COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 21, 2014 (#ThrowbackThursday) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has appointed her five Democratic members to the Benghazi select committee being led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. The reports from the establishment media show just how far from objective reporting they have come.
From U.S. News and World Report, the headline begins, “Dems Cave …”
From MSNBC, the story begins, “House Democrats had a few options …” It goes on to explain, “they sought equal treatment so the panel would be bipartisan, but Republicans insisted on a 7-to-5 advantage.”
The New York Times headline begins, “Bucking Deputies, Pelosi Picks 5 Democrats …” They go on to write, “The move gives legitimacy to a committee that many Democrats have dismissed as an election-year partisan stunt.”
The AP, the wire service that is widely reprinted, concludes its opening sentence, “… despite serious concerns within the party that the inquiry is an election-year ploy to energize core GOP voters.”
Is there any plain and honest reporting anymore?
Well, yes. The Baltimore Sun highlighted the fact that Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings would be the lead Democrat on the panel, and most reports eventually got around to telling the reader who the five were.
What went unsaid was that the panel was authorized on May 8. Reports then were biased, too. The Huffington Post, The Hill and others led with phrases like “Just six Democrats broke ranks and voted with Republicans to establish …” Or seven, depending on the story.
This foot-dragging and grandstanding are not unusual behavior for Democrats. Democrats led by Pelosi boycotted the Hurricane Katrina panel headed by Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia in 2005. The final report was widely said to be fair.
At the state level, Wisconsin Democrats fled the state rather than participate in bills being run by the Republican majority. The same thing had previously happened in Texas, and almost happened in Indiana. Democrats have lost sight of why they are elected in the first place.
In our representative republic, legislators are elected by the people to represent them at the state and federal legislatures. It’s a job — it’s a paid job. Like any job, it carries with it certain duties and responsibilities; they aren’t optional. Elected officials swear to faithfully carry them out.
The Founders were well aware of “tyranny of the majority.” It is a recurring concern in the Federalist Papers. Minority rights are protected in a number of ways. Senate rules added another — the filibuster — until Majority Leader Harry Reid did away with it.
The minority are allowed to make noise, to speak in opposition, and to vote no. They can hold the feet of the majority to the fire and broadcast their displeasure.
But they cannot, like petulant children, take their toys and go home.
And so the reporting in the supportive media is wrong. The media that once claimed to be “the fourth estate” is nothing more than a partisan press.
No, U.S. News and World Report, the Democrats didn’t cave; they decided to do their jobs. It’s about time.
No, MSNBC, the Democrats didn’t have options. Every committee, subcommittee and every panel in every legislature contains membership in proportion to their numbers in the full legislature. No matter which side is in control.
No, New York Times, the panel doesn’t get its legitimacy because Pelosi named members to it; it gets legitimacy because the People’s House voted to empanel it.
If the legacy media aims to regain the standing it believes it once had, it will have to stop acting as the ex-officio propaganda arm of the Democrat Party.