This morning, CNN aired its first report on the right-wing smear campaign against 12-year old SCHIP recipient Graeme Frost. CNN pinned the blame on Democrats for assault on the Frost family.
CNN’s John Roberts reported: “Some of the accusations [against the Frosts] may be exaggerated or false. But did the Democrats make a tactical error in holding up Graeme as their poster child?” A CNN political analyst then placed the blame squarely on the Democrats’ shoulders:
I think in this instance what happened was the Democrats didn’t do as much of a vetting as they could have done on this young man, his situation, his family. […]
More and more, Congress is acting less like a deliberative legislative body, and more like a political campaign. We’ve been seeing the politicization of every aspect of government.
This isn’t mere political theatrics. You wouldn’t know it from the CNN report, but Congress did actually pass an SCHIP expansion that is overwhelmingly supported by the American public. Moreover, the Democratic-led Congress has been acting like a “legislative body,” breaking the record for the highest number of roll call votes in history.
The CNN report disturbingly suggests that Democrats are to be faulted for daring to a put a human face on the SCHIP program — a health care program for kids. Mahablog offers this explanation:
In other words, it’s the Dems fault that the Frost family is being ripped to shreds by the Right? This is like saying “it’s your fault if you lead your cow into a river full of piranha.” Yes, righties are behaving like a school of piranha, and the Dems should have known this would happen.
Another disturbing trend in the media portrayal of this story, as noted by Marcy Wheeler, is a willingness by the traditional media to place the blame on “bloggers” and politics “in the Internet age.” Right-wing bloggers were indeed leading the charge, but the entire conservative establishment — Rush Limbaugh, Senate offices, and leading conservative publications — joined in the effort.
Few journalists have yet to note that while the right-wing blogosphere attacked Graeme, it was the progressive blogosphere that led in his defense.