As Halloween approaches, many people devour scary stories and the annual celebration of fear. But the media don’t reserve frightening tall tales for October, they promote fear all year long, especially over the dangers of climate change, guns and those who promote free-market capitalism.
Media outlets, along with the left, promote widespread fear of many individuals who disagree with them. The Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute came up with this list of five free-market people or groups the media and the left most commonly targeted with scary reports and remarks in the past year.
1. NRA and ‘America’s Most Dangerous Man’ Wayne LaPierre
The media and the left, desperate to spread a fear of firearms, simply cannot abide the gun industry or defenders of gun rights. One of the media’s top goblins this year was the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its executive vice president Wayne LaPierre. The group and the individual was portrayed as “dangerous” and bloodthirsty by cable news outlets.
CNN host Piers Morgan, an outspoken NRA critic, referred to La Pierre in a Feb. 14 tweet as “America’s Most Dangerous Man .” Another CNN host claimed the NRA had “launched a misinformation campaign, willfully misleading their members.” 
MSNBC co-host Touré Neblett took things even further, outrageously speculating that the NRA wants more mass shootings  to boost gun sales. He said “these moments [mass shootings] are actually good for them,” on “The Cycle,” Dec. 20, 2012.
One of the most anti-gun statements from the media in 2013 was from MSNBC’s Martin Bashir who smeared the NRA saying, “... if anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it’s not the President, it’s the NRA.” 
2. The ‘Omnipresent’ Koch Brothers
According to the imagination of the left, the shadow-like Koch brothers are behind any free-market opposition to liberal policies.
Liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman described the Koch brothers as “omnipresent”  in an Oct. 20 column. This term perfectly described the media’s attitude toward billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch as sinister political puppeteers who unforgivably want to promote capitalism.
In another Times column, Charles Blow mentioned the Koch’s in his column “Big-Money Manipulators.” In that Oct. 9 piece, he asserted  that “Rich conservatives are out to bend government to their will or break it.” Similarly, the Washington Post’s Judy Howard Ellis said, “The Koch brothers display a Midas touch that reshapes institutions and policy in their political image,”  on July 25.
In contrast, liberal billionaire George Soros has given over $48 million to media organizations in the United States and wields tremendous influence to advance his progressive agenda. Although often overlooked by the media, Soros has given more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States since 2000.
In May 2013, speculation arose that the Koch brothers would buy the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Media outlets were displeased. CBS “This Morning” fretted over the public’s “vocal opposition” and “anxiety”  over that prospect May 10.
The media’s outrage at the possibility of the Koch brothers owning news outlets was the opposite of their silence when liberal billionaires actually purchased newspapers. Warren Buffett, a personal friend of Obama, has bought up 28 local papers for $344 million, and in August, Jeff Bezos, the outspokenly liberal owner of Amazon.com, bought the Washington Post.
3. Ted Cruz: ‘Creepy,’ and ‘Miley’ of the Senate
Sen. Ted Cruz was widely vilified for the government shutdown on Oct. 1, based on his attempts to preserve a free-market health care system and defund Obamacare. The networks blamed him, with ABC calling it the “Ted Cruz shutdown .”
Liberal pundits also went on the attack. Maureen Dowd wrote an editorial Oct. 6 for The New York Times entitled “Welcome to Ted Cruz’s Thunderdome,” describing a grim future where “A Canadian destroyed the world .” Dowd got nasty saying “there was something creepy” about Cruz, whose “face looked pinched.”
Cable networks couldn’t resist accusations of racism. MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews said extremist hate groups “must love Ted Cruz”  and later referred to him as a “Confederate” who “fired on Fort Sumter.” Liberal talk radio show host Thom Hartmann, a member of the left-wing Media Consortium funded by Soros, made similar statements saying Cruz led “Taliban-style suicide-bomber  charge to shut down the government.”
Political comedian, and former lawyer, Dean Obeidallah, wrote that Cruz is obsessed with fame and demagoguery. In an article for The Daily Beast, Dean Obeidallah said Cruz’s “obsession with fame” made him the “Miley Cyrus of the Senate. ” Meanwhile, Politico’s Evan Thomas referred to Cruz as a “demagogue” whose intelligence “makes him potentially dangerous. ”
4. Climate Skeptics: ‘Greedy, Lying Bastards’
The left and media have been on the same side about the threat of climate change for many years. They say the debate is over, and the media censor  the subject by excluding scientists with other views. The Los Angeles Times  announced recently they won’t publish letters to the editor skeptical of man’s role in climate change. At times the media has even aggressively vilified skeptics by labeling them “climate deniers.”
Craig Scott Rosebraugh channeled the left’s unrelenting fear of climate change skeptics into his March 2013 documentary “Greedy Lying Bastards ,” which Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times said it may be  “the feel-good documentary of the year.”
MSNBC’s host Chris Hayes warned that climate skepticism of Tea Partiers put “the future of the earth in peril ”on “All In with Chris Hayes” Aug. 13.
For the media, climate deniers are deranged conspiracy theorists on par with 9/11 Truthers or moon landing “deniers.” TIME Magazine’s senior editor  for science and technology told CBS “This Morning” viewers that “I think of the folks who are the climate deniers as the flat Earthers and the people who say the moon landings never happened,” on Jan. 28.
MSNBC also promoted this conspiracy theorist image, when they displayed a graph of the GOP elephant next to the text “truthers? ” during a climate change story Aug. 21 on “NOW with Alex Wagner.”
5. Michele Bachmann: ‘President of Crazyland’
Fearing any defense of small-government, the media also launched endless attacks against Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., portraying her as some sort of unhinged witch. When she announced her retirement from Congress in May 2013, media outlets were gleeful.
A favorite of the Tea Party, Bachmann has been maligned frequently by the media and the left. Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine announced on May 29 that Bachmann “Retires as President of Crazyland ,” while CNN called her “the butt of a thousand jokes .”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews attacked Bachmann on “Hardball” for “trashing the first African-American president for living like a president.” Matthews again played the race card saying “there’s an ethnic feature ” to these attacks in his March 23 rant.
Many of Bachmann’s critics also relied on highly sexualized imagery and jokes to promote a deranged image of her. Miley Cyrus, hosting “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 5 portrayed Bachmann in her underwear, groping herself  and dancing suggestively. In addition, liberal radio host Mike Malloy invoked an embarrassingly sexual “fantasy”  about Bachmann’s husband wearing “a leash with a fur collar. Or, or one of those studded collars.”
— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.