Monday, February 21, 2005

Why aren't we outraged over these "wannabee" scandals?

I missed this on Friday, and in case I wasn't the only one, I pass it along now. Leonard Pitts wonders why we aren't more outraged by Jeff Gannon's/James Guckert's presence at a presidential press conference because (gasp!) he's not a "journalist!"

Three weeks later, I'm still waiting for a good explanation of what Jeff Gannon was doing in the White House. And for you to be upset about it.

I haven't commented on the Gannon/Guckert scandal-wannabee because, really, . . . where's the scandal? Lefties think it's terrible that someone who they don't consider a "journalist" was allowed to ask a question that was "partisan." "Partisan" in this case mans that the question was a twist of the knife into the Democrats. Here's an example of a press conference featuring people Pitts would consider "real journalists." Do you think Pitts would consider their line of questioning "partisan"? Revoke your passport to the reality-based community if you answered 'yes.'

Here's how Pitts describes a "journalist."

If an individual reports for a recognized media outlet that observes customary standards of journalistic integrity -- even if it tends to view the world through a conservative or liberal editorial prism -- that person is a reporter. But if the person works for an outlet that simply promotes, or advocates for, one political party or another, then the line between reporter and shill has been well and truly crossed.

Pitts considers Guckert a "shill" because his site links to a GOP news site. Guilt by association. I have linked to John Kerry's website. That makes me a shill for the Democrats. Oops, I have also linked to the official White House website. That makes me a shill for the Bush administration. I just can't win.

So if advocating for a particular political party makes one a "shill," I'd like to know how many "journalists" at the New York Times or the LA Times are, in fact, shills. Please, Mr. Pitts, can you get to the bottom of this?

The fact is, Pitts want to have it both ways. He wants to be free to view the world through his chosen political prism, but wants to be free to declare anyone else who does it a "shill."

But mostly he wants more outrage.

So where is our outrage?

Frankly, the only thing more galling than the brazenness with which the White House abrogates the public's right to know is the sheep-like docility with which we accept it.

When the history of this era is written, people will wonder why we didn't challenge its excesses, why we didn't know the things we should have. If you're still around, remember the uproar you do not hear right this moment and tell them the truth.

Sorry, Leonard. I can't muster any outrage over this non-scandal. How about boredom? I've got plenty of that.


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