Jennifer Rubin and the Liberal Media Double Standard

Recall the outrage from Washington Post liberal columnist Jennifer Rubin when President Trump said George W. Bush was “unpatriotic”?

Or when Trump said of Democrats that they had “acted like terrorists” during the budget fight?

Or when Trump attacked Democrats for “purposely sabotaging the country’s economic recovery” and added that “These guys bet against America all the time”? Rubin was particularly incensed when the President went after pro-choice activists as “terrorist groups” and said that the words of a Democratic Senator “borders on treasonous.”

Actually, no. Rubin was not outraged. Nor were her colleagues in the liberal media. Doubtless it is because none of the above came from President Trump.  A serious hat tip here to National Review’s Dan McLaughlin, in turn, hat tipped The Federalist’s David Harsanyi, the latter of whom documented a trait that Ms. Rubin seems to have missed when she went after the President as follows in The Post. That trait, of course, would be the liberal media double standard.

Here is Rubin’s headline on Trump’s treason remarks: "Trump’s lapdogs now accept the labeling of opponents as ‘treasonous." 

Her indignation this time at Trump (she thrives on being indignant at Trump) was written this way: 

“….Trump sneered at Democrats who did not swoon over his State of the Union address. ‘They were like death. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.’” 

Well! The nerve! This was just unacceptable to Rubin, as everything-Trump is to her sensibilities.

But of course, there is something quite curious about Rubin’s oh-so-exquisite sensibilities about Trump’s challenging the patriotism of Democrats. Those examples above?  The reason Rubin wasn’t fuming about those Trump musings is because they were not said by Trump at all. As McLaughlin and Harsanyi - the latter the original documenter of these and other similar jewels - made clear, the source for these attacks were, yes, prominent liberals.

The original and accurate quotes, with the correct attribution, is as follows:

From Real Clear Politics, March 2013 in a flashback to 2008 reminding that then-Senator Obama called President Bush’s adding $4 trillion to the national debt “unpatriotic.”

From Politico, August 2011:

“Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having ‘acted like terrorists’ in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.”

Biden would later deny saying it, attributing the words instead to Democratic members of Congress. Ok. It was only Democrats in the House - ergo, no big deal.

From The Guardian, June 2012: 

“In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country's economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama's key political adviser, David Axelrod.”

From the vice Presidential  debate between Vice President Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan, in October, 2012. Said the Democratic Vice President of the United States about Ryan and his fellow Republicans: “These guys bet against America all the time.”

From The Daily Beast, August 2015. The headline: "Hillary Compares Republican Candidates to ‘Terrorist Groups." 

From The Hill, July 2016. The headline: "Dems begin ‘treason’ talk against Trump." 

The story says, in part, this of Trump joking remarks on Hillary’s e-mails in which he asked Russia if they could find them:

“He is inviting an aggressive country that we are really worried about to invade us,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) said on MSNBC. ‘This is — this is ridiculous, and, frankly, it borders on treasonous.’

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) closely echoed McCaskill’s concerns during his own interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.

“Well, that borders on treason. Never before have I heard of or seen a candidate not just for president, but for anything, invite a foreign spy agency to hack America’s computers. It’s one thing to be unfit for command, but today he’s proved he’s dangerously unfit for command."

From The Hill, July 2016. The headline: 

Former CIA director questions Trump's loyalty to the US: report

“Former CIA Director Leon Panetta on Wednesday questioned Donald Trump's loyalty to the United States, according to CNN's Christiane Amanpour.”

And there was more, oh so much more in this vein from various and assorted liberals with names like Paul Krugman of the New York Times. As here in the New York Times in June 2009. The headline: "Betraying the Planet." 

Writing of a climate change debate in the House Krugman wrote of House Republicans:

“And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.”

