ABC's Snapshot of Bias: Double-standard for Palin and Reagan-Bashers

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There could not be a better example of liberal media double standards than the kerfuffle over former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin posing in front of Hillary Clinton’s White House portrait (as First Lady) with rock stars Kid Rock and Ted Nugent. The ladies of The View had their knickers in a knot.

“You’re in the White House. Bring a little class with you!” sniffed Sara Haines as her co-hosts agreed in one way or another. Really? Really?  

Clearly The View crew (not to mention Palin’s critics) seem to have forgotten this story as recounted back in 2012 in Philadelphia Magazine. Here’s the headline - and beware, the story quotes include obscenity.

What Happens When You Let Gay Philly Activists Into the White House
They pose for pics giving Ronald Reagan’s portrait the finger.

The story - replete with photos -  says, among other things, this:

Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception. There, they danced to the sounds of a Marine Corps band; they dined on crab cakes and canapés; they hand-delivered letters from concerned citizens like this 18-year old who has had four people close to him gunned down, and noted rhyming raconteur CA Conrad; and some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger.

“It’s not a gesture that I would use in the White House when representing our city and our community,” opines Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal (center), who opted for a sarcastic thumbs-up pose in front of the portrait of George W. Bush over the more vulgar one demonstrated by his Reagan-loathing peers, Matthew “Matty” Hart (left), and self-taught photographer turned toast-of-the-town Zoe Strauss (right).

…But his counterparts couldn’t seem to care less. Hart posted his photo on Facebook with the caption, “Fuck Reagan.” Strauss simply posted hers without commentary. After all, the murderous facial expression and double-barreled bird-flipping seem to speak for themselves. Comments ranged from “you forgot to add with a chainsaw” on Hart’s “Fuck Reagan” note, to my personal favorite, “star wars … up yours,” on Strauss’s.

….“Yeah, fuck Reagan,” reiterates Hart one week after the reception. “Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands. The man was in the White House as AIDS exploded, and he was happy to see plenty of gay men and queer people die. He was a murderous fool, and I have no problem saying so. Don’t invite me back. I don’t care.”

Here's a recent tweet with a picture of the sick moment. 

So there you have it. Photos of gay activistings flipping their middle fingers at Reagan’s portrait while a third does a mocking “thumbs up” gesture in front of George W. Bush’s portrait. (If only that guy could have know the symbolism of a future president and the thumbs up gesture!) And from the ladies of The View the other day? Not a peep of outrage at the photos disparaging Reagan and Bush. Hmmmm.

Now, as an ex-Reagan White House staffer myself I very much believe the “People’s House” as it is sometimes called belongs to every American. A mere two seconds of watching a line of Americans touring the place reveals - shocking I know - that the bosses show up for tours of the house they pay for frequently dressed in less than their Sunday best. 

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And that’s okay. Yes, sure, I’m all for decorum. But the fact of the matter is the White House among other things is a physical symbol of the values expressed in the Constitution —  among which is the First Amendment. Free speech.

Decades ago, during the Johnson administration, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson hosted a group of prominent women at the White House to discuss the problem of juvenile delinquency. In the audience was singer and actress Eartha Kitt. Ms. Kitt, who had stood up in the day for civil rights (she herself was an African-American) was not one to be cowed by the famous setting. So she got to her feet, looked the First Lady in the eye and said this:

“You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. They rebel in the street. They will take pot and they will get high. They don’t want to go to school because they’re going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam.

Vietnam is the main reason we are having trouble with the youth of America. It is a war without explanation or reason.”

Oh nooooooo! You would have thought Ms. Kitt had just lost her lunch on the dinner table linens. For a black woman to be lecturing the wife of the liberal president of the day in support of a left-wing cause of the day? Eartha Kitt was pilloried in aghast tones by the media of the day for having the nerve to actually protest the war - to, gasp! - the First Lady’s face!

The fact of the matter is that in the day there was no more hot button issue than the Vietnam War. There were massive protests in the streets. Lyndon Johnson himself would finally fall victim to the political consequences of his war policies, abruptly abandoning his race for re-election in March of 1968 as he was under challenge from Senators Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy.

But the point here is quite simple. The White House - home of the President of the United States - can and does attract both protest and support twenty-four hours a day. In my experience working there a day literally did not pass without someone standing in front of the place protesting their favorite cause. On occasion the storied old home even witnesses face-jumping maniacs who generally fall into the category of crazies if not gun-toting would-be assassins. A small plane actually crashed in to the place to protest President Clinton in 1994, and there was an earlier attempt in 1974 by a psychotic Nixon-hater to fly an airliner into the Executive Mansion in an assassination attempt. But we are hardly talking violence here. We are talking American citizens - in the case of Governor Palin and her musician friends, celebrities - simply having a fun moment in front of a former First Lady and now losing-presidential candidate’s portrait.

And the media of today, as exquisitely demonstrated by the cast of The View and others, has in the style of today’s media environment a vivid double-standard about protest inside the building.

If you are Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent - merely standing and smiling in front of Hillary Clinton’s portrait as First Lady - the vapors and sniffiness commence. If you are a couple of gay activists standing in front of Reagan’s picture giving him the middle finger or mocking Bush’s portrait- why all glory and honor to them.

Is it important to have respect shown in the White House? Of course it is. Even - to their credit - the Obama White House felt compelled to put out a statement criticizing the gay activists for their bird-flipping poses in front of the Reagan portrait. But simply posing in front of Hillary Clinton’s First Lady portrait? With a Trumpian thumbs up? The White House is not the exclusive property of liberal elitists. And the fact that the kind of coarse, disgraceful disrespect towards Reagan by left-wing activists drew not so much as a media yawn - so much so that it apparently didn’t even come to the attention of the horrified ladies of The View the other day?

In a literal snapshot it tells you all you need to know about liberal media bias.