Glossing Over Bad Traits Good For Liberals, But Not For Conservatives

As I was reading the article and editorial in the Fish Wrapper about the death and legacy of Ted Hallock, a former state senator who was the primary force behind SB 100 in 1973, I couldn't help but notice how the Fish Wrapper tends to gloss over negatives about a person if they're a liberal, but watch out if you're a conservative.

For instance, from the editorial:

A lot of people remember Hallock as quick-minded, passionate and, at times, sharp-tongued. In his prime and beyond he brimmed with energy and ideas. Those traits made him a force for 20 years in the Oregon Senate.

And Harry Esteve gives a little more description:

"Ted had a tremendous capacity to either hit you with a club or give you a kiss on the cheek," recalled Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who served with Hallock in the Legislature in the 1970s. "You never knew what was coming."

and

"He was a man of very strong passions and very short fuse. He got his feelings hurt easily, but he also cared deeply for people."

People who didn't know him were sometimes taken aback by the fiery, often profane verbal fusillades he would regularly release. But he also knew when to stop talking and cut deals, said Angus Duncan, who served with Hallock on the regional power council. "He was a very pragmatic decision-maker," Duncan said. "You would never know it from his rhetoric."

The article by the Portland Tribune gives even more detail:

He’s been an artist, a warrior, a journalist, a statesman and an image-maker. But he brought his unique stamp down hardest as a legislator from 1963 to 1983, often with the heartless precision of the Norton bombsight he operated in a drafty B-17.

“A lot of what I’ve achieved has angered a lot of people,” he says. “I would really like not to have wounded some of the people I wounded. That’s the price I really have to face up to. ”

“He did have his share of enemies,” Stephanie Hallock says. “People were afraid of him because he was so intelligent. He eviscerated people.”

According to dictionary.com, "eviscerate" means

  1. to remove the entrails from; disembowel: to eviscerate a chicken.
  2. to deprive of vital or essential parts

Doesn't sound too nice to me.

“He was a very liberal senator in a very conservative Senate,” says U.S. District Judge James Redden. “He was into personalities, and that led him to oppose bills if he was upset with the sponsor. That always offends somebody.

...

Even Hallock’s allies concede that his effectiveness as a legislator may have been hindered by his caustic and sometimes vindictive nature. He was famously intolerant of ill-prepared testimony from lobbyists, dissecting adversaries with withering contempt.

“Probably he would’ve been more successful had he been more of a compromiser,” Redden says. “Sometimes it’s better to save your fire. He never held back.”

The article goes on to point out how he mellowed in his later years after becoming a Christian.

“He has mellowed, I’m happy to say,” says longtime friend Vaughan, 79.

What peace Hallock has found he owes in part to his conversion to Christianity, something he says happened several years ago while returning from central Washington in a friend’s pickup.

“My curiosity was really aroused,” he says. “I began to ask him questions, and he answered me.

“I’m undoubtedly a hypocrite on the outside. It hasn’t brought me any closer to being charitable. I don’t go around apologizing for myself and my behavior.”

He rethinks the self-possession that powered him in politics and elsewhere. “I was in charge of everything I’ve done. I was in charge of my destiny. I would do all the right things. I, I, I, I.”

“I’m not the be-all, end-all,” he says, his voice rising as if in anger at himself. “I am a grain of sand. That takes some ego adjustment. I’m not at one with myself by any manner of means. I hope what I do learn will offset parts of my past.”

Now my point here is not to condemn Mr. Hallock. Instead, it is to point out how the picture of a person is painted by the Fish Wrapper (and the MSM as a whole) is determined by your political leanings. If you are a liberal, then any bad traits are worth ignoring, but if you are a conservative, then you must be excoriated at all costs. A case in point is how the MSM portrayed Nancy Pelosi as she became Speaker, as compared to the treatment given Newt Gingrich when he became Speaker back in 1994. As explained by Newsbusters, the media sucked up to Nancy Pelosi, but hammered Gingrich.

As I pointed out here, it seems that whenever the Fish Wrapper does a profile, it's always a liberal. I wonder if they have the journalistic capability of doing a decent profile of a conservative? I guess we'll just have to keep waiting...

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