Conservative Journalists Rip Old Media For Light Scrutiny of Democratic Congress

WASHINGTON, August 8 – Panelists and the moderator of a panel of conservative journalists on Thursday criticized the old media’s reluctance to continue to keep Democratic members of Congress under the microscope for alleged ethical lapses.

By William G. Korver, Reporter,

WASHINGTON, August 8 – Panelists and the moderator of a panel at the Young America’s Foundation national conservative student conference on Thursday decried the old media’s reluctance to continue to keep Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., and Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., under the microscope for alleged ethical lapses.

Moderator Jason Mattera, of Young America’s Foundation, and panelists Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online, Mary Katherine Ham of Washington Examiner, and A.J. Rice of Talk Radio Network decried what they view as mainstream liberal bias for not giving adequate press coverage of Murtha and Jefferson.

They were speaking on a panel, “Promoting Conservative Ideas through New Media,” at the conference, which began on August 4 and continues through August 8.

According to Mattera, Murtha’s premature declaration that eight Marines were responsible for killing “innocent civilians in cold blood” has caused incalculable harm. He said Murtha’s “buddies in the press” have remained largely silent in the face of the fact that seven of the eight Marines have been acquitted, and the eighth Marine expected to be found innocent as well, Mattera said.

In confronting both Murtha and Jefferson, who reportedly stowed away $90,000 in a refrigerator found by federal agents and is accused of taking bribes and money laundering, Mattera utilized controversial “ambush videos” that some in the audience considered “rude.”

Mattera responded by stating that Americans have the right to know what their congressman are doing. As the salaries of congressman are supported by American taxpayers, members of Congress should be held accountable for their actions, he added.

Lopez said that conservatives, while suffering from a depressed standing the polls, have had some victories in recent years. Lopez reminded the audience of how conservative blogs and talk radio largely forced President Bush to replace Harriet Miers with Samuel Alito as a Supreme Court nominee. Alito was confirmed a justice in January 2006.

In agreeing with Lopez’s assertion that the new media has and will continue to change things for the better, Rice declared that talk radio and conservative blogs are the “special forces,” or “shock troops,” creating a “nightmare” for the “liberal establishment.” These new players are forcing old media to focus on an issue generally less-than-fully-covered: exposing the wrongdoing of liberal members of Congress.

The panelists pointed out the recent events in the House, where some Republicans are refusing to join the Democrats during the August vacation and are demanding that Democrats return to Washington to discuss off-shore drilling as a way to reduce high gas prices, as evidence that old media is slow to criticize the Democratic Congress.

In June 2008, two-thirds of Americans were in favor of drilling off America’s coasts, according to CNN.

Yet Lopez said it is extremely important that conservative journalists and bloggers target both Republicans and Democrats in the search for “the truth.”

Ham also urged conservative youth to make their presence known on their college campuses. American universities “are target-rich environments” for disparaging the leftist agenda, said Ham.

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