Media Paints False Picture of Confederate Flap
By Dan Gainor
The media and their friends on the left aren’t being reasonable here. They don’t want to be.
It was inevitable. The race-obsessed media weren’t satisfied calling the right “bigots” and “haters.” So they just kept escalating. They’ve made the presidency of our first African-American commander in chief a referendum on the war -- the Civil War.
The old-media are so intent with besmirching the right that they’ve passed on the Nazi comparisons and mostly moved past comparisons to the Klan. Now anyone who opposes President Obama is a neocon – neo-Confederate that is.
To their way of thinking, those on the right – especially the Tea Party people – must be toothless, inbred Southrons with images of Tara dancing in their heads. And with the national Tea Party events in full force on April 15, the media has gone into full escalation this week.
Conservatives must confess their sins and embrace the new socialist world with all their heart … and even that won’t mollify critics. The left and the media are no longer satisfied with people repudiating the past. Now we must forget it entirely.
New Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell fell into this trap by honoring his state’s history as the capital of the Confederacy, not to mention the site of more than 120 battles listed in the National Park Service’s Battlefield Protection Program. April, the month McDonnell chose, was also the month the war began and ended – with Lee’s surrender in Appomattox, Va. And, given that we are nearing the 150 anniversary of the war, such memories mean a lot to history buffs, descendants of both sides, and tourists.
McDonnell did what politicians do, declare a month as something special to get it media attention. April is also the official U.S. National Poetry Month, National Manatee Awareness Month, National Marching Band Appreciation Month and now National Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month.
But CNN anchor Jim Acosta decided McDonnell’s proclamation was the stuff Tea Partiers supposedly love. Asked by CNN’s John Avlon if McDonnell was “thinking he could score political points,” Acosta said, “This plays well to the Tea Party crowd, right? He's talking about sovereign rights in there.” In the minds of the media even the despicable institution of slavery has become just a way to “score political points.”
And Roland Martin from that same network went even further, attacking those who would defend the actions of Confederate soldiers as similar to “Muslim extremists.” That wasn’t enough for his sweeping assault. “Even if you're a relative of one of the 9/11 hijackers, that man was an out-and-out terrorist, and nothing you can say will change that. And if your great-great-great-granddaddy was a Confederate who stood up for Southern ideals, he too was a terrorist.”
My ancestors on both sides of my family fought for the South. I would like to think I would have fought for the union. But to call uniformed, organized armies defending their homes “terrorists” shows both the hate and simplistic ignorance that the media will stoop to so they can bash the right.
Even NBC’s snarky, journalist-lite Luke Russert made light of the idea that Texas might secede, asking on Twitter: “Can a smart economist out there figure out how much U.S. taxpayers from the other 49 states would save if Texas were to secede from the USA?” Light-weight Luke aside, the cost would be incalculable – a loss of our second largest state and 25 million American citizens, just for starters. All’s fair in love, war and Internet stupidity.
For all the outrage – real and manufactured – over this minor incident, one need only look to the White House to gain guidance on how to treat the South both now and then. President Lincoln (a Republican, you’ll recall) wanted to heal his nation and honor the dead on both sides. His second inaugural address called for “malice toward none, with charity for all.” Even President Obama has been far more charitable to Confederates than the media – going so far as to lay a wreath at a Confederate memorial.
That’s not the way the left would have it. It’s easy to say that Martin and others muddle their correct 21st Century hatred of slavery with a 19th century American reality where states were paramount and not the federal government. But that’s a useless argument because it appeals to reason.
The media and their friends on the left aren’t being reasonable here. They don’t want to be. This latest fight isn’t just about the Civil War any more than it is about health care or the Supreme Court. Their side wants to make it the Third Battle of Bull Run – they sling the bull so Democratic politicians can run in November.
That is their strategy: to make the anniversary cycle of a war that ripped our nation in two just an endless campaign against the right. That, they hope, would ensure an Obama re-election in 2012, and a rewriting of history so that the party of Lincoln is made to pay for someone else’s 150-year-old sins.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.