Washington Post writer Paul Waldman ruminates in a column today on the different standards the mainstream press uses when evaluating the damage caused by gaffes made by Republican and Democratic candidates. He notes correctly that Democrats are held to a higher gaffe threshold than Republicans, and a minor slip for a Democrat will induce howling indignation among the pundit class whereas Republicans can drop crazy bombs all day long and there isn’t a whisper in the MSM. The author concludes that the media has become so numbed by Republicans saying insane things they simply ignore the stupid. I have a slightly different take.
My feeling is that Republicans are generally spared harsh MSM critiques because they are the party of useful, pliable dupes who can be counted on to do the bidding of America’s corporate elite. Our media is owned by a small cabal of corporations who depend on Republicans (and some Democrats) to push their goals and policies while in office. They know that many Republican politicians are crazy, but why should they care, as long as the nut job they own supports deregulation and low corporate taxes?
So for the most part, Republicans can get away with calling Obama a socialist or saying that local sheriffs should arrest people trying to institute the Affordable Care Act without much reaction from the MSM. It’s not because the MSM has grown calloused to the right’s crazy rants, but because Republicans play an important role in helping corporate America get the policies it wants.