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Conwell: A feeding frenzy


Last updated 11/30/2011 at Noon

You’ve seen videos of sharks in a feeding frenzy, ripping chunks from the prey, tearing at each other, filling the water with blood and slivers of raw meat.

That’s what the media appears to be doing today to the GOP candidates under the guise of impartial reporting. Maybe their onslaught is deserved. Maybe it isn’t.

What’s the sense eviscerating a candidate when our primary concern should be to show our sitting president the road out of Washington and back to his daytime job as community organizer.

Case in point, old Herman Cain. That guy has been the center of the cold-eyed media’s frenzy for weeks now. They’ve torn him to pieces.

I’ll bet he’s glad Jerry Sandusky and Penn State came along to take over the headlines.

Between that guy and the over-the-hill hippies at the protests, perhaps Cain can find a tad of respite from the heated accusations and innuendoes directed at him.

But in all fairness, you know as well as I, such recrimination, whether deserved or not, was due old Herman since he had the unmitigated audacity to surge to the top tier of GOP candidates.

The media reminds me of some of the wacky (read dangerous) deer hunters I’ve had the misfortune to run into over the last forty or fifty years.

Those are the crazies so anxious to take a deer that they shoot when a leaf moves, figuring they’d spotted a ten-point buck when in reality, all they manage is to put a hole through a maple leaf. But, they sure killed that sucker dead.

Seems like as if by magic, a bullseye morphs onto the chest of any GOP candidate who rises to the top, and the media takes aim, dreaming of Boone and Crockett headlines.

Now, I’m not defending Cain. Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t. I have the same reservations as any of you who struggle to keep an open mind. We need to know all about our candidates, warts and all-within the bounds of credibility.

Accusers have stepped forward, then fallen back. Makes me wonder. Is it all a ploy paid by liberals or even opposing conservatives to demean and disgrace the man? Or is it the truth?

Such is difficult to define since the majority of the media has been in Obama’s back pocket since the campaign in 2008. Anyone who opposes him is fair game.

I’ll be the first to admit, some of the poor jokers on the receiving end of the media’s Spanish Inquisition deserve much of what they get, but I have yet to see the mainstream media nitpick at the current president the way they scrutinize every thread in the fabric of his opposition’s life.

Take Michele Bachmann. A good person, she is very sincere in wanting to put America on the right track, but she made too many blunders early on when she was in the top tier of candidates. Some were outrageous, such as implying the ?shot heard around the world’ was fired in New Hampshire’ when it was in Massachusetts. Or her assertion that Perry’s HPV vaccinations caused mental retardation.’

What do you want to bet if Obama had made those remarks, we’d never heard of them? The media doesn’t appear to be taking him to task today for the politics he’s playing with the Keystone pipeline, dragging his feet until next year’s election, then approving it.

And then along came Perry, who rocketed to the top of the candidate list and back to the bottom just as fast. Why? The media honed in on him, his hunting club with the derogatory name; his loss of memory; his deplorable debating skills; even his twang.

In his favor, he didn’t name the lease; everyone is forgetful at the wrong time; great orators are not automatically good presidents; and what’s wrong with a twang?

The result of the media’s obsession with Perry? Old Rick tumbled down the hill right behind Jill–oops, I mean, Michele, and then along came Herman, self-made, Washington outsider with plain and simple ideas at which the media scoffed.

Can’t you imagine just how frantically the media struggled to dig up bad press? And they found it in the sexual harassment business, a sordid business to which they clung like cur dogs on a gut wagon.

Cain didn’t help himself during a couple interviews when he had to pause to put together a response. That was all it took to bloody the waters, and here came the sharks, gaudy headlines glistening off their curved teeth.

I think there might have been a few shreds of old Herman left to sink to the bottom. I’m not sure, for the predators did a pretty thorough job on him.

Then came Newt, who early on had been pilloried, but survived. When Cain tumbled, Gingrich hit the top tier. Now, they’re after him like fresh chum tossed in the water because he worked as a consultant for Freddie Mac to the tune of $1.5 million over seven or eight years. What is that, $200 thousand a year? Less than half of what Joe Paterno made at Penn State.

Now I don’t know about you, but I can understand many of these candidates messing up from time to time, and okay, the media takes them to task. That’s their job. Can you tell me Obama hasn’t messed up? What do we hear? Nothing!

But sometimes, the media, in their quest for blood, overreach. Bachmann made a remark that as a youth in 1961, her parents paid five bucks for a doctor’s visit. The media pounced on it, pointing out that 1961’s five bucks was $37.94 today.

So what? She was trying to make a point, although she was somewhat clumsy about it.

They jump Perry about a hunting lease with a derogatory name over which his father had painted. And they assume Perry is racially biased because of that?

And why did Cain’s accusers wait so long? As far as I know, only two identified themselves. I suggested it before, but paid hecklers and informers is nothing new in the political jungle surrounding us.

Even Romney has had his share of bad press regarding his flip-flopping and healthcare, and the president, with the media’s blessing, goes tiptoeing around the world without a care to his name.

You think the battlefield is bloody now, wait until the presidential campaign begins. You’ll see Chicago politics at its gaudiest.


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