5 Bad Guys the Conservative Media Mislabeled as “Liberals”

Hey, you know who are the worst? Liberals! That’s the conservative media’s slant, anyway, and one of the best ways they can achieve this portrayal is to label all of the worst people they can find “liberals” – regardless of whether or not that’s true. Media outlets can simply take someone who is sure to be vilified by the news, slap a “Democrat” under his name, and BOOM… they’ve contributed in creating a bias against liberals.


1. This topic re-emerged in my head last week when weapons and explosives were found in a Greenwich Village apartment. The story, first covered by the New York Post, labeled the apartments’ residents not only potential terrorists, but Occupiers. As the Village Voice notes, this “fact” was picked up by the Associate Press and Reuters and featured in headlines around the world as if to announce: See, Occupy Wall Street is dangerous! Conservative blogs particularly reveled in this news because it seemed to justify the FBI’s nonsense investigations of Occupy activists.

Still, something didn’t ring true about the story, given that Occupy has a fairly strong reputation as a non-violent group and no OWS members seemed to know the suspects in question. As the New York Times would later clarify: “The police said they did not believe that [the suspect] was active in any political movements.” So how did the Occupy label get added to the story in the first place? Of course, this correction is not getting anywhere near the mileage that the “Occupy Terrorists” story still is. The corporate media loves defaming Occupy so that you will automatically disregard their legitimate grievances.


2. The Westboro Baptist Church is so repugnant that it doesn’t come as a surprise that NO ONE wants to be associated with the group. But just because no one wants to claim the “God Hates Fags” clan as kindred spirits, doesn’t mean that pundits aren’t happy to identify Fred Phelps and his allies as members of the opposing political spectrum.

Take, for example, Fox News labeling Westboro Baptist Church a “left-wing cult”. Yeah, that makes sense… don’t we all associate racist, homophobic, Bible-thumping southerners with a liberal agenda? As America Blog discusses, the best possible rationale for this claim is that Phelps was a registered Democrat decades ago, but even that is a massive stretch since he has since renounced the political party. In that sense, Ronald Reagan was initially a Democrat: would Fox label him left-wing, too? How about former Democrat Condoleezza Rice? What’s next, calling Joseph Lieberman a liberal? (Haha, if only that were a joke.)


3. Remember disgraced Florida conservative Representative Mark Foley? His congressional pages sure do. Accused of sexual misconduct with underage boys who worked for him, Foley quickly became the subject of the scandal de jour back in 2006.

Gee, something like that sure would have been embarrassing for the Republican Party considering that they actively pitched a platform of family values and disapproval of same-sex couples. I say “would have been” because Foley was actually a Democrat. Don’t believe me? Just look at this Fox News report – when the poop hits the fan for a Republican, just change the “R” under his name to a “D” and… voila! Not their problem anymore! [Wipes hands clean.]


4. That solution was so simple for Fox News that they tried it again three years later for South Carolina Governor and “hiking enthusiast” Mark Sanford. After Sanford mysteriously disappeared, it turned out that the married Republican had marched all the way down the Appalachian Trail into the arms of his Argentinian mistress.

Again, this was not good PR for a party that trumpets family values, and so Fox News labeled Sanford a Democrat during his incriminating press conference. Though a newscaster would later point out the error on air, it was there long enough to reinforce the notion with some viewers that liberal politicians cheat on their wives.

Oh, and Sanford – who apparently hopes the voters have forgiven and forgotten – just announced his intention to run for Congress in 2014! Great idea!! I wonder whether conservatives will agree to claim him as their own again.


5. As news of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting emerged, people understandably had a lot of questions – none of which were “What political party does the shooter belong to?” But thankfully, the news media decided to try to answer that one anyway.

Popular conservative website Breitbart News thought it had the answer: suspect James Holmes is a registered Democrat! Liberals are murderers! Oh, wait… okay, we have to update the article… it seems that Holmes is not even registered to vote. But let’s put that correction with a question mark at the end (“Not Registered?”) so that you can still choose to believe the part about him being a Democrat since that’s our real objective anyway.


In this last case, it’s worth noting that ABC News made a similarly erroneous report, alleging that Holmes was a member of the Tea Party. Let’s not have a double standard here: that is equally stupid and egregious. We all need to be wary of when someone holds up a single example in an attempt to discredit an entire group. It’s a shady tactic, but in a lot of case it works. Besides, whoever said that honesty and accuracy were important parts of mainstream political discourse anymore?


Related Stories:

Occupy = Terrorists? The FBI Thinks So

South Carolina Governor Sanford Confesses to Extra-marital Affair

Fox News Calls Neo-Nazis a ‘Civil Rights Group’



Jean Wall
Jean Wall5 years ago


Kathy Lentz
Kathlene Lentz5 years ago

These days, it pays to lie. Fox "News" has figured that out and uses it every single day. Mitt Romney almost rode his platform of lies right into the White House. Thank God enough people wised up to stop that from happening! Now the Republicans are using the lie tactic to try to blame all of the country's debt and unemployment on President Obama. The sad part? It's working!

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thank you for the article

Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance5 years ago

Makes me glad to live in Canada. Now you know why Canada will not license Faux Noise (Fox News) because it has no idea about truth in reporting. Under the Radio Act, news organisations must report the news truthfully. These egregious examples are some of the kinds of examples that the Radio Act covers. Doesn't mean that errors don't happen, but they must be properly rectified.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

I like this article. Well written and smart(neat, tight). But I personally am very unhappy with the Occupy Whatever/Where ever(that is exactly what they were doing) movement that occured here. I wrote about the experience that occured here and nearby cities(LA ,San Diego, both) earlier and I won't repeat it. But they definitely were not smart(neat, tight, or intelligent).

Wendy F.
Wendy F5 years ago

Bigotry, in this case regional bigotry, is one of those things. I stand by my statement that all media outlets can be and are at times biased in choosing what stories they cover and how those stories are presented. It makes no difference which way that bias falls politically.

Wendy F.
Wendy F5 years ago

@Cathleen K., I don't need to Google Bloody Kansas to be aware of that name. Are you aware that it arose out of the violent conflicts led by anti-slavery John Brown, a Kansas settler who led raids against settlers of Missouri, which was pro-slavery? I'm also aware that the argument can be made that the civil war may have actually started in Kansas, as opposed to Ft. Sumter, but Kansas was a Union state in that conflict. I'm not sure you're helping your argument that Kansas is "southern" by bringing Bleeding Kansas up. I am also aware that Kansas is the birthplace of the Temperance Movement, started by Carrie Nation and that to this day there are devoutly religious people who still believe Kansas should be a dry state. However, this does not change the fact that geographically Kansas is a midwestern or a plains state, along with Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, the Dakotas... Neither those who live in Kansas nor those from states that are geographically southern would consider Kansas to be a southern state. Also, I never said or implied that I was conservative. You assumed that because I dared to point out a mistake that you may very well believe yourself- that all "racist, homophobic Bible-thumpers" must be southerners or the inverse that all southerners are racist, homophobic Bible-thumpers. What I am is aware of hypocrisy whether it comes from a right-wing conservative or a left-wing liberal. There are some things that transcend political leanings. Bigotry, in this case regional b

rene davis
irene davis5 years ago

I didn't think a republican could spell liberal, let alone be one.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

Well stated Mark S. (your green star is en route) and that's from another "degreed historian".

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

The right wing bubble is a magical fantasy place.