Joan Walsh Calls Out Lauren Ashburn For False Equivalency On Clinton Hatred By Fox


I was very glad to see that Salon's Joan Walsh is about as tired of those in the media playing the "both sides" false equivalency game, where they compare the craziness that's become the mainstream on the right to some either nonexistent, or out of the mainstream entity on the left, for the sake of so-called balance or fairness, as I am.

It was nice to see her call out The Daily Beast's Lauren Ashburn for doing just that on this Wednesday's edition of Hardball with guest host Michael Smerconish filling in for Chris Matthews. Here's more on that from Walsh herself in her column at Salon: The wingnut trifecta:

Right-wing claims that Hillary Clinton faked illness to avoid testifying about the Benghazi tragedy would be funny if they weren’t so ugly. It’s the wingnut trifecta, smearing our most popular past Democratic president, Bill Clinton, along with our current president, Barack Obama, and the current 2016 front-runner, all with one shot. Imagine birtherism crossed with the worst of the hateful anti-Clinton lies, like the “Vince Foster was murdered” claim. That’s Hillary-health trutherism.[...]

I talked about the crazy Benghazi allegations on “Hardball” today and I was surprised to find myself in strong disagreement with the Daily Beast’s Lauren Ashburn. Ashburn acted shocked at the Clinton slurs; I argued they’re just the latest outbreak of Clinton-Obama derangement syndrome. But even more significant, Ashburn tried to declare that both sides are somehow equally to blame for the “incivility” of our current political debate, claiming that someone (she didn’t say who or where) had wished death on former President George Bush when the news broke that he was in the intensive care unit.

I’m on record, often, saying that false equivalence about haters on the right and left is dangerous. To equate Democrats and Republicans on this front, you’d have to imagine, say, Susan Rice suggesting something that crazy, not to mention unethical, about Mitt Romney’s secretary of state, had the 2012 race ended differently. And you can’t equate some random commenter on the HuffPost with people like Krauthammer and Hannity who have regular perches atop Fox News. That would be like Chris Matthews wishing death on the former president; it would never happen.

I agree completely, except I wasn't surprised by what Ashburn said. She's one of Howard Kurtz's favorite guests on his Sunday show on CNN where what she did during the Hardball segment is the norm and not the exception.

h/t Captain Kangaroo


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