Roger L. Simon writes:
Since Watergate, it’s been the cliché that it’s the coverup, not the crime, that leads our public officials to perdition. And that’s basically the position regarding the Rep. Sestak scandal taken by Chris Cillizza in The Fix. Cillizza quotes some nervous – naturally anonymous – Democratic strategists:
“How do you make something out of nothing?,” asked one such operative who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the matter. “By acting guilty when you’re innocent.”
Another senior party official said that the White House “has a lot of egg on their face” and described the events as a “PR nightmare”.
Of course in the case of Sestak and his putative job offer, we have no idea what actually happened. But we do know the sleaze factor is high – and not just because of the presence of Bill Clinton whose SQ (Sleaze Quotient) may be even higher than his IQ. Clinton is merely a product of “The Culture of Narcissism.” Obama et al are the product of something worse – “The Culture of Chicago.”
Frankly, I have a tad of nostalgia for Clinton because, Monica excluded, he was a much more sensible (and honest – believe it or not?) man than Obama and far less of a threat to our country and the world. Not nearly as much went wrong under eight years of Clinton’s watch than in less than two years of Obama’s. It’s pathetic, actually, that Bill is now so willing, as apparently he was, to carry water for the new President in this kind of cheesy operation. Can you imagine George W. Bush doing such a thing for some Republican president? I can’t.
But the real issue now is not the “Deep Dish Sleazemeisters” from Chicago. They are who they are. Rod Blagojevich, Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama are all cut from the same cloth.
The real issue is our media – the Fourth Estate that we all are supposed to depend on to vet these people. When Nixon was President, they did so with an alacrity hitherto unseen. With Obama, as we all know, it has been completely the reverse. The press’ record on investigating the President – as a candidate and in office – has been nothing short of embarrassing. Even at the recent press conference, the first in months, only Fox News’ Major Garrett and ABC’s Jake Tapper disported themselves as genuine journalists. The rest appeared like Izvestia wannabes at a Moscow presser circa 1962, only slightly better dressed.
Larry Kane, the host of a Comcast Network public-affairs show in Philadelphia, is the veteran reporter who first asked Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) back in February whether he was offered a “federal job” to get out of his Senate race against Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.):
KANE: “Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?”
KANE: “Was it secretary of the Navy?”
SESTAK: “No comment”
Later Kane asks again, “Was there a job offered to you by the White House?” to which Sestak nods and replies “yes, someone offered it.”
Kane asks “It was big right?” Sestak replies, “Let me ‘no comment’ on it.”
“Was it high-ranking?” Kane asked. Sestak said yes.
This afternoon, National Review Online caught up with Kane to get his take on the White House memo.
“After Sestak said on my show, without hesitation, that he had been offered a federal position, I, along with Tom Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who was in the studio doing a ‘day in the life’ piece on Sestak, called up the White House,” Kane recalls. “We got on the phone with the deputy press secretary there, who said they’d get back to us right away. Yet the phone didn’t ring again until 6:45 a.m. the next morning.”
“When the White House finally called back, they denied it,” Kane says. “Strategically, the White House press person I spoke with said Sestak’s statement ‘was not true.’ So I pressed: Was anything, at all, dangled? She repeated that all she could say was that Sestak’s words ‘were not true.’ Looking back, I was curious as to why it took so many hours for them to respond. And now I’m curious as to why it took so many months to issue this report. Why did they let it drift?”
“When I asked [Sestak] that question, he answered in a nanosecond,” Kane observes. “No hesitation, no pause. I figured something was up, especially after he kept resisting further explanations these past few months.”
Kane says his sources, who told him about the federal-job rumor, are “impeccable.” He notes that as far back as summer 2009, there “was buzz in Pennsylvania political circles, and especially in Washington, about some kind of meeting.”
Note that Kane broke this story on a local Philadelphia-area Comcast public affairs show that likely gets minimal ratings — but maybe it should be doing much better, as Kane at least is asking the questions that the MSM elites in DC can’t be bothered with.