Media Blog

Hey NBC, Rudy’s No “Moderate”

NBC’s David Gregory reported on Rudy Giuliani this morning with the annoying template that’s he’s “A moderate on  social issues.” Tim Russert followed up in his routine piece of Punditry Corner that he’s “more moderate” than his GOP foes. Even with Rudy’s campaign feints away from the Planned Parenthood hard line, this is not accurate.
The flaw in this logic is exposed if we turn the question around and imagine (just imagine) that the Democratic field included a man who opposed abortion in all its forms and contributed to the National Right to Life Committee, the way that Giuliani supported abortion on demand (including public funding) and contributed to Planned Parenthood. Would Gregory and Russert call this man a “moderate” on social issues? That’s highly doubtful. They’d call him a “conservative,” and that would be accurate. Would they call him “more moderate” than Hillary or Barack? No, because being solidly pro-life is not a “centrist” spot on the political spectrum. Neither is being solidly for free and convenient abortion.
So why is Giuliani a “moderate” if his views on abortion are almost identical to Hillary’s? Why can’t the media call him “a liberal on social issues”? Easy. Because that would mean Hillary is “a liberal on social issues.” This is one of the ways that the “mainstream” media demonstrates clearly that it doesn’t act in an easily predictable nonpartisan-referee fashion. Every label it chooses reflects liberal calculation over simple categorization.

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

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