Jonah Goldberg pegs it:
You may recall that when Joe Wurzelbacher was approached by Barack Obama entirely accidentally, he became something of a political celebrity for having a philosophical disagreement with the president over spreading the wealth around and all that. Before long, the mainstream press went to battle stations to discredit the man.
Meanwhile, here’s Sandra Fluke a 30-year-old law student and committed political operative and activist. And yet the mainstream press can’t muster the slightest skepticism about her efforts.
Still, I think the comparison is interesting in numerous ways. When average citizens are thrust into the political debate, they are heroes — if they confirm prevailing liberal arguments. When they run against the grain of the preferred narrative, they are ground down, caricatured, and treated to corrosive media skepticism.
Obviously, there are differences between the two cases. Some are relevant, some aren’t. If you think Fluke is special because she’s a woman, that’s awfully chivalrous of you (and I might even agree!). But such old-fashioned deference to the delicate sensibilities of women is not exactly a pose we’re told feminists of Fluke’s stripe support. Moreover, as Kirsten Powers notes in an excellent column, such deference to the fairer sex is not a standard liberals support when the woman in question is a conservative.
Selective vetting, frankly, stinks — as we all were reminded during the 2008 presidential campaign season, and again now.