Update [2006-5-3 9:44:32 by howieinseattle]: “House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took on a rare role yesterday as a defender of President Bush. Hoyer came to the defense of the commander in chief after Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where the president took a drubbing from comedian Stephen Colbert.

“I thought some of it was funny, but I think it got a little rough,” Hoyer said. “He is the president of the United States, and he deserves some respect.”

“I’m certainly not a defender of the administration,” Hoyer reassured stunned observers, but Colbert “crossed the line” with many jokes that were “in bad taste.”

I commented here that there would be “consequences” because of Colbert’s remarks, but I was referring to what they might try to do to Colbert. I hope one consequence is going to come down on Steny, sometime in the future.

More evidence of Steny’s bad judgement: He used the same phrase, “crossed the line” as a top Bush aide, according to US News.

A history lesson from Seeing the Forest:

Don Imus was the speaker at the 1996 Correspondent’s dinner and his talk insulted President Clinton along the lines of the ongoing “conservative movement” narrative. Whitewater, Susan McDougal getting payoffs, Clintons getting indicted, missing billing records… The press had a field day — coverage everywhere. NY Times, TV Notes;Imus in the Spotlight.

This is no big deal, except when compared with this week’s press response to Stephen Colbert’s appearance Saturday. The only way to describe the press response is: intentional blackout. A scan of Google News finds almost no coverage outside of the blogs.

Why is there such an obvious difference in the coverage given Bush in general, compared to the coverage given Clinton? The press coverage of President Clinton led to his impeachment, even when all of the Republican-initiated investigations found he had done nothing wrong. In contrast the press continues its blackout of coverage or even discussion of possible crimes committed by President Bush.

In 1987 Ronald Reagan ordered the FCC to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcast media to provide balanced coverage of issues. Majorities in the Congress voted to restore the Fairness Doctrine and were blocked by Republican vetoes and filibusters. (Any time you hear a Republican complain about the “liberal media” ask them why it is Republicans, not Democrats, who oppose the Fairness Doctrine.) Following that, Republicans began to allow fewer and fewer large corporations to control more and more of these information channels. (PLEASE click the links. More here and here.)

I recall Howard Dean making some comments in the same vein, just before he was swift-boated out of the race. Do you see a pattern here? If you followed all the links, give yourself ten points.

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