Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Darn That Liberal Media!!1!!!

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's columns are also locally reprinted here in the NY Daily News. I saw yesterday morning he had a column advocating a pardon for Scooter Libby and I rolled my eyes without reading it. Turns out maybe I should have.

Via Salon's Glenn Greenwald, I see that this column perfectly sums up the casual, if not downright bored, attitude that our darn liberal media takes to Republican scandal and corruption. Cohen wrote-
This is not an entirely trivial matter since government officials should not lie to grand juries, but neither should they be called to account for practicing the dark art of politics. As with sex or real estate, it is often best to keep the lights off.

{*brain explodes*}

Hey asshole, the whole point of your fucking job (assuming you and your colleagues still even consider yourselves 'journalists' at this point) is to turn those lights on for us!!! It is not your job or place to yawn your way through a national political scandal and decide what stories are "run-of-the-mill" and what's totally lame and boring. It's to report the fucking news and take it seriously. Then we-- the voters, the public-- decide if it's important or scandalous or not. The modern media has decided that scandals are only serious if they play well on TV (OMG Scooter Libby is sooo lame. Bring back that Mark Foley pervert, lol). This guy works for the Washington Post, a paper that several thousand years ago put its credibility and future on the line by pursuing a little story called Watergate that seemed trivial on the surface too.

What I'm saying here about the role of media isn't shouldn't be controversial. Hell, even Bill Clinton, no stranger to scandal, understood this. At the 1993 White House Correspondents Dinner, the new President said-
"It is your job to report on what we do... to analyze it, to probe it, to criticize it. To lift it up to light and turn it around and show all of its facets to the American people. I think it's my job to try and do something beside just enjoy the honor of being the President of the United States. And in the interplay of our efforts, sometimes I will misstep. Sometimes you will too. But the Constitution provides for you a freedom that is virtually without limit, because the Framers recognized that without it, people like me who get power with the best of motives would inevitably abuse it."

What he said.

Remember in early September 2005, when the media declared they had awoken from their post-9/11 slumber and were serious about the person of journalism and holding people accountable again? Neither do I.

Richard Cohen's email is cohenr@washpost.com, if anyone wants to say hi.

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