Mark Ellis
Doubling down on the double standard
By Mark Ellis
January 8, 2012

Saturday night's ABC Republican debate? Awful, just awful.

Any conservative who watched knows I'm not talking about the candidates. And I didn't need to consult any postmortems from the professional pundit class to formulate my impressions of moderators George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer. I have never witnessed a better presentation of the crypto-bias that passes for helmsmanship in the anachronistic world of broadcast news.

Stephanopoulos wasted fifteen minutes on a disingenuous snipe-hunt, the non-issue of a constitutional amendment to ban contraception, something no state is proposing. Frontrunner Romney was effective in swatting down the former Clinton senior advisor, but audience frustration over the pesky bait-job all too evidently resonated off the walls at Saint Anselm College outside Manchester, New Hampshire.

The rebuke seemed to momentarily stymie the network political analyst, but Sawyer, rising from her notes like a Gila monster coming out of hibernation, proved more than able to match Steffy's flaccid harangue with her own inimitable insinuations

Speaking as if to a group of Acorn-brainwashed school-aged neighborhood canvassers, Sawyer's pained probing on same-sex marriage was laughably maladroit, and left serious viewers feeling as if she were channeling a daytime paternity test segment with a stage-load of Jerry Springer rejects. The only thing missing was Anderson Cooper.

By the time Sawyer slipped up big-time in the Freudian sense, mistakenly referring to the candidates as "characters," it was clear that ABC has an anchor-babe problem and should consider assigning her stories more in the Katie Couric mode. A colonoscopy would have been less revealing of the inner-Diane.

Thank God for Newt Gingrich. However you feel about his candidacy, there's no denying he's the perfect righteous avenger when it comes to the excruciatingly bent-over-backwards liberal idiocy which occasionally infiltrates the debates. He's the antidote to lame-stream moderation efforts which frequently recall a documentary I once saw about the La Brea Tar Pits.

Gingrich turned the gotcha muzzle 180 on the social issues, asking why nobody ever questions why Catholic Charities in Boston, an organization responsible for an incalculable amount of good, was forced to cease operations after government mandates required their participation in same-sex marriages.

"Clowns" is the progressive password for the GOP hopefuls in circulation right now. It will be driven home Alinsky-like until something worse can be cooked up by Wasserman-Schultz and Rush's drive-by media. Don't believe it. Maybe there isn't a Reagan at the podium this time, but I've watched every debate, and find something of value in each of the candidates. Despite Huntsman's acquiescent rhetoric about the Chi-Coms, Perry's time-warping gaffes, and Paul's troubling vision of an unchecked Middle East, it's arguably true overall that any one of them would be better than what we've got now.

The double-standard needs to be reported on and called out, but it is hardly news anymore. It's alive and well, but for all the talk of clowns, it was clear Saturday night who looked ridiculous.

And now it's on to Saturday morning's NBC debate, and that paragon of objectivity, David Gregory.

© Mark Ellis


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