Lee P Butler

In Defense Of Armstrong Williams: The Hypocrisy Of Self-Indulgent Liberal Media Elitists

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In Defense Of Armstrong Williams: The Hypocrisy Of Self-Indulgent Liberal Media Elitists


It did not help the Conservative cause one iota for Armstrong Williams to have accepted a monetary fee for advertising the benefits of the No Child Left Behind program created early in the Bush administration and implemented by the Department of Education. In his own words he acknowledged that fact by saying, "I understand that I exercised bad judgment in running paid advertising for an issue that I frequently write about in my column."

He further explained that, "People must be able to trust that my commentary is unbiased. Please know that I supported school vouchers long before the Department of Education ran a single ad on my TV Show. I did not change my views just because my PR firm was receiving paid advertising promoting the No Child Left Behind Act."

Everyone who has ever written a column knows that you have to have a demonstrative conviction about the opinion you wish to convey or you will not have the facility to extract, at the least, enough interest from the reader to garner their attention. All the while the reader has to have a minimal acknowledgement that you are being true to your beliefs, even if they don't agree with you.

And that's the heart of the problem Armstrong now faces and the reason you don't, as a columnist, accept remuneration on any level, even if it's perfectly legal, from a source outside the producer of your column.

Especially if you are a Conservative... and in his case... an African-American Conservative. Which brought the ire of Conservatives everywhere down on him, because the liberal media salivates at the very hint of a Conservative in a scandal. Even Bill O'Reilly couldn't understand why he was still attacked by media elitists after he 'apologized'; the way they kept sheepishly insisting the President do and they'd just forgive him, for the faulty intelligence over Iraqi WMD stockpiles.

Hello, Bill? No matter how many times you pooh-pooh the fact, the mainstream media still considers you a Conservative and you ain't gettin' no forgiveness from the mainstream media just like every other Conservative. Conservatives openly admitting mistakes doesn't generate respect from liberals, it makes them hunger for more.

But we all make mistakes at one time or another and in this case it seems that he let his PR firm mindset get in the way of his columnist mindset, which is what opened the door for the elitist liberal media to pounce like Freddy Kruger from his nightmare. That's where the true crime in this psuedo-Orwellian psychodrama really takes place.

In newspaper editorials across America, Armstrong Williams was viciously lambasted over the incident and many of these editorial writers took the moment to attack President Bush and his administration and the No Child Left Behind program, making sure that no stone was left unturned in these blatant liberal ideological rants.

You see liberals mostly control public school districts across America. They also administrate the teachers unions, which care very little about the actual education of the nation's youth as they focus mostly on teacher benefits. And they predominantly comprise the editorial boards of the mass media.

Each one of these groups have a visceral dislike of the No Child Left Behind program because it's main directive is to empower parents, but specifically because it was enacted by the Bush administration. The effectiveness of the program does not matter to these people because their derision is fomented by ideology, not by the results of its policy.

That may be the main reason why the Department of Education decided it was best to advertise the program through a popular spokesperson and one who could better direct the focus of the program's merits toward the community that needed its benefits the most, the African- American community. Since the overwhelming majority of African-American leaders are staunch Democrats, they had already started attacking the program and weren't about to embrace it, let alone advertise it.

Any time the issue was brought up by the mainstream media, the topic was dominated by viewpoints from school administrators, teachers, or opponents of the program. Here's a challenge, find one editorial where No Child Left Behind wasn't admonished or find one news story where it isn't belittled in one way or another. Even Ted Kennedy attacked the program before the ink had dried on the paper and he helped write the legislation!

The problem isn't the attributes of the program or the lack thereof or that a Conservative commentator accepted payment for advertisement of the program, nonsensical as that decision was. The problem is the self-indulgent hypocrisy of liberal elitists who seize every opportunity to create a conspiracy involving this administration at the drop of a hat, stained blue dresses not withstanding.

Take for instance a recent column in the New York Times by Frank Rich titled, 'All The President's Newsmen'. Just the pompous mendacity of the title should give you a hint of the 'objectivity' of the article. Among the 'non-biased' observations of this diatribe was a passage where he described an interview between Mr. Williams and Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney said, "the press portray themselves as objective observers of the passing scene, when they obviously are not objective." Mr. Rich intoned, "This is a scenario out of "The Manchurian Candidate." Here we find Mr. Cheney criticizing the press for a sin his own government was at that same moment signing up Mr. Williams to commit."

'Criticizing the press', that is supposed to produce unbiased facts, for intentionally misconstruing the Vice President's relationship with his former employer has absolutely no relation to a governmental office paying for an advertisement with a columnist and commentator who produces opinion pieces.

Don't you love how certain mainstream media representatives can attend fundraisers for Democrats, or Bill Clinton can rent out the White House for campaign funding and sell nuclear secrets to the Chinese or John Kerry can have commentators from CNN and other media outlets as part of his election staff or Howard Dean could hire political consultants who operate popular Democrat blogs, yet liberal media elitists yawn at those overt 'conflicts of interest', but Armstrong Williams is the scandal of the century!

When questioned about hiring the internet bloggers during the election, Dean's representative said it wasn't 'unethical' and that both had 'disclosed their connection to the Dean operation' and that they weren't asked to 'explicitly' 'promote Mr. Dean'. Right, how exactly does that excuse them from the fact that their employment by a candidate running for President creates a 'sense of impropiety'?

Whether you're producing opinion pieces or hard news stories, integrity is a cornerstone that is essential to the product you produce, unless you're liberal working for the establishment media. Conservatives don't have that umbrella protection and have little more than our exclusivity to survive. Armstrong Williams may make it, but he has a long road back.

The next time a member of the press asks him about the hypocrisy of commentators taking public funding to promote ideological principles or programs, here's a suggestion for an answer: Just refer them to Bill Moyers.

Lee P Butler

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