Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Quotations of Chairman Christine

Arrogance indeed. In spades. But there’s more in the mainstream mediocracy’s bag of dirty tricks: Automatic presumption of guilt, for example.

I know, you thought the media were supposed to be unbiased. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s really no tooth fairy, either. . .

Last time (“License for arrogance”) we began looking into the Society of Pervert—er, Professional Journalists and its president-elect, Christine Tatum, who likes to attribute quotes to Abraham Lincoln the way some people like to do to Yogi Berra. (I doubt Yogi's said half the things he’s said to have said.)

Take an article Ms. Tatum published last March, “Public’s right to know needs nonstop vigilance.” (Insert Te Deum sound file from Latin Mass.) “If my career in journalism has taught me anything,” the article began ominously, “it is that government seldom tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” (Yeah, and there’s no Easter bunny, either.)

But whoa there, Christine. Not so fast. I’m not ready to accept the premise that journalism has taught you anything, especially when the first thing you do is reveal a naked prejudice right out of the gate. People with such strong biases are rarely very teachable. They’re so biased, they can’t see their own disputable assumptions. In this case, it’s the presumed universal dishonesty of public officials—itself a pretty tired cliché.
This kind, apparently, only comes out by prayer and fasting. Erwin Chemerinsky, the loony left lawyer and board member of the anti-Christian DefCon cabal, was on Hugh Hewitt--yet again--yesterday. Hugh seems to be oblivious, impervious, dense or committed to showing he can't be manipulated by his listeners. Obviously, Hugh has a blind spot here. Should we change tactics and appeal to the conscience of John Eastman, who has to go head-to-head with Chemerinsky each week? Do you suppose Hugh has some kind of contractual oblilgation to Chemerinsky and Eastman? It makes absolutely no sense otherwise.


All of which, of course, translates all too easily into: “Whenever the President (or one of his lackeys) speaks, he’s lying.”

Tatum’s objective in this piece was to posture as the noble defender of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), by which journalistas pry secrets from the evil clutches of corrupt government miscreants. Enter the evil Bush administration. (Insert Darth Vader heavy-breathing sound file.)

“The first sign that the FOIA was in major trouble came in October 2001,” Tatum noted, when Attorney General John Ashcroft (insert boo-hiss sound file) instructed federal agencies not to automatically assume a valid public right to know with each and every FOIA request from the media folk. (Obviously the act of an enemy of the people.) Tatum goes on to bemoan the fact that the “number of classified documents rose from 8.6 million in 2001 to 15.6 million in 2004.”

Well, jeepers, Christine—what do you suppose might account for such an increase? Just that the Bushies are bad people and want to stick it to you? Don’t flatter yourself. Could there have been, you suppose, any other factor in that September-October 2001 time frame? Like—oh, say—a war or something?

Sad. But there’s more. Oh, gosh, there’s much more. We're just getting started.


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