By Brent Bozell
During the Bush years, the news media were the promoters of protest, the champions of dissent. Denouncing the president as a brain-damaged warmonger was the most patriotic thing you could do (just ask the Dixie Chicks), and it was guaranteed to please the press.
On MSNBC before the Iraq War in 2003, David Shuster elevated the "anti-war" movement as the equivalent of the United States military, only with a higher morality: "The size of the demonstrators, at least here, at least in Europe, seems to underscore that there are now perhaps two world superpowers," he told Chris Matthews. "There's the United States, and then there are those millions of people who took to the streets opposing U.S. policy."
My, how times -- and standards -- change. On the weekend of the vote for a massive government intervention in the health-insurance market, these same reporters had a different take. The Tea Party protesters were not going to be hailed for their courageous and patriotic use of their free time. They were going to be smeared for daring to be.
Shuster asked black conservative Robert Traynham to blame the conservative media for these overheard outbursts (not that any network had them on tape): "Do any conservative media outlets, Robert, bear any responsibility for that? Because when people hear over and over that this is Nazism on the march, or fascism, or that Armageddon is coming, of course some people are going to flip out."
The whole smear turned ridiculous when conservative radio host Mark Simone told Shuster that every protest has some overenthusiastic people yelling stupid things. Shuster insisted the left had never behaved in that fashion in the Bush years: "Nobody spit on a lawmaker. Nobody used a N-word. Nobody used an F-word."
Shuster wasn't with me on numerous occasions when the anti-military leftist wacko nutroot asshats were spitting on soldiers and calling them baby-killers, marching with signs showing President Bush being beheaded, showing up in committee hearings with bloody hands to accost the Secretary of State, or being generally obnoxious, dis-tasteful and disrespectful to anyone who disagreed with them.
Nope, no double-standard here.