Reticence of Mainstream Media Finally Reported

You sigh with relief--finally the errors and omissions of mainstream media are coming to the fore. Finally, Jefferson’s cherished power of the press is booming forth to save the nation in its 11th hour of distress.

It had to happen. The forth estate finally redeemed. The Constitution is alive and well.


August 9, 2008

Reticence of Mainstream Media Becomes a Story Itself



For almost 10 months, the story of John Edwards’s affair remained the nearly exclusive province of the National Enquirer — through reports, denials, news of a pregnancy, questions about paternity and, finally, a slapstick chase through a hotel in Beverly Hills.
Political blogs, some cable networks and a few newspapers reported on it — or, more accurately, reported on The Enquirer reporting on it. Jay Leno and David Letterman made Mr. Edwards the butt of jokes on their late-night shows, but their own networks declined to report on the rumors surrounding him on the evening news. Why?

A number of news organizations with resources far greater than The Enquirer’s, like The New York Times, say they looked into the Edwards matter and found nothing solid enough to report, while others did not look at all.


Oops. It’s not the press’s failure to clue us in to clandestine torture by the president who famously claims ‘we do not torture’ and then flashes that wobbly grin.
It’s not even the metamorphoses of that pre-war claim that Iraq would cost the American taxpayer no more than $1.5 billion that turned churlishly into six or seven hundred times that amount.
The New York Times (among others) found nothing solid enough to report on concerning
  • Wall Street’s fraudulent loans to ruinously insolvent home-buyers,
  • back-room energy policy defined by energy companies,
  • lawless mercenaries shooting up New Orleans and Iraq with equal impunity,
  • Michael Chertoff clueless about the inner workings of homeland security,
  • the FBI’s Mueller tapping his way into private phones without legal approval,
  • Dick Cheney’s lying and getting away with it,
  • David Addington’s destruction of the Constitution
  • and Roberto Gonzales’ wreckage of something so simply and accurately named the Justice Department.

The mea culpa that American media ‘fesses up to is John Edwards’ back-alley affair. That, it seems, is what’s wrong with media.

That’s the rare (yet becoming less rare every day) story of media falling short of expectation. The problem is not with media. The problem is with expectation.

Thomas Jefferson and the country actually had some.

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