Opinion: When presidential throat-slashers aren't newsworthy

by Peter Heck · Feb 7th, 2020 12:51 pm

Let's play a game.

Let's pretend we are on the campus of Liberty University in the midst of President Obama's re-election bid. Despite the school's well-known Christian culture, a group of students formed a "Students for Obama" organization and began distributing literature.

There's no question that on a campus espousing and teaching God's design for marriage, the inviolability of all image-bearing human beings (including the tiny ones in the womb), and the sanctity of private property and personal responsibility, this hypothetical group supporting a president who had declared a policy war on each of those ideals would be in the minority. They might even be social outcasts subjected to smirks, eyerolls, and the occasional public rebuke.

While none of that would be particularly newsworthy, let's say that this group of Obama-supporting collegians were handing out campaign material one February afternoon, and were confronted by a long-haired young man carrying a Bible and a bad attitude. Approaching them, he began screaming hatefully about Barack Obama and violently shrieking,

"Slash his throat! Every f*****g Democrat! Slash Democrat throats! Slash socialist throats! Death to socialists!"

And let's pretend that all of it was capture on video, from multiple angles. Here's the question: does the country hear about it? Does it make the news cycle? Does MSNBC dedicate every single one of their opinion shows to analyzing it? Do the leading newspapers dox the guy, figure out his upbringing, reveal his parents' names and jobs? Does CNN recreate the entire scene with their nifty holograph machine usually reserved only for missing Malaysian airliners? Is every Republican candidate and officeholder forced to publicly disavow the young man's actions and give an account for what they are personally doing to stop the anti-Obama hatred so prevalent on the right?

I know, this isn't much of a game, is it? Everyone knows that a media which ran for weeks musing about whether there was something untoward about Mitt Romney referring to having a binder full of the names of competent, professional women he would consider hiring, would have a field day with something actually controversial. If offered an actual event that could temporarily let them take a break from inventing storylines to pummel Republicans, we all know that every major broadcast network would leap at it.

So why bring up this hypothetical right-wing hatred? Simply to contrast it with the non-existent response to the actual left-wing hatred that just unfolded on the campus of Arizona State University:

Disturbing to say the least. And how many mainstream networks have mentioned one word about it? How many write-ups have the major newspapers given it? How much airtime has CNN or MSNBC dedicated to it?

Zero.

Outside of a story in the conservative Washington Times, and a local story at AZCentral.com, the story is nowhere in the mainstream press. They've got bigger things to talk about – like how that "binders full of women" guy might not have actually been so bad after all.

What a farce they've made of that profession.

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