WaPo & NYT sit out Hastings trainwreck
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Byron York, who would make a most excellent Muppet, looks at MSM coverage of Pelosi's decision on Hastings
Tomorrow the Washington Post, on its front page, reports the news that Alcee Hastings will not be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. For a story about Nancy Pelosi's decision, the Post piece gets into a number of details about the Hastings case itself. Why? One reason might be that, during the last few months when concerns about Hastings' impeachment and conviction were being raised, the Post never reported the basic facts of the case. A Nexis search for Hastings' name and that of William Borders, Hastings' co-conspirator in soliciting bribes, reveals exactly one recent story , a November 1 column by the Post's Ruth Marcus, who had covered the Hastings story years ago. As Congress buzzed, and Pelosi deliberated, the Post never bothered to tell its readers what the controversy was about.
By the way, if you do the same search for the New York Times, you'll find the same thing , just without the Ruth Marcus column. Which means that perhaps the most interesting so-far-unnoticed aspect of the story is that so much political pressure built up on Capitol Hill while the nation's two leading newspapers were looking the other way.
Hastings being considered for Chair of the Intel Committee was a test about the relative importance of security v. identity politics for the Dems. They passed, although a more robust "Hell no!" would have been appropriate for a corrupt weasel who was tossed off the bench by 400+ votes in the very house he currently befouls. His mouthy presumptuousness that God was not finished with him must be interpreted as a promise to embarrass himself, his constituents, the Dems and Congress at every opportunity. He ought to STFU and be happy he still gets to shove his face back in the trough instead of having to earn an honest living.
Byron points out an important point about the pressure on Pelosi to throw Hastings under the bus, it was not orchestrated or even participated in by our E-lite media outlets. Between them, the WaPo and NY Times published one piece about this, doing their usual service as media valet to the Dems. A suicidal move obvious to any sentient being that would be a political, but more important a national security catastrophe is ignored so as not to further damage the media's chosen side.
The fact that these two sat this one out, yet Pelosi was still put under tremendous pressure shows a shift of power away from dinosaur media to cable news and oh yeah, the internets. The old media relied on their position as providers of the knowledge, sent down from Mt. Journalismo to the unwashed masses below, not to be questioned simply absorbed. Absent their monopolistic advantage dino media has been exposed as the "man behind the curtain" it truly is. Tremendous facade, brilliant packaging, the content.....eh not so much. Mr York notes the lameness of the late response of the NYT.
Earlier I noted that in recent weeks the New York Times has published nothing about the details of the Alcee Hastings case , even as the matter began to nag Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Today's story suggests the paper still hasn't looked into the matter very much. It includes this passage:
Members of [Pelosi's] staff had said she favored Mr. Hastings. But his position was weakened because he was impeached and removed as a federal judge in 1989 in connection with a bribery case. He was subsequently acquitted in the criminal case.
Hastings was acquitted in his criminal case years before he was impeached and removed from office.
Even when they get around to writing about this, they reorder history to give the appearance that Hastings was exonerated. Turn out th elights on your way out please.