Jeff Gannon: Where's that 'liberal media'?
We keep hearing about how “liberal” the media is, how it skews its stories in favor of leftist causes, and how it’s fundamentally unfair to Republicans. This has been the drum that the Republican Party has been beating since the rise of Newt Gingrich and his claims of persecution by the press. You’d think the media was just another arm of the Democratic Party, to hear them talk.
Of course, the “liberal media” is up in arms about the “Jeff Gannon” scandal. They won’t stop talking about it! That’s because they’re liberal, and this was a press plant by the Bush administration. Yep, that’s all you hear about in the news: Jeff Gannon, Jeff Gannon, Jeff Gannon… when will they finish with this story?!
Seriously, Joe Conason pointed out in his recent column that if this had been done by a Democratic plant to favor a Democratic president, you really would hear nonstop bellowing about it. A liberal media would keep a story like this one aloft, of course, but the media as it is is paying more attention to how this is interfering with Gannon’s private life than the actual implications it has on journalistic integrity and the responsibility that government has to us to be open, fair and honest about its dealings. (The open, fair and honest bit is one where they’ve fallen down quite a bit before, but this one really takes the [beef]cake.) And now the Fourth Estate is falling down on its job, ignoring the White House’s double sin of manipulating the press while doing exactly what the Republican Party claims the Democratic Party does.
As pundit Bob Harris so eloquently put it: it’s like a new Watergate every day with these people.