Lefty Blogger: Media Silence on Wis. Death Threats Is 'Intellectual Dishonesty and Journalistic Bias'

March 16th, 2011 3:04 PM

It seems that some on the left are beginning to notice the epic journalistic malpractice going on in the media's refusal to cover a litany of death threats - some specific and credible - against Wisconsin Republicans for their support of legislation trimming the power of public sector unions.

"Burying the death threat story is a clear example of intellectual dishonesty and journalistic bias," liberal blogger Lee Stranahan succinctly put it in a piece at the Huffington Post on Tuesday. Stranahan wondered "why progressives shouldn't expect more from our media -- and ourselves -- than we expect from our political adversaries."

He even linked to a post by our own Noel Sheppard demonstrating much of the media's - including all three news networks' - apparent lack of interest in death threats against Wisconsin's elected officials.

It's nice to see that a concern over a politically-stilted news media isn't confined to those directly disadvantaged by it. Stranahan, who has also been working with Andrew Breitbart of late to unearth fraud in the so-called Pigford settlement, wrote of one of the more explicit and disturbing death threats (also documented at NB):

After the Giffords shooting, authorities have to take this sort of threat seriously. The media should too, even if the disturbed person who sent that email was motivated by exactly the kind of rhetoric that's been used by many liberals against GOP officials over and over again during the Madison protests. And there are more threats floating around the internet, in varying degrees of scary and credible.

If you read liberal blogs, you might have heard of some of these threats. Indirectly, anyway. Sarah Palin said the rhetoric should be toned down. The threats themselves were ignored and Palin was mocked.

On the other hand, if you read conservative blogs or listen to conservative media, you know all about these threats because people like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and websites like Newsbusters and BigJournalism have not only been talking about the death threats for days now but they've been talking about the mainstream and liberal media ignoring the threats for days.

Ignoring the story of these threats is deeply, fundamentally wrong. It's bad, biased journalism that will lead to no possible good outcome and progressives should be leading the charge against it.

Just before writing this article, I did a Google search and it's stunning to find out that the right wing media really isn't exaggerating -- proven death threats against politicians are being ignored by the supposedly honest media. If you've never agreed with a single thing that Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly et al have said about anything, you can't in any good conscience say that they don't have a point here. Death threats are wrong and if a story like Wisconsin is national news for days, then so are death threats.

Let's hope that at least some of Stranahan's readers take his words to heart.