AND IF THIS WERE A REPUBLICAN HIT-AND-RUN …
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 24, 2009
The function of a journalist long ago metastasized from being one that reports what is happening in as objective a manner as possible to one who fancies himself (or herself) a kind of modern day crusader, desirous of righting the wrongs around them, revealing injustices, and saving the planet from second-hand smoke, greenhouse gases, God, and conservatives (quite possibly in that order).
Interesting is how the glossy veneer of the mainstream media’s troubling charade continues to remain uncompromised – amongst themselves. Their facade of impartiality is still foisted onto the American people daily, but because they exist primarily within their own forest, they almost always miss the trees. They distinguish themselves as straight down the middle, detached from affiliation, objective purveyors of whatever they deem to be news, ready to involuntary activate the “neutral” switch when the situation calls for it. (Recall the famous line attributed to theater critic Pauline Kael in 1972 after Richard Nixon’s landslide victory: “How could Nixon have won? I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” Whether the quote is apocryphal or not is irrelevant, because the sentiment, as it pertains to the relationship between the main stream media and the rest of the country, is spot on). Media bias is not self-evident primarily because the mainstreamers find themselves in a fraternity that is overwhelmingly liberal (i.e., normal).
The concept of mainstream media objectivity is certainly pleasant enough – much like calorie-free milk chocolate or world peace – but not very realistic.
Some can adhere to it.
Think of how the mainstream media would be covering this wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am health bill that passed the Senate earlier today if Republicans were in charge. Try and imagine the level of outrage and indignation that would be leveled at GOPers had a bunch of sweetheart deals been brokered for Republican pet projects in order to get this unread, unreviewed, two-thousand page legislative atrocity passed. How many times do you think the word “tyranny” would have been tossed about by the punditocracy? How often would the American people be hearing about “the least transparent administration in history” or the “cloak and dagger” way the President is running his ship? Would the media stand for it? Or bend over for it?
Now that reconcilliation is next on the docket, how, pray tell, would the media handle a not too far-fetched scenario being suggested by John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, where the tag-team tandem of Pelosi and Reid all but thumb their noses at the process of trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill in conference, sidestepping protocol, tradition and accountability? How would the mainstream media report on GOP attempts to breach every code of conduct, foregoing the normal process of coming up with a compromise between the two houses, so that a bill could be rushed through to passage without the opportunity for the American people to know what’s in it?
John Fund of the Wall Street Journal writes:
Look for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to try to circumvent the traditional conference committee process by which the different versions of health care reform passed by each house will be reconciled. If so, it will be the latest example of violating principles of transparency and accountability in the single-minded pursuit of legislative victory.
Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi would love to come up with a way to bash heads in private and skip any public discussion that further reveals just how incoherent and unworkable both the bills are. Luckily, there is a subterfuge readily available that wouldn’t require the House to swallow the Senate’s bill unchanged but also ducks the traditional give-and-take of the conference committee.
When Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they increasingly did not send bills through the regular conference process. “We have to defer to the bigger picture,” explained Rep. Henry Waxman of California. So the children’s health insurance bill passed by the House that year was largely dumped in favor of the Senate’s version. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel and other Democrats complained the House had been “cut off at the knees” but ultimately supported the bill. Legislation on lobbying reform and the 2007 energy bill were handled the same way — without appointing an actual conference.
Rather than appoint members to a public conference committee, those measures were “ping-ponged” — i.e. changes to reconcile the two versions were transmitted by messenger between the two houses as the final product was crafted behind closed doors solely by the leadership. Many Democrats grumbled at the secrecy. “We need to get back to the point where we use conference committees . . . and have serious dialogue,” said Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama at the time.
But serious dialogue isn’t what Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are interested in right now. Look for the traditional conference committee to be replaced by a “ping-pong” game in which health care is finalized behind closed doors with little public scrutiny before the bill is rushed to the floor of each chamber for a final vote.
Now that the Democrats have got their Senate bill passed, just in time for turkey and mistletoe, be prepared for a cavalcade of lies about how “the American people want this change,” and “Last November, the American people chose to move in a new direction,” and whatever else they’ll say to stir the stomach acids of a bamboozled American public. Brace yourself for a whole lot of nauseating “blah, blah, blah” and gut-churning “yada, yada, yada.” Expect to hear the word “historic” a few thousand times, and waist-deep-in-the-fertilizer deceptions about how the deficit will actually be lowered thanks to the eventual passage of this disastrous bill into law. Get ready for dancing Democrats to find their way to every camera within spitting distance, sporting that look of sweet victory, claiming that the American people are the real winners. (Barf bag manufacturers might make a killing over the next few days).
It will be as disgusting a display as one could imagine – donkey faces all aglow in the fleeting hours before Christmas as they move that much closer to grabbing 16% of the American economy and crushing our liberties.
Merry Christmas, indeed.
There isn’t a device in all the world capable of measuring how utterly unfathomable and unAmerican Congress’ actions have been up to this point in getting this bill passed.
It is stunning.
The most transparent administration in history?