Monday, June 29, 2009

Sanford: An affair to remember; others, they forget

Sanford: An affair to remember; others, they forget

As everyone knows by now, the case of the missing South Carolina governor has been solved. Those who watched Mark Sanford's press conference on Fox News, however, may be a bit confused, since the conservative network briefly identified the Republican politician as a Democrat before correcting the error. While Fox apologized the next day, the "mistake" was nothing new. The news channel seems to have a habit of identifying unpopular or scandal-ridden Republicans as Democrats.

It's especially hard to take the apology seriously when you consider that in two segments over the course of four hours on June 25, Fox's James Rosen highlighted only scandals involving Democrats during reports that purported to examine earlier political sex scandals in an effort to assess Sanford's situation. Neither segment mentioned any of the numerous sex scandals that involved Republican politicians such as Sen. John Ensign (NV), Sen. David Vitter (LA), and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among others.

Fox News was hardly alone in its selective memory. MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski claimed there is a "double standard" when it comes to the sex scandals of Republican and Democratic politicians -- that Democrats like Bill Clinton have "completely survived" their scandals. I wonder if she's told survivors Vitter, Ensign, Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani of this "double standard" that apparently doesn't apply to them. Mort Kondracke could benefit from the same reminder of these survivors. Roll Call's executive editor, without a hint of irony, took to Fox News to say that "the Democratic Party is a lot more tolerant of licentiousness than the Republican Party is." Oh, brother.

So who is to blame for Sanford's downfall? Well, if you're Limbaugh or fellow conservative radio host Michael Savage, placing blame is pretty easy. They blame -- wait for it, wait for it ... President Obama. Seriously. Limbaugh suggested the president may have been a catalyst for Sanford's affair -- because the governor was sooo stressed out trying to reject stimulus funds -- while Savage, citing the affairs of Sanford and Ensign, said that "Obama's team is taking out potential rivals one after another."

If you really want to see the hypocrisy of these media conservatives, I suggest you watch this video of democratic strategist Bob Beckel trying to pin Hannity down on his opinion of Ensign's affair. You'll have to fight the giggles; Hannity's consistency is quite laughable.

Media Matters for America

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