I am increasingly impressed with the calm, mature professionalism of the elite Washington/New York media. Only recently, and for several decades, the WashingtonPostNew YorkTimesCBSNBCABCCNN entities could not resist reporting dramatic national news -- even if the information came to them by informal or questionable methods. From the illegally leaked Pentagon Papers three decades ago, to the illegally leaked Pentagon Iraq war plans of last year, the media elite senior editors never spiked an important revelation for mere want of quiet title to the document in question.
They would leave it to red-faced and exasperated senior government officials to express impotent outrage that the sanctity of government secrecy had been breached by enterprising reporters or heroic whistleblowers. Indeed, in the major media's bumptious and irresponsible youth, the Rathers, Bradleys, Bernsteins and Jennings could not completely disguise their prankish glee at the official discomfort their shady methods had caused.
But in the last three weeks, a calm, self-restrained maturity has suddenly swept over what only last month still had been the gangly, youthful, irresponsible Washington/New York media elite. Three vastly embarrassing and newsworthy memos -- two from the Senate and one from the Pentagon -- came to light. But in each case, the shocking revelations were not revealed in the august pages and electrons of the newly mature media elite.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.