Generally speaking I have no reluctance to rip Steve Benen  a new orifice on any subject. It is usually fairly easy to do, given the target he presents. On this occasion, I do have to give him a little bit of credit for a story that ran this morning:
JOHN GIBSON AND LOW EXPECTATIONS…. There was an unfortunate incident this week involving a doctored Fox News clip and John Gibson. The original piece reported :
At the end of a long and pointless conversation between two Fox News reporters covering a zoo escape, John Gibson compared Attorney General Eric Holder to a monkey.
A monkey escaped from the Woodland park Zoo in Seattle and despite the fact that authorities are “taking this very seriously,” Julie Banderas and Harris Faulkner were not, cracking jokes about the monkeys’ bright blue scrotum.
At 2:48, they toss to John Gibson who complains that he can’t get away with saying “bright blue scrotum” on the radio then follows that up by saying, “We were talking about Eric Holder today on the radio and his bright blue scrotum.”
Though this quickly made the rounds, Gibson did not say anything of the sort. The video spliced together two unrelated halves of different Gibson sentences. He was justifiably furious, and those who’d published the story ran retractions and apologies.
But what I found interesting about the unpleasant episode was how very easy it was to believe Gibson made the comment. No one, anywhere, heard this story and assumed something was amiss.
An “unfortunate incident” ? “unpleasant episode”?
One wonders just what in the world Benen would consider to be a blatant lie? At what point does Benen get into ‘full scream’ mode? Would he be screaming if someone had posted a doctored vid of Obama, putting him in a similarly bad light? I’m willing to bet he’d be on the front lines, as close to the tar bucket as possble, feathers in hand.
Consider what has happened the past when the shoe has been on the other foot, and the Democrats, and their usual mouthpieces have been the target of such fairy tales. If I had time just now, I would be all over Google, to see what his comments were with regards to Dan Rather for example. The comparison seems an obvious one, given the “fake but accurate ” nature of the clip involved. Accurate, at least insofar as how the left likes to portray Gibson.
That point aside, one does have to give credit to Benen, who clearly has grasped the idea that he cannot avoid the blatantly obvious, at least in this case. But Benen slides right by the point of the whole deal, on his parting shot, perhaps intentionally:
“But I wonder if Gibson might take this opportunity to ponder why so many were willing to believe the unfair misquote in the first place.”
I wonder if Benen has asked similar questions of himself as regards the general perceptions of the intentions of Democrats since the change of power in Washington? If he’s going to point at the supposedly rep of the right, and such people as Gibson, at what point is he going to apply that rubric to the left? What, I wonder, does Benen think it is the basis of the left’s bad reputation?
If the question applies to one, why not the other?
I must admit I am impressed that you’re closer than usual, Steve. Still, no cigar.