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Wash Post's 'Conservative' Blogger Scolds Santorum to 'Stop Whining' About Media Double Standard

The Washington Post's "conservative" blogger is now telling Republicans to shut up and move on from their complaints of a liberal media double standard. The Post's Jennifer Rubin appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday to tell all the GOP candidates to "grow up."

"These candidates should grow up, get their message out," she ranted. The phoney-conservative emphasized that conservative candidates have grown "obsessed" over the media's liberal treatment.

She also hit candidate Rick Santorum's positions as "really far outside even the mainstream of the Republican Party" and defended the media's scrutiny of him as "very fair game." Even CNN's Howard Kurtz was cautious to give the media a pass, saying they need to be "careful" about a double standard.

"There's lots of other media outlets for them to get out their message out," Rubin stated. She didn't clarify if any of those outlets had audience numbers in the ballpark of the three major networks.

[Video below. Click here for audio.]

 

 

CBS News contributor Scott Conroy also defended the media backlash against comments made by Santorum's big financial supporter Foster Friess, even though Santorum claimed he was not responsible for things said by a supporter of his. "He's much more than a supporter," Friess stated. Would Conroy be willing to say the same of liberal billionaire George Soros and President Obama?

A transcript of the segment, which aired on February 20 at 11:08 a.m. EST, is as follows:

HOWARD KURTZ: I want to turn now to Rick Santorum. On CBS This Morning the other day, he got into it with Charlie Rose and it had to do with a joke, a bad joke, that was told by a Santorum financial supporter, Foster Friess when Friess said, well, in my day, women practiced birth control by putting an aspirin between their knees. Here's how that exchange went.

(Video Clip)

RICK SANTORUM, Republican presidential candidate: When you quote a supporter of mine who tells a bad, off color joke and somehow I'm responsible for that, that's gotcha.

CHARLIE ROSE, CBS News: But nobody said you were responsible, Senator. Nobody said you were responsible. They said, how would you characterize it, and what had you said to him? Not that you were responsible.

SANTORUM: Look, this is what you guys do. I mean, I don't – you don't do this with – you don't do this with President Obama. In fact, with President Obama, what you did was you went out and defended him against someone who he sat in a church for, for 20 years and defended him that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. This is a double standard. This is what you're pulling off, and I'm going to call you on it.

(Video Clip)

KURTZ: Scott Conroy, does Santorum have a legitimate beef that the media have a double standard for Republicans?

SCOTT CONROY, national political reporter, RealClearPolitics: Well, I think two points. First of all, he said Foster Friess was a supporter of his. He's much more than a supporter.

KURTZ: Okay, fine.

CONROY: I mean, you can make the argument that he's single-handedly keeping his campaign, you know, where it is today. Second of all, he brought up the Jeremiah Wright situation with President Obama, candidate Obama in 2008. You have to remember it is the media that brought that out into the forefront. It was the McCain campaign who didn't want to talk about it.

KURTZ: ABC was one of the organizations. But let me go back to Frank Bruni. You know, Santorum does talk about religiously themed things. He talked about a couple years ago a speech about Satan corrupting the institutions of America. Just yesterday, he accused President Obama of having a phony theology. But he contends and his campaign contends that we in the press are trying to paint him one dimensionally as a candidate solely of social issues. Is there something to that?

FRANK BRUNI, op-ed columnist, New York Times: You know, I actually don't think so. I mean, we shouldn't be one dimensional with him and I think he – there's a little bit of truth to the fact that we pay more attention sometimes to those things than to other aspects of his platform. But he is exuberantly and willingly wading into these waters. We're not labeling him a culture warrior from nowhere. I mean, he's putting on the armor, he's grabbing the lance. I mean, he believes this stuff. He wants to talk about it. But then when it becomes, you know, the entire foreground of the conversation, he gets upset. I think he's not being entirely honest.

KURTZ: But his campaign tells me, Jennifer, that the media are minimizing his other positions on manufacturing, jobs and so forth because let's face it, birth control, abortion, gay marriage – these are hot button issues that make pretty good copy.

JENNIFER RUBIN, Washington Post: Well, two things. First of all, it's not fair game for him to say don't play gotcha with Foster Friess, because he himself has made outrageous, outlandish statements, and that's what we are talking –

KURTZ: He's saying I shouldn't be held responsible for a bad joke – for which Friess apologized – said by somebody else. I mean, candidates often (Unintelligible) that position.

RUBIN: Yes, but it is very fair game to talk about his own statements and his own positions which are really far outside even the mainstream of the Republican Party.

KURTZ: And what about his double standard charge?

RUBIN: You know, that's for people like you and me to talk about. He's a candidate. And he should stop whining about the media's double standards. I think the candidates have gotten, particularly on the right, and I will talk to my friends on the right, have gotten obsessed with this. Ronald Reagan won the presidency twice with no FOX News, with no talk radio, with no blogs. These candidates should grow up, get their message out. And you know what? There's lots of other media outlets for them to get out their message out.

KURTZ: Well, you're saying we're not all that powerful, but at the same time, I do think we have to be careful about holding candidates of different parties to the same standard. On that point, we will leave it there.

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center