Blindspots & speech policing by NC 'jihad media'

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

Last week, North Carolina state government reporters obviously took offense to being called "jihad media" by a State Senator.

Barely a week removed from the attempted assassination of dozens of Republican Congressmen, NC media folks were quite upset over the use of such violent rhetoric.

Coming from a Republican.

Laura Leslie at WRAL wrote

Bishop's relationship with the media has been contentious at times, but  this appears to be the first time he has likened reporters to  terrorists.

Did he? Did he say reporters are like terrorists? He did not, actually.

The coverage illustrates just how large of a blindspot NC reporter and media have when it comes to political coverage.

Here is the tweet we are all supposed to be offended by...



Colin Campbell, who covers state politics for the News & Observer got the tweet-coverage going...


Campbell's reference here is to a previous Twitter interaction he had with Bishop over the Senator's criticism of the way the Associated Press covered a story about President Donald Trump.

Campbell was obviously very concerned about this, too...

When you enter the political arena, as Campbell has done here, it's dishonest to pretend you're not a participant.

Now, fast-forward 2 weeks from this Twitter exchange  -- during which time there was an attempted assassination of about two dozen Republican Congressman as they practiced for an annual charity baseball game. The only reasons the Congressmen survived are modern medicine, two armed Capitol Police officers, and the shooter was an awful shot.

During this two-week period, the News & Observer did exactly zero stories on whether Democrats and their affiliated groups on the political Left might need to do some self-examination. There were no stories about whether Democrats may have helped incite the attempted murders by their use of over-the-top rhetoric and demagoguery.

Nobody on the Left was asked to condemn hyperbolic exaggerations and hate-filled speech.

Instead, the first speech policing effort was directed at Sen. Dan Bishop over his "jihad media" term.

Questioned about his use of the term “jihad” – typically  associated with terrorism by Islamic extremists – Bishop defended the  comment in additional tweets.

“How can I ‘disagree’ with a  ‘news’ story?” Bishop wrote. “Isn’t it supposed to be facts? Or is it a  jihad: ‘any vigorous, emotional crusade’?”

He continued his defense of the comment Thursday morning: “What is the  right term for media so partisan their support for free speech is  selective?”

This N&O article also included a comment from the NC Senate Leader Phil Berger's office:

Senate leader Phil Berger’s office issued a statement Thursday that was critical of Bishop’s choice of language.

“While Sen. Berger wouldn’t  have used those words, he certainly understands Sen. Bishop’s  frustration with the overt liberal bias of some of the state’s  reporters,” Berger spokeswoman Shelly Carver said in an email. “It would  probably be helpful for all sides to tone down the over-the-top  rhetoric against those involved in various forms of public service,  including so-called religious leaders using incendiary terms like  ‘all-white extremists,’ ‘hijackers,’ and ‘criminals’ to describe public  officials. We have not seen the media hold those people to account."


This is the standard to which the NC Capitol Press Corps adheres: If a Republican says something, then Republicans must be asked to condemn, condone, disavow, or support it.

This is the same standard by which Republicans are held nationally, as well.

I am fine with this standard - if it's applied to Democrats, too.

But it's not - as we saw in the aftermath of the Conrgressional assassination attempt.

Rev. William Barber - a now-national figure in the Democratic Party - has a long history of inflammatory, divisive, and hyperbolic rhetoric.

Barber spoke at the Democratic National Convention in November.

Barber was the de facto head of the NC Democratic Party during the early part of this decade, using his Moral Monday protests to organize a party that had been wrecked by scandal, electoral defeats, and fiscal calamity.

Barber, the state chairman of the NC NAACP, is a leader within the state Democratic Party.

The NC political press corps knows this.

Here is the News & Observer's Will Doran...


So, is this rhetoric over the line?

Is this kind of rhetoric worthy of a condemn/condone quote from NC Democratic lawmakers and leaders?

No.

It is not.

Doran, to his credit, responded.

At first...

He has yet to respond again.

This is one of the most obvious blindspots of the NC political media.

The rush to get disavowals and condemnations from fellow Republicans is never applied to Democrats.

This is precisely the kind of thing Sen. Bishop was highlighting in his criticism of the "jihad media."

If you've read this far, you can guess what happens next...


So laughably predictable and ridiculous.

Again... it's dishonest to enter the political arena and then pretend you're not a participant. 

Further, I am completely unconvinced that I need to rely on NC reporters for guidance as to what speech is unacceptable, given they do absolutely nothing to police the speech of the Democrats.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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