CNBC's Steve Liesman

Much of the world tires of hearing conservative complaints about double standards in the media, academia, and elsewhere. “If George W. Bush had said that . . .,” we say. “If Fox News had done that . . .,” we say. Well, say on, I say.

On CNBC, they showed a picture of Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas conservative. And a host, Steve Liesman, said, “There he is! Can we get some music to go along with that, some Mexican music maybe?”

What in the world? Cruz’s father is an immigrant from Cuba. Is that what Liesman was thinking of, when he asked for some Mexican music?

In a statement, he said he wanted to apologize “if my remarks were insensitive.” He explained that he had simply wanted some music representing Texas, to accompany the Cruz photo. It could just as well have been “Country/Western or Texas Roadhouse Blues.”

I believe that. I also believe—in fact, know—that if Fox News had shown a picture of, say, Thomas Perez, the labor secretary, and a host had said, “There he is! Can we get some music to go along with that, some Mexican music maybe?” the world would have gone nuts.

You may recall that, last year, a left-wing activist went to the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. FRC is a conservative Christian outfit. The activist was carrying a gun and a box of Chick-fil-A sandwiches, and his intention was to kill everyone he could, and then smear the sandwiches into the faces of his victims. The people who run Chick-fil-A had said they opposed gay marriage.

The activist found out about FRC by going to the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center lists FRC as a “hate group.” The activist found FRC’s location on the center’s “hate map.” Armed with this knowledge, and his gun, he went.

He managed to shoot a security guard, before the guard subdued him. The guard, Leo Johnson, in his pain and rage, wanted to kill the activist. He desisted, though. As he explained later, “The Lord spoke to me.”

Now, my contention is that, if a right-wing activist had gone to a left-wing outfit, for the purpose of committing a massacre, and had hit a security guard, the media et al. would be treating this as the crime of the century. There would be college courses devoted to it. There would be pop songs, films, marches.

The point about hypocrisy and double standards is an old one, granted, and a lot of people don’t like to hear it. But it’s still true—like the point about the world’s being round.

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