Monday, April 25, 2005

What Liberal Media?

Those who still believe the news media are liberally biased just aren't paying attention. For months Republicans have been threatening to use "the nuclear option" to prevent Democrats from using a filibuster to block judicial nominees from Senate confirmation. "The nuclear option" refers to changing Senate rules, and was coined by former Senate GOP leader Trent Lott.

The Hill quoted Lott using the term in a May 21, 2003, article: "'I'm for the nuclear option,' said Lott. 'The filibuster of federal judges cannot stand.'" And a June 25, 2003, Roll Call article quoted Lott saying of the nuclear option: "I am an advocate of that ... The Democrats are going to stop this or we are going to have to go nuclear."

As Media Matters for America notes:

But since Republican strategists judged the term "nuclear option" to be a liability, they have urged Senate Republicans to adopt the term "constitutional option." Many in the media have complied with the Senate Republicans' shift in terminology and repeated their attribution of the term "nuclear option" to the Democrats.

(see the link for multiple examples of this shift)

This isn't the first time the "liberal" media have conveniently followed the GOP lead in changing terminology when the public has reacted negatively to a GOP-invented term. Bush and company consistantly referred to a plan for "private accounts" to replace Social Security until the public indicated it didn't like the idea. From then on everyone was to refer to the plan for "personal" accounts.

I like Atrios' idea:

If I were the Dems, I'd start insisting that it be called the "fetus destruction option." Or, maybe, just for giggles, the "David Broder fellatio option."