April 19, 2006
Eleanor Clift Almost Blames Democrats for SomethingBy Noel Sheppard
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift has certainly never been accused of being an impartial journalist. Quite the contrary, when compared with other antique media members, Clift has to be considered one of the most consistently biased — unashamedly and unapologetically appearing as though the ideas for her columns as well as her screechy sermonettes on 'The McLaughlin Group' emanate directly from Democrat talking points in her e—mail inbox.
This is why it must have been shocking for many readers to see the sub—headline of her most recent Newsweek piece:
Now, before you get all excited over the possibility that Eleanor either had an epiphany or a rare moment of clarity, be advised that, in the end, she really didn't blame the Democrats for anything. In fact, her column was more of an opportunity to once again gush over the Kennedy family in ways that had to make the more prudish reader somewhat squeamish, and to nauseatingly elaborate on why Ted
Somehow it seems impossible to imagine the majority of Americans — even Democrats for that matter — echoing such sentiments. As a result, counter to its billing, this column ended up being more of a praise piece for Ted than an honest expos� about how the Democrats hypocritically prevented the passing of a compromise immigration bill prior to the Easter recess.
Too bad, for it would have been refreshing to actually read such a thing in Newsweek.
Alas, it was not to be, for not only did the sub—headline erroneously lead the reader to believe that Eleanor might actually come out of the closet to spread the truth about this shameful performance by the party she loves, so did the set—up:
After that compelling albeit deceitful tantalization, Eleanor, in spectacular Cliftese, predictably began equivocating:
According to the recollections? This just happened a week ago, Eleanor, not a year ago. Furthermore, any impartial viewer of these proceedings would have to conclude that the Democrats — Reid certainly amongst them — were in no way interested in a bill that would stop the protests and get this issue off of the front page.
In fact, any other interpretation is as disingenuous as the behavior of these representatives Eleanor so reveres. Yet, this clearly wasn't how she saw it — or, at the very least, how she was willing to report it — and, as a result, it was at exactly this point that the reader should have guessed the sub—headline and the set—up were nothing more than false advertising:
Predictably, and seemingly with no shame or remorse, Clift explained for her readers why this was good politics:
And there it is. What a travesty — a member of the press explaining to her readers the political benefits of a shameful legislative act just as cynically as those that dogmatically adhere to such a practice. This is why Eleanor will never be considered one of America's top journalists: she can't admit wrongdoing by her party even when its members intentionally obstruct what she believes is in the best interest of the country.
By contrast, her Republican counterpart at Newsweek, George Will, would have called a spade a spade here, and informed the reader that his party had allowed politics to trump good policy. In fact, Will did exactly this in an April 16 Washington Post column wherein he severely chastised House Republicans for using 'their power for their only remaining purpose —— to cling to power' by voting to limit campaign spending by 527 organizations even though it clearly goes against the concept of free speech.
For example, on the same day that Newsweek published Eleanor's abomination, the San Diego Union—Tribune offered its readers a piece simply called 'Bad Politics':
The editorial accurately continued:
The Union—Tribune appropriately concluded:
By contrast, Clift didn't have the spine to reach the same obvious conclusion. As a result, her statement 'Kennedy lost the debate within his own party, and it's anybody's guess what happens next' rings hollow as does much of her heavy—handed proselytizing.
Shame on you, Eleanor, for leading us to believe that you might actually rise above politics yourself, and tell your readers the truth for a change. Or, would that go counter to your own Machiavellian motif?
Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and contributing writer to the Free Market Project. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. Noel welcomes feedback.