As Media Matters' Simon Maloy aptly noted, the current Fox News driven story that a Department of Justice “whistleblower” is alleging that the Justice Department dropped voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party because the Obama administration is biased towards black people follows a familiar pattern of right-wing media freak out:
1. Right-wingers shout loudly about bogus story.
2. Fox News picks up bogus story, reports on it incessantly.
3. Right-wingers and Fox News start complaining that “liberal media” are ignoring bogus story.
4. Other outlets are shamed into covering bogus story, mini-frenzy ensues.
5. Pundits credit Fox News for “being ahead of the curve.”
6. Responsible media outlets determine bogus story is bogus long after damage is done.
We are definitely in stage three.
In addition to Mediaite's Steve Krakauer demanding that the “whistleblower story break [into the] mainstream,” we've got the Washington Times whining that “explosive racist allegations [are being] ignored by poodles in the press.” They complain, “Where is the New York Times? Where is The Washington Post? Where are CBS and NBC? A whistleblower makes explosive allegations about the Department of Justice; his story is backed by at least two other witnesses; and the allegations involve the two hot-button issues of race and of blatant politicization of the justice system."
They have the gall to claim that “it would be real news if a Republican Justice Department stood accused. It would be real news if the liberal media weren't mostly in the tank for our celebrated but failing first black president." Earth to Washington Times, but a Republican Justice Department has done just that--Bush's DOJ dismissed voter intimidation charges against Minutemen members on remarkably similar grounds. I don't recall a “liberal media” freak out about that.
Fox & Friends is also set to host the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell to discuss the “liberal media's” Black Panther whistleblower blackout later this morning. No doubt, Bozell will make arguments similar to the Washington Times.
Let's hope that the mainstream media sees this story for what it is--a political operative with an ax to grind runs to a friendly media outlet to trumpet a bogus story aimed at fanning racial flames and at making Obama and his administration look bad just before the midterm elections. But, if history is any judge, they're bound to be duped yet again by the Fox News propaganda machine.