Continuing a pattern in the media of uncritically repeating Republican attacks on Democrats over the Iraq war and national security and simply adopting GOP talking points characterizing the actions of Democrats, Fox News' Carl Cameron asserted that being "the anti-war party" puts Democrats in "a very tenuous position" and leaves the party open to "Republican criticism that they're a bunch of cut-and-runners."
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Reporting on what he deemed the overriding significance of the Iraq war in the Connecticut Democratic primary race during the July 7 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron asserted that being "the anti-war party" puts Democrats in "a very tenuous position" and leaves the party open to "Republican criticism that they're a bunch of cut-and-runners." Cameron added that by supporting challenger Ned Lamont, some Democrats "are beating up on Joe Lieberman for taking a tough and strong national security position," and "[t]hat makes them look weak." Cameron continued a pattern in the media, identified by Media Matters for America, of uncritically repeating Republican attacks on Democrats over the war in Iraq and national security by simply adopting GOP talking points in characterizing the actions of Democrats. "Cut-and-run" is a favorite line leveled by the GOP and repeated by the media during the Senate's debate of two Democratic resolutions for withdrawal from Iraq. Cameron repeated the GOP label, undeterred by a New York Times report following the debate in the Senate that Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq, had drafted a plan to withdraw significant numbers of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2007 -- a plan that Democrats pointed out was very similar to the course of action provided for in the second of the two resolutions for which the Democrats were vilified.
From the July 7 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:
CAMERON: Lieberman voted to invade Iraq, to oust Saddam Hussein. He is unapologetic for that vote and says it was a good thing that Saddam Hussein got removed. But the anti-war liberal movement across the country, specifically in Connecticut, essentially recruited this businessman Ned Lamont, a millionaire, to run, recognizing that Lieberman might be vulnerable because of the unpopularity of the Iraq war in Democratic politics. Bill Clinton had a great line years ago; he said the American public would rather be strong and wrong than weak and right.
Well, obviously, the Republicans believe they're wrong on the -- that they're right on the war and that they're strong. Democrats now put themselves in a very vulnerable position because, by definition, they are beating up on Joe Lieberman for taking a tough and strong national security position. That makes them look weak. And in a war-time election, the Democratic Party has to ask themselves if they really want to make an example of a guy who has been a Democratic senator for three terms, been endorsed by virtually every major Democratic interest group there is, whether it's labor or abortion rights -- just, the list is almost complete -- and yet, you see him in this very tough primary. Lieberman leads, but Lamont's gaining, and it's essentially because of this Iraq position. The Democratic Party, if it's to be the anti-war party and leave nothing open to discussion, puts itself in a very tenuous position and opens itself to the Republican criticism that they're a bunch of cut-and-runners.
BANDERAS: Hmm. All right, Carl Cameron, thank you so much.
Media Matters has also noted (here, here, here, here, and here) that the news media's portrayal of the Iraq war, terrorism, and national security as political winners for the Republicans and dangerous territory for Democrats -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- is in no way a recent phenomenon.