This morning, we learned from a Politico article that the mainstream media have declined to cover the incivility, violence, and Nazi comparisons at the Wisconsin union rallies because “the extreme rhetoric of some union supporters isn’t being echoed by high-profile liberals.”
Well, during a speech on the Senate floor today, Sen. Sherrod Brown railed against the Republicans for going after unions, and added that Hitler, Stalin, and Hosni Mubarak opposed unions as well. So we can probably expect the New York Times’s coverage of the “extreme rhetoric” at union protests to begin any minute now, right?
“As a nation, I look back in history and some of the worst governments we’ve ever had, you know one of the first thing they did? They went after the trade unions,” he said. “Hitler didn’t want unions, Stalin didn’t want unions. [Former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak didn’t want independent unions.”
Brown was quick to add that he was “not comparing what’s happening to the workers in Wisconsin to Hitler and Stalin.” Then why bother making the reference at all?
The real reason that the media haven’t been giving the “extreme rhetoric” at the rallies coverage has nothing to do with whether high-profile liberals are endorsing this rhetoric. It has to do with the fact that many people in the news industry are Democrats and sympathize with the concerns of the protesters. They realize that the offensive protest signs are being carried by outliers at the rallies and that most of the protesters involved find those views reprehensible.
Along the same line, most people in the media simply can’t relate to anybody in the Tea Party. So when they see a few hateful signs being carried at Tea Party rallies, it’s easier for them to believe that most of the movement shares those sentiments.