When I posted yesterday that it would be interesting to see how many mainstream media outlets would ignore the story of the crazy Obama supporter who was arrested for threatening to kill Republican congressman Eric Cantor, I really didn’t think they’d do it.
To my surprise, my morning newspaper, The News & Observer of Raleigh, completely ignored the story. Not a word appears in the print edition. This incident, an actual arrest of a left-winger who made death threats to a Jewish Republican, was not considered newsworthy by the editors of the N&O. And while the editors could find no room for the Cantor threat story, they did find room for a six-column story on 6A about a man getting four years for throwing a dog off a bridge. Priorities.
However, a front-page refer to the militia arrests in Michigan was deemed essential for the reader, and a nearly full-page of lurid mug shots and a photo of federal agents in battle gear dominated page A3. You have to understand, this fits the N&O’s template that the left is never violent and the right is pregnant with extremist impulses.
Any incident involving a right-wing nutjob is assumed to be representative of the entire conservative movement, the Republican Party and, of course, Sarah Palin. Incidents involving left-wing nutjobs, like this guy Norman Leboon who allegedly wanted to kill Cantor, is either considered a one-off creep with no connection to the Democrats or Obama, nor are they deemed to have been inspired by any rhetoric on the left.
To the media, “Kill the Bill” signs are much more dangerous than “Kill Bush” signs. The latter were ignored during most of the last decade. The former are considered dangerous “eliminationist rhetoric” by lefty newspaper pundits, and the routine language of politics, such as “campaign” and “target,” are suddenly evidence of conservatives wanting to kill all Democratic incumbents.
It’s one thing for a party to engage in such reprehensible tactics. It’s another for the media to play along. But it’s not surprising.
UPDATE: Like the N&O and most dailies, the legacy networks ABC and CBS completely ignored the arrest of the man who threatened to kill Cantor. NBC gave it about 5 seconds.
UPDATE 2: Bob Owens points out several acts of lefty violence that you probably never heard about, because the media ignored them.
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