In the 1920s, H.L. Mencken wrote, “It is the prime function of a really first-rate newspaper to serve as a sort of permanent opposition in politics.” But the openly Obama-supporting, JournoList-tainted Washington Post, living on the fumes of Watergate (reported by a journalist that younger and even more-left-leaning Post employees despise) hasn’t been accused of being “a really first-rate newspaper” for decades. So it’s not at all surprising to see “liberal” columnist Ruth Marcus going all-in as a cheerleader for today’s cronyism between the MSM and the DNC:
We journalists could, in theory, live like the Washington version of Bubble Boy, quarantined from casual contact with the people we cover, insisting that our children go to separate, journalist-only schools. Or we could live in a Leibovich world, with every party — indeed, every funeral; his book opens with Tim Russert’s invitation-only send-off — an on-the-record event. In the end, our understanding, and consequently our readers’ understanding, of — sorry — this town would be the worse off for it.
Another, admittedly more problematic form of coziness involves the revolving door between government and the private sector. Obama famously banned lobbyists from his administration, except when he allowed them, but guess what? Obama could have benefited from more lobbyists — that is to say, more expertise about how Washington works — not fewer…
But he is too unsparing, too cynical, in his assessment of motivation. Certainly, some people go into government calculating the subsequent payout. But more people, at least more of the people that I cover, go into government because that is where they truly want to spend their time and talent; the private sector pays tuition bills.
Linking to her column, Hot Air paraphrases Marcus’ theme in their headline as “What’s wrong with coziness between journalists and government officials?”
Of course, “coziness” between “Progressive” politicians and their PR stenographers in the MSM can have its limits. “Report: Female reporters advised to have escort for interviewing Filner as third accuser comes forward,” Mary Katharine Ham writes at Hot Air:
The Democratic mayor of San Diego and former Congressman Bob Filner has already admitted to “disrespecting” women coworkers and “intimidating” them, saying he needs “help” for what he himself suggests is a pattern of destructive behavior. His behavior has required a standing order not to meet with women behind closed doors and the creation of “workplace safety zones” for women who feel threatened by him. A female city councilwoman reported the complaints of six female employees against Filner two years ago only to have those complaints ignored by the party apparatus. I’m inclined to give some benefit of the doubt when accusers remain anonymous or before the man in question admits his transgressions, but we passed that point a while ago with Filner.
Local and national Democrats, men and women alike, continue to stand behind him.
Because, you know, I’m sure this is no big deal:
S.D. City Attorney says female reporters must have escort to interview Mayor Filner. Female TV reporters must have male photographer.
— Paul Krueger (@pkruegernbcsd) July 24, 2013
Meanwhile on the other side of country, if Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer both happen to win their respective elections, it should do wonders for New York’s PR, Roger L. Simon writes today:
Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine a Mayor Anthony Weiner consoling someone’s teenage daughter with a hug after the next 9/11. Problem? Okay, maybe Comptroller Spitzer will do it.
Or as the Washington Times cautions, “Sex, money and lies: ‘Culture of Corruption’ boomerangs on Democrats as scandals blossom nationwide:”
Longtime political analyst John Pitney Jr. said the Democrats’ woes can be viewed as examples of history repeating itself and how the enticements of Washington’s political culture can trip up the party in power.
“This culture of corruption has more to do with the culture of Washington,” said Mr. Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. “It’s a matter of people being in power, and power plus money equals temptation.”
It was eight years ago that Nancy Pelosi, then the leader of the House Democratic minority, made headlines with her attack on what she called the Republican Party’s “culture of corruption,” but now that moniker is coming back to haunt Democrats.
And perhaps that’s the answer alone to Marcus’ question about what’s wrong with being so cozy with the politicians you report on. But ever since the Post announced four and a half years ago in the twilight of their ownership of Newsweek magazine that “We Are Socialists Now,” it’s been far too late for them to change direction, even as further potentially disastrous icebergs loom.