Friday, May 20, 2011

Media People Who Belittle Politicians They Don't Like

Yesterday I wrote about the very civil and wonderful conversation that took place on the Fox News Channel between host Bill O’Reilly and a guest with polar opposite views, the veteran actor, Ed Asner.  I also commented that such an interview might not be possible on MSNBC.

I have made no secret in my postings about my disdain for the bias at MSNBC, even suggesting that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party.  As a news junkie, however, I watch all the news stations, even the ones that I find totally biased.  During the show “Hardball” a few days ago, host Chris Matthews was interviewing comedian and social commentator Bill Maher about potential Presidential candidates from the Republican Party.  Being MSNBC, both Matthews and Maher did everything they could to belittle and berate the candidates and the Republican Party.

To me one of the most unfair parts of their discussion involved the denigrating of Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.  Maher called her the candidate for people who think Sarah Palin is too intelligent.

That’s what is so disappointing about many of the shows on the 24-hour news stations.  They focus so much time on personalities even to the point of being cruel to those whose political philosophies they don’t like.  During my career, I have often noticed that especially liberal commentators have this tendency to question the intellectual capability of anyone that doesn’t embrace liberal orthodoxy.

The attack on Michelle Bachmann was not only hideous; it was misleading.  Let’s compare her academic background to that of her attackers.  Many of you who follow the news may be surprised to know that Bachmann has a very impressive academic and professional background.  She graduated from Winona State University and later received a law degree from Oral Roberts University.  She then continued her graduate education, earning a master’s degree in tax law from William and Mary Law School.  Prior to be elected to the House of Representatives, Bachmann was a tax attorney for the Internal Revenue Service.

As for Chris Matthews, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Holy Cross.  Later, he did graduate work in economics at the University of North Carolina.  However, there is no record of him receiving a graduate degree.  Matthews has spent most of his career as a congressional staffer and political commentator.

Maher is well known for his comedy shows, first on ABC and then on HBO.  Maher, whose official name is actually William Maher, Jr., earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.  He has spent most of his career as a very popular comedian and social commentator.

There you have it.  Two television hosts with rather good academic and professional backgrounds questioning the intellectual capability of a woman with a great academic and professional background.  As I was watching Matthews and Maher berate Bachmann, I wondered if either gentleman could interpret the tax code to save their lives.  I don’t know for sure, but something tell me no.

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