Back in 2008, New York Times correspondent David S. Rohde, along with Afghan reporter Taki Luden, were abducted in Pakistan by the Taliban. Because they felt it might adversely affect hostage rescue efforts, the Times requested a news black-out. The Associated Press and other news agencies respected the request and only broke the story recently, after Rohde and Luden had scaled a wall and made their escape. It would be nothing other than a story with a happy ending, except that the Times has time and again ignored the government’s requests that it not report the specific ways in which we were combating Islamic terrorists.
It’s enlightening to know that so far as the New York Times is concerned, censorship is not only moral, but mandatory, when the life of one of its employees might be at risk, but is not to be condoned when the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians might hang in the balance.
However, when it comes to hypocrisy, the Times isn’t alone. For instance, when George W. Bush fired eight U.S. attorneys, the outrage voiced by the media would have had you believe that he’d personally ripped the Constitution into a thousand tiny pieces. Compare that to the silence that greeted Obama’s dismissal of Inspector General Gerald Walpin. It had been Walpin’s responsibility to oversee government-subsidized volunteer programs, such as AmeriCorps. Walpin’s team of investigators discovered serious irregularities at St. Hope, a California non-profit run by former NBA star Kevin Johnson. It seems that an $850,000 grant, which was supposed to go towards tutoring Sacramento students and supporting theater and art programs, instead was used to pad staff salaries, meddle in a local school board election and pay AmeriCorps members to perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car.
When Walpin recommended that Johnson, an assistant and St. Hope, itself, be cut off from federal funds, he was fired by the president. Did I mention that Mr. Johnson is a friend and was an early supporter of Barack Obama? I guess you can take the man out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the man. Not even when he’s sitting in the Oval Office.