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Liberal Media Scowl at the Conservative 'Mandate!'

Tim Graham on

The Heritage Foundation has been issuing its doorstop-length "Mandate for Leadership" books since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. But this is the first one that has inflamed The New York Times into painting it as a manual for autocracy.

On the March 8 edition of PBS's "Washington Week With The Atlantic," moderator Jeffrey "Obama Is Awesome" Goldberg cued up New York Times book reviewer Carlos Lozada to discuss his article "What I Learned When I Read 887 Pages of Plans for Trump's Second Term."

What surely delighted Goldberg was Lozada's hot take. The Heritage book is "not about anything as simplistic as being dictator for a day, but about consolidating authority and eroding accountability for the long haul."

Here's what is unsaid. Conservatives would like to impose more political appointees on the executive branch because they feel the permanent bureaucracy is stacked with "progressives" who treat conservative presidencies as an occasion for clandestine warfare.

Under President Donald Trump, both career appointees and political appointees leaked to liberal media outlets with all kinds of anonymous "resistance." One wrote a New York Times op-ed and then a book under the byline "Anonymous." The author later revealed himself as political appointee Miles Taylor, who was barely 30 when he became a deputy chief of staff in the Department of Homeland Security.

As Lozada noted in reviewing the "Anonymous" book, it was full of "stuff we already know." It was written to be bought by Trump haters who loved MSNBC guest snark like Trump is "like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately."

This, we know, is what Lozada means by "eroding accountability," making it harder for liberal rags like The New York Times to undermine the Republican president from within. No one on PBS is going to ask him if anonymous sourcing "erodes accountability." Because "accountability" is a one-way street for them.

The incentive structure is different for the bureaucracy under Democrats. Nobody at The New York Times wants an anonymously sourced war on the president. No major book publishers want a "tell-all" book lacerating the liberals for acting like 12-year-olds ... or like feeble octogenarians.

 

Anonymous sourcing at the Times isn't used for trashing the White House anymore. It's now reserved for the most pedestrian stories on Team Biden. In January, John Kerry was leaving the State Department to join the Biden campaign, and it was announced "at a hastily arranged meeting, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous in order to discuss personnel matters."

Under Biden, liberal journalists are expected to preach the most preposterous gospels. Lozada proclaimed on taxpayer-supported TV that the Heritage team wants "to politicize the Justice Department ... It's very overt. They emphasize how, for instance, the White House Counsel's Office and the DOJ have to work as a team. That's a quote."

The "accountability" specialists of the pro-Biden media somehow can't concede that the Biden Justice Department is aggressively prosecuting their opponent as a campaign strategy. Their press statements boast how their prosecutions in the Jan. 6 riot are massive and still unloading indictments.

Liberal reporters warn of Trump's "retribution" and couldn't possibly imagine that Biden's seeking retribution through his Justice Department. Their "news judgment" is perfectly partisan. Implying Biden's DOJ is nonpartisan is the most wretched misinformation you could publish.

The Heritage folks are not wrong to assert that the Left controls the permanent bureaucracy and they're very upset that conservatives have gotten organized. Other Republican presidents have taken their "mandate" seriously, but the "deep state" -- especially defined as the anonymous sources perennially pushing statism -- remains an entrenched and powerful foe.

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Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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