As the Wyoming primaries approach, The New York Times is already preparing the post-election spin boosting the post-congressional exploits of Rep. Liz Cheney. The Aug. 8 front-page headline was “Cheney Ready to Lose a Race, But Not a Fight.”
Times reporter Jonathan Martin laid it on thick: “She has used the Aug. 16 contest as a sort of a high-profile stage for her martyrdom — and a proving ground for her new crusade.” Martyrdom? She’s not being burned at the stake like Joan of Arc, even if that’s the kind of moral high ground the liberal media coverage suggests.
She’s losing her race “in part because of death threats, her office says.”
Her new crusade is the media’s old crusade. The pull quote on the back of the front section read, “If the cost of standing up for the Constitution is losing the House seat, then that’s a price I’m willing to pay.” Martin also insisted she “has become arguably the most consequential rank-and-file member of Congress in modern times.”
She will be “consequential” if the Jan. 6 committee somehow helps ruin Donald Trump before 2024. Cheney is only “rank-and-file” because she was tossed out of the House Republican leadership for seeking an entirely new constituency: The New York Times, The Washington Post and the alphabet of liberal TV networks.
Martin hyped speculation that “she is preparing to run for president. She has done little to dissuade such talk.” Martin touted a house party in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the (unnamed) host introduced the congresswoman by comparing her to Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who confronted Sen. Joseph McCarthy when that was considered daring, and then in 1964 went on to become the first female candidate for president “from a major party.” That campaign went nowhere.
In two successive CNN interviews, Jake Tapper and Kasie Hunt each oozed and pressed her about running for president. These salutes look to Republican voters like the fringe benefits of aiding the liberal media.
She claimed she’s still Republican, but “when asked if the G.O.P. she was raised in was even salvageable in the short term,” she said that “it may not be” and called her party “very sick.” In other words, this all sounds like the 2024 version of Evan McMullin for president — a protest vote for never-Trumpers.
Like a good Democrat, she found more patriotic members on the Democrat side. “I would much rather serve with Mikie Sherrill and Chrissy Houlahan and Elissa Slotkin than Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert,” she proclaimed. Oh, she disagreed with Sherrill, Houlahan and Slotkin on some things, “but they love this country, they do their homework and they are people that are trying to do the right thing for the country.” Martin called this a “political awakening.”
The Times recently reported liberal Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife donated more than $43,000 to her campaign “and groups supporting her.” Katzenberg said he was talking up Cheney to “anybody and everybody that will listen to me.” The Cheney campaign sent mailers to registered Democrats with instructions on how to change parties ahead of the primary to vote for her.
It’s quite a long way from the Obama years, when the liberal pundits used to call her the “daughter of Dracula” (Chris Matthews) and “Shooter’s little girl,” who’s “riding the wave of crazy” (Ed Schultz). Anderson Cooper accused her of “emboldening our enemies,” and Chris Hayes panned her as “truly one of the most odious presences in American politics today.”
Liz Cheney proves that no politician can be both the biggest darling of the liberal media and a viable candidate for Republican leadership.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.