Even ‘conservatives’ in the media aren’t conservative

Even ‘conservatives’ in the media aren’t conservative
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The media are so far to the left that they view even moderates or moderate-liberals as “conservatives.”  So when a newspaper hires a token conservative to provide “balance” in its opinion section, it often ends up hiring someone who is not in fact a conservative. The classic example is the Washington Post, which hired two non-conservative bloggers in a row to provide a conservative viewpoint for its editorial page.

The first was Dave Weigel, whom the Post hired to write its “Right Now” blog. His emails, when leaked, illustrated that he was not a conservative at all. He expressed incomprehension of what he called “bigots” who oppose same-sex marriage. He also disparaged supporters of Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.) as “Paultards.” And he said that “this would be a vastly better world to live in if [conservative journalist] Matt Drudge … set himself on fire.” These latter two comments were attempts at humor, or expressions of frustration, but they still illustrated that Weigel obviously wasn’t a conservative. After they were disclosed, he was forced to resign his position in 2010, and move to Slate (where he was kind enough to quote me; he remains an interesting and very readable writer, as well as a personally nice guy. In 2015, he returned to the Post as a news reporter.)

When Weigel resigned, the Washington Post replaced him with Jennifer Rubin, who had been a highly-talented lawyer in Los Angeles. She has remained at the Post long after it has become obvious she is not a conservative on most issues. She is a moderate on most domestic issues, liberal on some civil rights issues, and conservative on some things like Obamacare and federal financial aid programs (subjects where she was kind enough to quote me, see here, for example).

But her political philosophy has been described by some genuine conservatives as “invade the world, invite the world.” She is an avid booster of both U.S. participation in foreign wars (something that admittedly endears her to some neoconservatives) and mass immigration into the U.S. (viewing attempts to curtail illegal immigration as nativism or xenophobia). Until the last week or so, the majority of her recent blog posts and blurbs in the Post’s print edition had been repetitive plugs for a more interventionist foreign policy (the way she once advocated militarily intervening in Libya. That intervention massively backfired against the U.S., as critics of that intervention, like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio), have noted).

But angered by conservatives’ desire to curb illegal immigration, Rubin now spends much of her time attacking Republicans and conservatives. Today, she disparaged Governor Kasich (calling that mild-mannered governor “nasty-tempered Ohio Gov. John Kasich”), Senator Cruz (R-Tex.) (calling him a “cynical watered-down version of Trump that might provide the mob with enough red meat”) and businessman Donald Trump (“a proto-fascist“). In the past, she has routinely criticized libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and conservatives like former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, while praising liberals like Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.). She is entitled to her point of view (and I sometimes agree with it), but it is certainly not, on balance, a conservative point of view, and it is strange for the Washington Post to suggest that it is, by running her commentary under the words “Right Turn.”

Yet, here is how the Washington Post describes her: “Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement and the Republican Party.” But hers is hardly a “conservative perspective.” While her commentary has provided useful insights on government incompetence and wrongdoing, she has little understanding of grass roots conservatives, especially social conservatives, whom she (like liberal reporters in general) finds as alien as gorillas in the mist.

Obama’s military intervention in Libya, which occurred without Congressional authorization, was illegal, violated the War Powers Act, destabilized Libya and neighboring Mali, resulted in a civil war in Libya, and set back both women’s rights and economic development in Libya by many years. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton championed that reckless intervention, goading an initially reluctant President Obama into the disastrous decision to militarily intervene in Libya and depose its ruler Qaddafi, as the New York Times recently documented. The Libyan dictator’s ouster and death left the country in chaos and infested with Islamic terror networks, and spawned a vicious war in neighboring Mali that killed thousands and cost billions. Our removal of Qaddafi also resulted in massive suffering and economic dislocation in the impoverished neighboring country of Niger. While Qaddafi was a cruel dictator, he had been cooperating with the U.S. since 9/11, and had kept Islamic militants in his country under control. As critics of our military intervention in Libya have noted (such as Law Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University), Qaddafi gave up his weapons programs based on the understanding that the U.S. would leave him alone if he did so. Our intervention to overthrow him violated that understanding, undermining our ability to bargain with other unsavory regimes across the world, and get them to give up their weapons programs.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. Hans also writes for CNS News and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”


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