President Obama’s campaign manager put his treason charge against the GOP this way. From the Daily Caller in October, 2013:

Obama campaign manager: House Republicans ‘committing economic treason’

“President Barack Obama’s former senior White House adviser and campaign manager David Plouffe accused House Republicans of ‘committing economic treason’ during the partial government shutdown on Thursday.”

One could go on - and on and on here. But the central fact is that none of these repeated assaults on various Republicans as treasonous, unpatriotic and the rest caused a ripple of concern with Rubin or other liberals in the media. Presumably because she and they either agreed or thought the charges no big deal. 

But let Trump make a joking reference to Democrats’ treason on the economy and the outrage and indignation flows.

What does this say?

What it says is that Rubin and her fellow liberals are so deeply into defending the Left’s double standards that they will do so no matter how hypocritical they appear.

Take another Rubin jewel of a column, this one on the story of White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter. This one was headed: "The core mission of the GOP is now to defend abusers." 

Now an obvious word here. I don’t know Mr. Porter but I certainly know that the accusations of his two ex-wives of serious physical abuse are serious. And yes, the White House did not handle this correctly. With this hanging out there on Porter’s record he simply should not have been in his White House job no matter how good he was at the job. But the outrage from Rubin and the liberal media is a mind blowing example of stupendous hypocrisy. 

Over at the American Spectator my columnist colleague George Neumayr nailed the massive liberal double standard thusly: 

“Whenever the media holds one of its marathon sessions of sanctimony, you can count on Joe Biden showing up to it. “I can’t explain it,” he gasps of the resignation of Rob Porter, the White House official accused of beating ex-wives. Sure, you can, Joe. Just ask your admitted wife-beating friend Tom Carper, the Delaware senator who has long enjoyed immunity under the Democratic Party’s one-free-slug rule. Remind us, Joe, when you called for Carper’s resignation. Remind us when you demanded the resignation of a senator who killed a woman, Ted Kennedy — or joined in calling for the removal from office of a president who raped a woman, Bill Clinton.

The media, of course, shares in the hypocritical buffoonery of Joe Biden. Lionizers of Ted Kennedy and apologists for Bill Clinton — not to mention bosom buddies to droves of journalists freshly accused of degrading women — have spent the last few days whipping themselves into a towering moral rage over the White House’s “protection” of Rob Porter. Take that world-class phony at MSNBC, John Heilemann, who holds himself out as a brilliant reporter while claiming that he never knew about his writing partner Mark Halperin’s disgusting treatment of women. If that is not a lie, Heilemann is the world’s dumbest “investigative” reporter. Yet there he sits on MSNBC’s innumerable smug panels chortling over the moral “blindness” of this White House.

Is it any blinder than the colleagues of Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, and the raft of goats over at PBS and NPR? The media’s glass house couldn’t be any larger. But its stones keep flying.” 


But the real point here when you consider Rubin’s outrage and that of various liberal media outlets over the Trump treason joke or Porter is the pattern. The pattern of the liberal media double standard. 

Liberals can spend ten full years calling George W. Bush unpatriotic, labeling Donald Trump and various other Republicans treasonous and there isn’t a blink from Rubin and her liberal pals. As Neumayr points out, the outrage over Porter vanishes when dealing with a liberal “Lion of the Senate” at whose hands a young woman was literally left to die in a terrifying drowning.

Not to mention the total absence of outrage at an adored liberal President who has been charged in the most graphic detail with rape in addition to all kinds of other allegations of sexual assault. There was not a peep from the liberal media when President Obama selected Bill Clinton to re-nominate him at the 2012 Democratic Convention. If Mr. Porter were a liberal Democrat, right about now one suspects he would be being touted in the liberal media as a future senator or president.

There is nothing new to all of this. Nothing new to Jennifer Rubin’s or the larger liberal media’s selective outrage over charges of treason or sexual abuse.

Which is exactly the problem. And why conservative media thrives.

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NBDaily Column Double Standards Washington Post Jennifer Rubin Donald Trump Barack Obama