Dylan Byers gives us the “Top Ten Media stories of 2012” over at Politico. Byers says that the men and women who are tasked to report the news are increasingly making themselves a part of the news. In Byers’ own words: “The biggest political media stories of 2012 portray a fourth estate whose members are stepping off the sidelines to become players in the game.” What struck me about Byers’ list is how many of them end up cutting against conservatives in one way or another. I’ll include the list below, but you’ll have to read Byers’ article for the full commentary on each one.
If I were writing this list, I would add at least two more items to this list.
(1) In early 2012, the nation’s leading breast cancer charity—the Komen Foundation—decided to cease its funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider. On the one hand, the media largely portrayed the Komen Foundation as beholden to conservative interests and as standing against women’s health. On the other hand, the media portrayed Planned Parenthood as an apolitical healthcare provider that was under attack from a malevolent breast cancer charity. The media advanced a pro-Planned Parenthood narrative, and the scrutiny on Komen became untenable. As a result, Komen backed down, funding was reinstated, and the CEO of Komen resigned.
(2) The media’s coverage of Obamacare’s abortion mandate has been equally skewed. The mandate requires employers to purchase insurance that covers a whole range of birth control devices—some of which are abortifacient. In short, the new law requires Christians to purchase services that violate their religious convictions. The mandate is a blatant attack on religious liberty, but the media consistently portrayed it as conservatives trying to bar access to contraception. No one was ever trying to bar access to contraception. Conservatives were simply objecting to being required to pay for it for someone else. Even today, many Americans still don’t understand what this dispute is about, and it’s because the media have advanced a false narrative.
Byers’ list is below:
10. John King invites the wrath of Gingrich
9. Brian Ross’s Tea Party error
8. PBS capitalizes on Mitt Romney’s ‘Big Bird’ remark
7. The celebrity of Nate Silver
6. Roger Ailes tries to enlist Gen. Petraeus
5. CNN, Fox News bungle the Obamacare ruling
4. Candy Crowley fact-checks Mitt Romney
3. The rise of MSNBC
2. Karl Rove’s on-air meltdown
1. Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh