I like Erik Wemple.
No, really I do. He writes a great column over there in the Washington media headquarters for Liberal Land. I don’t always agree, of course - but then again, wouldn’t that be the point?
So I’m thrilled he would use his space in The Washington Post to go after another one of those frothing television nutheads that…oh…wait. Uh-oh. That’s not just some normal crazy guy he went after in the Post, Eric went after me! Ohhhhhhh nooooooooo. Smelling salts please!
OK. Let’s discuss.
Erik was reacting to my appearance on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show Friday where I was asked about the Trump-in-New Hampshire-Muslim-question business where the very first questioner launched into his point about Muslim training camps. He headlined his story this way - and I apologize for blushing as I reprint:
Jeffrey Lord, CNN’s very own Trump apologist, strikes again
Uh -oh. Now I’ve upset Erik Wemple. Way to go, self. Erik begins his takedown this way:
Mainstream news organizations like to get both sides of every issue. And when it comes to issues related to Donald Trump, CNN has a built-in advantage: One of its very own contributors is a Trump supporter who’s willing to defend the indefensible at every turn.
To his great credit, Erik goes on to quote me accurately, as here:
Perhaps more remarkable than the man’s assertion and Trump’s reaction, however, was the assessment of Lord. When asked by Blitzer whether Trump should apologize, Lord riffed away:
This is enormous hypocrisy here. Let me be blunt: I am a member of the United Church of Christ, a Christian. Barack Obama for twenty years was a member of the United Church of Christ. We were in exactly the same denomination. So I have some authority to speak to this. I’ve been president of my church council for six years, on the regional board of the United Church of Christ here. The theology of the United Church of Christ is that the members are responsible for the minister. The minister reports to them, the minister can be fired by the members. President Obama sat in those pews for twenty years and heard all this anti-Semitic stuff from [the Rev.] Jeremiah Wright, never moved to fire him. Never, not once. He did zero, zero. And now, we’re hearing the White House talking about Donald Trump. I want to know where is Hillary Clinton on this. Where is the shame from President Obama? This is a massive double standard, a massive double standard.
But should he apologize? Blitzer came back. “I want him to apologize when President Obama apologizes.”
Thank you, Erik. That is one hundred per cent accurate and I appreciate it.
Now lets get to Erik’s point.
What he is defending in his piece is nothing more and nothing less than the same old liberal media double standard. Erik says:
“Lord is seeking to equate Trump’s behavior as a presidential candidate in a public campaign event with citizen Barack Obama’s behavior as a churchgoer.”
Well. The nerve of me. So the liberal media (the New York Times in this case) can rummage through Donald Trump’s life for a newspaper ad he ran fifteen years ago when he was a private citizen and charge him with being a racist.
Eric’s own Washington Post decided to spend time focusing on those famous four bankruptcies of Trump’s business operations. Notably the first two were in 1991 and 1992 - twenty three and twenty two years ago. But the Post ran the story anywhere. If Eric objected to all this scrutiny on citizen’s Donald Trump’s behavior as a private businessman decades ago, I must have missed that column.
One could go on - and on here. But what this controversy is really all about is media hypocrisy - a mammoth media hypocrisy. The sauce for Donald Trump’s goose can under no circumstances be ladled out to Barack Obama’s gander. Or to any other liberal gander on any given day. The media determines that X is a controversy - they gin it up - and then the conservative target is supposed to meekly apologize. But the same standard is never applied to the liberal favorite of the day.
If the issue is religious intolerance and bigotry - than Trump is condoning bigotry because he didn’t challenge a New Hampshire voter over whose question he had no control whatsoever.
But if Barack Obama had twenty years to actually do something about an anti-Semitic pastor - when he could have, to borrow from Trump’s famous TV show - looked Jeremiah Wright in the eye and say “You’re fired” ? And he did zero about it? That is one big no big deal. Not even on the same level with the other. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.
And as a reminder, the Anti-Defamation League took the time to catalogue Wright’s anti-Semitism, including his ties to the viciously anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, the latter who famously called Judaism a “gutter religion.”
Erik doesn’t stop there, of course. He attacks me as being “bizarre” and “dangerous” for opposing sexism (?) and racism (!!!!!). I plead guilty to being a baby boomer and possessed of those ideals that were once thought liberal in my youth. You know, that silly business about the equality of the sexes or, to quote President Kennedy, “race has no place in American life or law.” Not to mention Dr. King on getting to a future where Americans are judged not by the color of their skin but “the content of their character.”
It is telling indeed that to be attacked by Erik for my belief that dividing the country by race and gender is wrong, not to mention immoral, and that all of us regardless of race or gender are Americans, is now seen as “bizarre” and “dangerous.” Somewhere my childhood heroes JFK, brother Bobby and Martin Luther King are shaking their heads that were they to be here today they would be regarded by Erik and liberals as bizarre, dangerous right-wing kooks. To borrow from Donald Trump: Amazing.
Make no mistake. This Trump/Muslim dust-up is an entirely manufactured media controversy. A big one.
And as a perfect example of how this liberal media double-game works, all one has to do is read Erik Wemple’s column on me. I highly recommend it!