For many years, the networks have done a sloppy job of comparing "conservatives" around the globe. As the Berlin Wall fell, the "conservatives" became the communists who wanted to keep their grip on power and not give way to democracy. That's hardly comparable to American conservatives.
On Saturday night, CBS News was doing this sloppy dance on the elections in Iran. From London, reporter Elizabeth Palmer declared all the candidates to succeed Ahmadinejad were the Islamist equivalent of the American Tea Party movement:
JIM AXELROD: Liz, a man named Hassan Rowhani will be the next president of Iran. Is he in the mold of Ahmadinejad?
ELIZABETH PALMER: Well he was seen as the most reform-minded of all the candidates who ran this time. That being said, they were all very conservative. In U.S. terms, it was as if all the candidates for the presidency came from the Tea Party.
Nevertheless, young people especially see Mr. Rowhani as presenting a little bit of a hope for liberal reforms. He is a cleric. He is 64 years old. Hes a very experienced diplomat, quite charismatic and extremely close to the centers of power in Iran.
Why must they do that? Can't they denounce the Tea Party for being alleged haters of Islam? Do they have to add the smear that they're somehow like the ayatollahs?