The premise of a recent New York Times “news” story is that “in ways big and small, deliberate or subconscious, [Jeb] Bush seems to have defined himself as the anti-George W. Bush: an intellectual in search of new ideas, a serial consulter of outsiders who relishes animated debate and a probing manager who eagerly burrows into the bureaucratic details.”
Where to begin? The article — no surprise — never attempts to prove Jeb Bush is intentionally or subconsciously (!) — is the Times into mind-reading? — contrasting himself with his brother. That may be because his brother was a voracious reader, consulted with outside experts to formulate the most important action of his presidency (the Iraq surge) and burrowed into the Pentagon, not to mention the Education Department (No Child Left Behind) and Medicare (Part D), among other places, to pursue his agenda. But in the Times’s world — including however many editors saw this opinion piece disguised as news — it is a “fact” that President George W. Bush was a dullard. That is how a ludicrously unsupportable premise becomes the basis for a “news” story.
It is unfair to call it intentional bias. The Times’ liberal lens — which deflects inconvenient information and is focused on “news” that is useful to its political comrades — is, well, subconscious. It just never occurs to the Times to consider an alternate viewpoint.
For example, can you imagine a story that asserted “in ways big and small, deliberate or subconscious, Hillary Clinton seems to have defined herself as the anti-President Obama: a thinker in search of more than liberal cliches, a serial consulter of people other than political hacks who relishes animated debate and a probing manager who eagerly burrows into the bureaucratic details.” I can’t imagine the Times taking such a gratuitous swipe at the president on what would otherwise be a story on Clinton’s reading habits and intellect. How about a story that insisted “in ways big and small, deliberate or subconscious, Hillary Clinton seems to have defined herself as the anti-President Clinton?” That would be insulting to Hillary Clinton, who is her own woman, don’t you know?
You have to wonder why the comparison is even there. Is it too much for the Times’s readers to be subjected to a positive story on a Republican with no digs? Is this a lame attempt to encourage sibling rivalry? Goodness knows.
Get used to this sort of coverage. Over the years, the New York Times and too many MSM outlets have in ways big and small, deliberate or subconscious, defined themselves as the anti-balanced political news source: reliably liberal, unwilling to rattle their loyal readership and uninterested in hiring staff members who aren’t entirely indoctrinated in a liberal worldview.