Remember Nick Berg?
The rapidly evolving Libya scandal provides yet more opportunity for extraordinary pro-Obama media bias. To appreciate the staggering level of bias, just ask yourself a simple question: what if this were George W. Bush?
Yes, end of argument.
But I recently had a unique thought that connects the two -- that is, the media's protection of Obama on the Middle East vs. the media's evisceration of Bush on the Middle East. It was kindled -- credit where credit is due -- by Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh pondered how the family of our slain Libyan ambassador, Chris Stevens, might be reacting to all of this. Surely, Stevens' family is very upset right now -- and not just about his death. They are probably deeply troubled by the Obama administration's apparently ignoring critical details that might have better protected Chris Stevens. They are probably also bothered by the administration's terrible attempts to blame the whole mess not on clearly premeditated terrorism, but on a ridiculous video. And I bet they aren't too pleased with "journalists" refusing to ask hard questions of the president whom they are committed to coddle.
Again, imagine if this were George W. Bush. The media would be staked outside the Stevens' family home, cameras running and microphones hoisted, waiting breathlessly, begging Chris's mom and dad to take some shots at the president. And if you think I'm off-base on that one, then remember one name from the Bush years: Nick Berg.
In May 2004 -- coincidentally, just as Senator Ted Kennedy publicly claimed that "we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management" -- a group of al-Qaeda operatives in Baghdad released video of themselves beheading a 26-year-old American from West Chester, Pennsylvania named Nick Berg. Berg was in Iraq as a private citizen lending a hand to the nation's postwar reconstruction.
The killers yelled "Allah Akbar!" ("God is great!") as they sawed off Berg's head. According to estimates, the beheading lasted 30 to 60 seconds. Berg's screaming was halted only by the severing of his vocal chords. The video was streamed online for the world to absorb in horror. Yet, unlike the pictures of harassed Iraqi POWs at Abu Ghraib, which were splashed on the front page of every newspaper in America, the Berg video was too graphic to air. The boldest talk radio hosts -- frustrated by the media's nonstop, weeks-long coverage of Abu Ghraib while barely covering the Berg execution beyond the day's wires -- played audio of the beheading. Some conservative websites posted photos of the execution. Few to none linked to the grisly raw video.
The beheading brought perspective to the Abu Ghraib scandal: sure, the humiliation of Iraqi POWs was an embarrassing mistreatment by unauthorized U.S. troops, but the action against Nick Berg was an atrocity of unspeakable barbarism. The Berg beheading made it abundantly clear that America's Islamist enemy in Iraq was perpetrating true evil.
But not everyone interpreted it that way. Nick Berg's father, Michael, disagreed. Michael Berg was an anti-war activist and supporter of the radical anti-war group International ANSWER.
Michael didn't like George W. Bush, and the anti-Bush media wasted no time dashing to his front door with cameras and microphones. Any thoughts on President Bush, Mr. Berg?
"My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld," said Michael Berg in a May 13 press conference. "This administration did this." He said of the Bush team: "The al-Qaeda people are probably just as bad as they are."
Yep, those responsible for September 11, 2001, Michael Berg concluded, were probably just as bad as the Bush White House. Gee, even Hezb'allah, the Iranian Shiite terrorist group, was willing to blame al-Qaeda instead of Bush.
Reuters had itself a headline: "Berg Died for Bush, Rumsfeld 'Sins' -- Father." Every news source had its headline.
Nick Berg's murder had already upset me greatly. When I heard Michael Berg's widely reported words, I got even sicker.
Needless to say, our "journalists" won't dare attempt to dig up anything this revolting against President Barack Obama. They won't go looking for the family of Chris Stevens in hopes of a blistering comment against the president. For that matter, they won't even go looking for the truth of what really happened with Chris Stevens. Instead, they are poised to attack those who dare go looking. Hey, whatever it takes to achieve their highest aspiration: the protection and re-election of Barack Obama.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of the new book, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor.