The Liberal Media is like Sasquatch. Believers see it lurking behind every tree, yet no evidence of its existence is ever found. The present to-do over pigs and lipstick illustrates the point again, especially regarding the Associated Press.
It's always astonishing (and doubtless amusing to AP insiders) to hear someone accuse the giant news organization of leaning to the left. As if there'd been no 2000 presidential campaign, when AP and the other mainstream media hammered Al Gore as being deceitful and arrogant, in contrast to the straightforward and humble George W. Bush. Once installed in the White House, Bush deceived America into an unnecessary war, and commenced striking heroic attitudes at endless photo ops. Both the war and the posturing continue.
During the Whitewater display, most of the MSM, including AP, enthusiastically joined Kenneth Starr in seeking to overthrow an elected president. AP's portrait of Starr was adoring, its acceptance of his claims unquestioning. No demagogue ever had more devoted journalistic allies, Pete Yost of AP among them.
More recently, AP's Nedra Pickler has been advancing the Republican flag in the 2008 presidential race; the verb picklered was coined in recognition of her work. When Barack Obama used an old political line about a pig remaining a pig even if wearing lipstick, Pickler suggested that he was responding to an earlier Sarah Palin reference to her own lipstick. Given that opening, Republican political operatives rushed through with accusations that Obama had called Palin a pig. Pickler helped by writing that Obama's audience clearly drew a connection between his “lipstick” comment and Palin's.
But a New York Times reporter at the same gathering wrote that it was clear to the audience that Obama wasn't aiming at Palin, and a Washington Post reporter interviewed members of the audience, who said they'd seen no Palin connection.
Pickler works under Ron Fournier, who has said he wants more subjectivity in AP reporting, as if there weren't plenty already. Fournier was once offered a job by John McCain, and once (that we know of) encouraged Karl Rove to “keep up the good fight.” Writing about this year's presidential race, Fournier called Hillary Clinton “Slick Hillary,” and accused her of selfishness, desperation, self-pity and “utter self-absorption.” The dragon lady's husband was also “self-absorbed” — Fournier seems absorbed with self-absorption — as well as “long-winded” and “misleading.” John McCain, on the other hand, lost the Michigan Republican primary only because “he spoke hard truths,” while the winner, Mitt Romney, “pandered” to voters and “distorted his opponents' record.”
The liberal-media myth is still a myth, with or without lipstick.