In my Friday Links and Notes post for this week I quoted Bill Keller, one time Executive Editor of the New York Times, who somehow managed to keep a straight face while claiming that mainstream journalists like himself “try to live by a code, a discipline, that tells us to set aside our personal biases, to test not only facts but the way they add up, to seek out the dissenters and let them make their best case, to show our work.”
Laugh lines like that are one of the reasons I follow politics.
I literally do laugh out loud when I hear a statement like that from a liberal who expects people to believe him. I think my all time favorite was something Claire Shipman of ABC said one day a couple years ago. The topic was Professor Ward Churchill of the U. of Colorado, who had finally gotten in trouble after all his outrageous behavior over a period of years. Ms Shipman said something like “Our universities are the one place left in America where everyone still has absolute freedom of speech.”
I actually couldn’t write that paragraph without chuckling again at what Claire Shipman said, and the earnestness with which she said it.
So anyway, it’s a Presidential election year again, and those paragons of objectivity in the mainstream news media are doing what they do every four years around this time; expending nearly unlimited resources interviewing every person who ever met the leading Republican candidate, and visiting every place where he ever spent any time, in the search for some dirt to use against him.
A few months ago Rick Perry was the apparent front-runner, and reporters flooded into Texas digging for anything embarrassing to use against him. After all that effort, the best the army of reporters patrolling the town of Paint Creek, Texas could come up with was the Great Rude Rock Scandal. The crux of the “scandal” is that Parry’s father had once leased a piece of rural property whose owner had painted a racial epithet on a large rock by the gate to the property. Different Paint Creek resident’s had contradictory memories about how long it took Perry’s family to paint over the naughty word the owners had put there, once the Perrrys started using the property.
Now Mitt Romney is the Repub’s apparent nominee, and he’s the one creating employment opportunities for a small army of liberal reporters. Journalists for the Washington Post thought they’d hit pay dirt when they found some people who had attended high school with Romney, who claimed to have seen him participate in holding down a classmate and giving him an unwanted haircut with a pair of scissers. The story itself is already coming into question, but of course there would be no story if the Post had not gone to extremes in its efforts to find dirt on Romney.
No Democrat who runs for President will ever have to fear this kind of investigative journalism from the mainstream press.