Bozell & Graham Column: Networks Yawn as DNC Lurches Further Left

While the media do everything but spontaneously combust at the sight of President Trump, they ignore the other party in turmoil. Over eight years, Obama plunged the Democrats deep into a crater, but his media buddies paid no attention, because nothing Democrats do or don’t do bother them.  

For weeks now, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison have been campaigning to lead the Democratic National Committee, and for weeks, the networks have ignored it. They would rather spend hours analyzing whether Trump is going to keep disrespecting them. (News flash: he will.) 

Finally, the actual event – the narrow election of Perez, who then created for Ellison a new Vice Chairman position – drew a minute or two of attention on the newscasts. Compared to the hostile ardor of their Trump coverage, it was sterile and (intentionally?) boring.

This makes no sense. The media have hyperventilated about the “alt-Right” and the anti-Semitism and Islamophobia allegedly infecting the GOP. If that’s acceptable journalism, why not pay attention to Ellison’s radical record? Making him “vice chairman” doesn’t make it less newsworthy.

You, dear reader, decide if Ellison’s past, as chronicled by the Washington Free Beacon website, is disturbing and worthy of coverage.  He compared 9-11 to the Reichstag fire that led to Hitler’s rise. He defended Louis Farrakhan against (easily proven) charges of anti-Semitism. He said black people don’t have to obey the government because the government considers them “less than human.” Ellison met in Saudi Arabia with an Islamic cleric who endorsed the killing of U.S. soldiers. 

Perez also has a record worth recounting on race. The Free Beacon noted that as head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Perez dismissed a voter intimidation case against Black Panthers who threatened voters at a polling place in 2008. He also took the position that white people were not entitled to protection under the Voting Rights Act.

But who needs scandal? The DNC Publicity Prize goes to PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, who brought on Democrats Jaime Harrison and Symone Sanders on February 24 and asked these open-ended whiffleballs:

"What should the message of the Democratic Party be right now?” 

“Is there a positive message right now for Democrats?” 

“What’s more important for Democrats now, to focus on winning back working-class white voters or to shore up the Democratic base among African-Americans, among labor unions, and so forth?” 

A college freshman could have penned a tougher inquiry. Washington Post reporter James Hohmann was the media-elitist outlier, suggesting that the narrative of this race ought to be that the Democrats lurched too far to the left to be competitive. On February 14, he wrote after a candidates’ forum: 

"It was striking during a two-hour forum here in Charm City that not one of the 10 candidates for DNC chairman suggested that the party should moderate in response to last year's losses. Indeed, there was no substantive discussion about policy at all during the Saturday evening event. It was taken as a given that all the aspirants are committed liberals.”

Analysts noted that Tom Perez was one of the most progressive members of Obama’s cabinet, yet you still had obedient publicists like Jane Pauley on CBS announcing “Tom Perez is the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee... His election is seen as a win for the moderate wing of the party.” What moderate wing?  

Just as the media don’t see their untrammeled advocacy against Trump as damaging to their brand, they don’t see lurching further to the left as a problem for Democrats. In both cases, conservatives may enjoy watching them flail hopelessly inside their leftist bubble. 

Brent Bozell's picture

Tim Graham's picture