we said last week: