What Liberal Media: the SF Chronicle Publishes Objective Hagiography For "Fighter" Barbara Boxer

The San Francisco Chronicle has published a re-written press release straight from Barbara Boxer's campaign files. She is (wait for it) a "fighter" who only wants to stand up to "special interests." Wow! Where'd they come up with that fresh angle?

Boxer, 69, has built a political persona as a crusader, a self-described fighter for liberal causes, beginning with her first election to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1976. She has taken lonely and unpopular stands, from voting against the invasion of Iraq to forcing former Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., to resign amid charges of sexual harassment.

She was one of only 14 senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

"You have to, at the end of the day, consider all the facts in front of you and vote your conscience on some of these questions, even if you're one of just a handful of people," Boxer said in an interview. "You remember those moments."

"I'm a fighter for the people I represent," Boxer said. "I have a very strong sense of when they're being hurt, and I'm not afraid to go up against the people that are trying to hurt my people. That's why I've got a lot of special interests that want me gone. Polluters want me gone. The far right, they want me gone."

That Progressive = Fighter trope is as much a part of the standard media template as the Conservative = Racist. What we never learn: what has all this "fighting" gotten us? Mostly, she's led the fight to use the power of government to take wealth, or at least impede its creation. Rah. Rah.

If anyone at the Chron or any other major California media outlet cares, Jim Geraghty has been detailing Boxer's many faults in a series of blog posts. Just today, Geraghty audited Boxer's very expensive habit of taking taxpayer junkets to only the most desirable/expensive destinations

Since 2000, Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, has taken 18 trips sponsored by outside organizations, at a value of $97,975.

Naturally, if you want to learn about the Islamic world, you go to . . . Paris, France. With your spouse. For a week. At a cost of $12,272, as Boxer did in 2008.

If you want to become more familiar with the impact of U.S. policy on Latin America, clearly, you go to . . . the Punta de Mita beach resort in Mexico. With your spouse. Three times, in 2006, 2005, and 2002, at a cost of roughly $6,000 per trip.

If you want to learn more about U.S.-Russia-European relations, you go to . . . Dublin, Ireland, for five days, at a cost of more than $6,000, as she did in 2005. (I salute her taste.) Or perhaps you go to London, at a cost of $8,260, as she did in 2002.

The Aspen Institute was most often underwriting the cost of Boxer’s trips; in addition to the destinations above, the group covered the costs of Boxer’s trips to the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, the outdoor-sports resort town of Banff, Alberta, and Barcelona, Spain.

I won’t begrudge a lawmaker for attending an AIPAC conference, but I’ll bet an invitation to one inHawaii must be more tempting than the usual annual meeting in Washington. Boxer found the time for that one in 2000.

Boxer is an old hand at this, as she was caught up in the House Bank scandal 20 years ago (not that interfered with her career in the slightest). She also knows that no one in the mainstream press would investigate this. Because she's a fighter. That's what all that fightings for, in a way. To protect her from the sort of unflattering investigations that would have sunk a conservative decades ago.

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