I’ve been writing a weekly news-pegged opinion column in this newspaper since 1990.
A fair number of those columns have been devoted to exposing what I perceive to be a liberal bias in news coverage.
It’s fairly quantifiable.
Just last week, for example, I wrote about how several news outlets posited the theory that President Donald Trump chose the countries for his travel ban based on his personal business interests.
Even a casual attempt at research showed the countries were selected more than a year earlier in a similar law passed by Congress and signed by then-President Barack Obama.
Remember the Abu Ghraib prison troubles during the Bush administration?
There were pictures of prisoners being abused in that Baghdad prison.
There were all kinds of calls for Bush to be held accountable. It was called endemic or systemic in his administration. He’s the commander in chief. The buck stops here and someone must be held accountable, we were told by sources the media chose to quote.
Frankly, I think the coverage was about right. Those things needed to be exposed.
In 2011, seven years after Abu Ghraib, the New York Times published an op-ed by the American Civil Liberties Union honoring those who stood up against the policies of the Bush administration.
And rightly so.
But that same year, in Afghanistan, under President Obama, a bunch of  “kill team” images surfaced. There were videos of marines murdering hapless civilian travelers. There were pictures of prison workers burning Qurans and solders urinating on dead Afghans.
The foreign press was all over the kill team story, but in the U.S. the story didn’t get near the play that Abu Ghraib did.
No one was calling for President Obama’s head or for him to be held responsible. After all, he wasn’t the one murdering innocent civilians.
And remember, there was one significant difference between these incidents – nobody died at Abu Ghraib.
I know you can never accurately predict what would happen in some parallel universe, but honestly: Can you imagine what press coverage would have been like had there been  kill team videos when President Bush was commander in chief?
Just this past week, President Trump held a press conference with Brian Krzanich, the CEO of chip-maker Intel.
Krzanich announced a plan to invest $7 billion to complete a Chandler, Ariz., factory that will create 3,000 jobs. Upon completion, the factory will be supported by more than 10,000 people in the area.
I saw the press conference on CNN. Afterward, David Gregory, in a panel discussion, dismissed it as a “dog and pony show.”
Gloria Borger characterized it as “awkward” because Krzanich has been an opponent of the president’s travel ban. She bemoaned the fact that nobody grilled Krzanich about that during the press conference.
Without ever discussing the merits or impact of a $7 billion factory and resulting 10,000 jobs, the panel quickly resumed bashing the president’s executive order on foreign travel.
How do you suppose that panel discussion would have went if it was President Obama who announced a $7 billion factory?
So yeah, there are double standards and biases in the way the news gets covered.
From gas prices to unemployment numbers, bad news is always worse when a Republican is in office.
I get it and I can see why President Trump gets testy with the press. But lots of what he’s saying these days is just laughable and it doesn’t help his cause.
He’s slammed federal judges and called federal district court hearings disgraceful to the point where his own Supreme Court nominee felt the need to speak up.
Without specifically mentioning President Trump, Neil Gorsuch characterized  criticism of a judge's integrity and independence as "disheartening and demoralizing.".
The president disparaged Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s product line.
To an audience of service members at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, President Trump said terror attacks were happening "all over Europe" and that "it's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. ... And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that."
To bolster his insinuation that the press is deliberately downplaying terrorism to undermine his policies, the White House issued a list of 78 “underreported” terror attacks.
Problem is, the list included the Paris attacks, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the truck attacks in Nice and Berlin, the Brussels airport attack and several others that received mountains of press coverage.
He denigrates anything he disagrees with as “fake news,” including polls which show he’s unpopular.
He plays so fast and loose with the truth that his spokeswoman coined the phrase “alternative facts.”
To be sure, we’ve established the media’s penchant for picking on all things Republican. Even so, I have one simple question for the Trump adminstration.
Why in the world would you give your opponents so much ammunition? You already know it’s an uphill battle. Why distract from your policies and your agenda?
Why vilify the very judges you are asking to rule in your favor? Why try to undermine another branch of the government?
I just don’t see how this is a good thing. I don’t see how the administration expects this type of behavior be conducive to good policy.
I would like to see the president stay focused on his agenda and stay positive with his Tweets.
There are issues – jobs, economy, infrastructure, taxes, budget deficit, health care – that I would like to see addressed.
I think there’s a fair chance this administration could make some progress in these areas – and maybe even get some good press – if the president could just stop being so confrontational.
Maybe that’s just too much to ask.