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msnbc.com
updated 10/10/2003 9:38:55 AM ET 2003-10-10T13:38:55

Rush Limbaugh and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been targeted for character assassinations by groups who are using tabloid pieces and anonymous sources to strike at their targets. But, in both cases, the assassins are going to fail to nail Limbaugh and Arnold, because the hunters themselves are the ones who are guilty of hypocrisy.

Rush Limbaugh under attack because he dared to suggest that the media may have taken it a little easier on an NFL quarterback because that quarterback was black. Limbaugh’s quote was not a critique of the Q.B.’s race, but rather on the political correctness of the press. And after reading’s today’s press accounts of Limbaugh’s statement, you would have thought the talk show host had donned a KKK hood and shouted “segregation forever” at the top of his lungs.

Ironically, the media’s rush to judgment has proven that Rush is right when he talks about how political correctness does infect our culture and limits our First Amendment right to speak out on important, but sensitive matters, like race.

Now, more damning to the mainstream press is the stubborn fact that the media is strangely quiet when African-Americans make racially questionable comments. Earlier this year, Chicago cubs coach Dusty Baker said Hispanics and blacks were better suited genetically to play baseball in hot climates. Now, imagine what would have happened to the Cubs coach if he were white.

And what of Jesse Jackson’s “Hymietown” comments in 1998 or Al Sharpton’s string of anti-Semitic slurs? If a white man had made such statements, he would have been compared to the likes of David Duke. But they’re instead still coddled by a compliant press, who calls Jackson a civil rights leader and praises Al Sharpton for bringing wit and personality to the campaign trail. And while comments like Baker’s didn’t offend me personally, the double standard is clear.

And more on double standards: it’s hard not to laugh at the likes of California Senator Dianne Feinstein when she goes on “Hardball” Thursday and earnestly says into the camera that Arnold’s past harassment of women calls into question his ability to govern. And now the liberal group MoveOn.org is releasing a new attack ad against Arnold by highlighting “his pattern of abuse against women.”

Where were these moralizing leaders, I wonder, when Juanita Broaddrick named Bill Clinton as a rapist, or when the president was accused of sexually harassing Kathleen Willey on the day her husband died, or when he was accused of sexual harassment by other women who didn’t hide behind an anonymous label provided to them by “The L.A. Times.” Where were they? In lockstep with Bill Clinton, supporting him politically and siding with the political hacks, instead of the abused women.

Unlike them, I am disturbed when somebody in any party behaves in such a disgusting way, be it Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bill Clinton. And, as for “The L.A. Times” and ABC News, all I can say is, I’m not surprised. They waited until the final days of the campaign to unleash a political hit piece, making moves so cynical that no one at ABC News or “The L.A. Times” should be left wondering anymore why America simply doesn’t trust their news reports as unbiased.

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