WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT ( of CBS ) KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT ?
It occurred to me today while reading an uncharacteristically defensive column by Clarence Page
that we have a bigger question than to what degree did CBS news knowingly collude with Democratic operatives from John Kerry's campaign
to present a forged smear of President Bush as " news": a far, far better question is " How often has this been done before ?"
How often have media heavyweights behind the scenes, hidden from their viewers and readers, attempted to manipulate the electorate by conspiring with political operatives to sink Republican and conservative Democratic candidates ? How often did this go on before the era of FOX news and the blogosphere when the chance of getting caught was virtually zero ?
Memogate is an aberration you say ? Did not Clarence Page's own Chicago Tribune and local Chicago newsman Chuck Goudie
give unusually heavy coverage of the divorce records of Democrat Blair Hull
and Republican Jack Ryan
to the benefit of a previously invisible, underfunded, candidate with the slenderest of legistative records, named Barack Obama
? Was it accidental or a coincidence that the two opponents with the financial resources to bury Mr. Obama in the primary or general elections were relentlessly hammered on " scandals" by the Trib while the same paper ran multipage " puff " pieces on Saint Obama ? If we searched the email database and phone records of senior editors at the Tribune how many messages would we find from the staff of David Axelrod
? Who happened to slip Chuck Goudie an ( allegedly) anonymous letter detailing Mr. Ryan's many year old attempt to bring the then Mrs. Jerri Ryan to a sex club ? Did these two men do anything to deserve having their careers destroyed by a local media that had placed themselves so obviously in Mr. Obama's corner that no Illinois politician dared to step into Mr. Ryan's shoes ?
If the rest of the mainstream media does not come out front and center with strong ethics policies mandating nonpartisanship ( outside of the op-ed. page) they will find the public regarding the CBS fiasco as merely the tip of a liberal iceberg.
UPDATE: Similar take but a different angle at the always thoughtful Caerdroia