When the Mitchell Report came out -- accusing more than 80 professional baseball players of using performance-enhancing substances -- television commentators lectured viewers about "broken trust." One commentator, in particular, somberly expressed his disappointment.
I found myself asking, "Wasn't this the same guy who, as a motorist, struck someone on a bicycle? And even though witnesses yelled, 'Stop! Stop!' he continued through two red lights while dragging the bicycle underneath the car?" The commentator insisted he was "unaware" he'd hit the cyclist. Charged with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, assault and harassment, the commentator pled guilty to operating a motor vehicle knowing or having cause to know property damage had been caused. The bicyclist, who reportedly required elbow surgery, expressed disappointment that the court fined the commentator only $250 with 70 hours of community service. Broken trust?
A few weeks ago, an MSNBC reporter covered French President Sarkozy's visit to China. With videotape rolling of President Bush flanked by Sarkozy to his left and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to his right, the reporter gushed, "(W)ho could not have a man-crush on that man? I'm not talking about the monkey, either. I'm talking about the other one." Questioned by the show's host, "Who's the monkey?" the reporter clarified, "The monkey in the middle" -- meaning President Bush. The reporter later apologized. Broken trust?
In a 1996 survey of Washington, D.C., newspaper reporters and bureau chiefs, 89 percent said they voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, while 7 percent voted for George Herbert Walker Bush. Numerous surveys over the years show reporters describe themselves as liberals or Democrats by a two-to-one or three-to-one margin. Broken trust?
ABC's George Stephanopoulos, this past Sunday, "interviewed" presidential contender Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. Stephanopoulos asked Clinton about the appropriateness of using her experiences as First Lady when touting her qualifications for the presidency. Clinton talked about the substantive nature of her activities as First Lady, and said, "You were there." Indeed, Stephanopoulos was there. As a trusted aide for then-candidate Gov. Bill Clinton, Stephanopoulos campaigned hard for his boss's election, and then served in the White House. Now we watch the new, improved, "nonpartisan" Stephanopoulos "objectively" interview the likes of Sen. Clinton on his weekly TV show. But isn't this the same guy who, after Bill Clinton got elected, talked about his expectations for a better America through Clinton's vision of bigger government? Broken trust?
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