“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
— Old adage

“Well, there you go again.”
— Ronald Reagan

by Rod D. Martin
November 18, 2005

There they go indeed. And shame on anyone for believing them anymore.

I mean, of course, the elite liberal media, who will stop at nothing to topple the Bush presidency. Not even if it means manipulating the news about war and natural disasters.

Remember all those New Orleans horror stories, the ones that could’ve given Attila the Hun goosebumps?

An Editor & Publisher headline that screamed, “Mortuary Director Tells Local Paper 40,000 Could Be Lost in Hurricane”?

CNN reporting shots being fired at rescue helicopters?

CNN’s Paul Zahn decrying “bands of rapists, going block to block?”

Oprah Winfrey telling her wide-eyed audience that “gangs banded together and had more ammunition, at times, than the police?”

Eager-beaver media scribes dutifully reporting Randall Robinson’s lunatic claims of people “eating corpses to survive?”

It turns out they were all just that: stories. Lies. Lies which could have been shown false had Shepherd Smith just bothered to walk into the Superdome.

And when this hysteria was found to be just lies, that should have become the biggest story of all.

But it didn’t.

So most Americans are left with the initial story — the false one. The one which tanked George Bush’s poll numbers.

So it is with Iraq.

From the day America moved to oust Saddam, the usual suspects — from CBS to the New York Times — eagerly predicted calamity and searched fervently for any signs of it.

Yet virtually all their prognostications failed to materialize.

Casualties? Minimal. Oil fields? Protected. Saddam attacking Israel? Never happened. Post-war refugee problems? Nope. Iraqis weren’t leaving; they were returning in droves to their Saddam-free homeland.

And since Saddam’s removal, guess which part of Iraq has garnered virtually all of the Bush-bashing media’s attention?

Why, the Sunni Triangle, of course, Saddam’s home turf.

Never mind that nearly everywhere else, there is no “insurgency.” Never mind that the “insurgency” is doomed so long as virtually everybody but a handful of Sunnis opposes it.

Never mind that across Iraq, the progress is overwhelming, as Americans and Iraqis together build schools, enhance security, empower civil society, and ensure a brighter economic and political future.

Never mind that most of the fighting — and dying — for the new, free Iraq is being done by patriotic Iraqis. And never mind that the endlessly-reported U.S. death toll is half the rate even of U.S. training deaths each year.

Never mind that literally millions of Iraqis — alone in the Arab world — have twice stood up to terrorist bullies, voting first to elect new leaders and just recently to ratify their new constitution. And that includes 105,000 Iraqis in Fallujah, once the heart of the insurgency, who turned out last month to vote on the new constitution.

Oh, and never mind that before each of these elections, al Qaeda proclaimed loudly that merely holding the election — regardless of outcome — would be a “crushing defeat” for their cause.

To the left-leaning media moguls and those in their employ, none of this matters, because all of it vindicates President Bush.

Which is partly why so little of it gets reported.

How bad is the Bush-bashing bias?

In a survey of 1,388 Iraq stories on the evening news programs of ABC, CBS, and NBC from January through September of this year, the Media Research Center found that 61% were negative or pessimistic, while only 15% were positive or optimistic, a four-to-one ratio.

Fully two out of every five stories featured specific terrorist attacks.

But it gets worse.

There were 79 stories about alleged wrongdoing by our soldiers, while only eight stories highlighted their obvious heroism and only nine featured their unending acts of compassion and generosity.

And even when the topic was Iraqi democracy — which al Qaeda itself defines as victory for us and “crushing” for them — negative stories outnumbered positive ones by a 124-92 margin.

In other words, heads we win, tails you lose.

And speaking of loss, there’s no question that this grossly biased reporting has helped embolden the foreign terrorists and homegrown Saddamites, and caused needless loss of American and Iraqi lives.

One need not be cynical to ask whether that wasn’t the idea in the first place.

Either way, one thing is crystal clear: When a media story concerns President Bush or his pro-American, pro-democracy policies, expect what you got in New Orleans: outright lies at every turn.

Fool us once, shame on them. Fool us twice — well, you know the rest.