Fair and.....What?

Posted: Oct 16, 2006 9:06 AM
Fair and.....What?

  • Some of the biggest names in the Popular Press - Time & Newsweek, and the Washington Post are all but swooning with the sure knowledge that their universe will soon return to its proper alignment - at least one chamber of Congress in Democratic hands; maybe both.
  • I have spent most of the past three decades in Washington, DC dealing with some formation of the national press corps. For the most part, I like them. In fact I can't think of a single senior reporter with whom I have had one-on-one dealings over time, that I don't like.
  • I suspect they are mostly Liberal in their outlook and I believe they have different rules, not for covering Republicans, but for assigning motives to what Republicans do as opposed to what Democrats do.
  • There was breathless coverage last week about Senator George Allen (R-VA) had not having reported certain stock options which he had been granted when he was out of public office.
  • The Washington Post, if I am reading their search page correctly, ran six different stories in a two-day period on various aspects of Option-Gate. You would have thought he was about one guilty plea from sharing a cell with Bernie Ebbers.
  • Turned out it was a technical violation. Options allow you to buy a stock at a set price. If you have options to buy stock in Mullings.com at $10 per share and Mullings is selling for $15 per share, those options are worth five bucks each.
  • In the Allen case the company's stock is, in effect, selling for $3 per share. Executing an option and paying $10 for a stock anyone else can buy for $3 is not a fast path to personal wealth creation.
  • At about the same time, it seems that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) did a land deal flip with a friend which earned him about $1.1 million. He neglected to list portions of the transaction on his financial disclosure forms back in 2001. The Post apparently felt that a single story about the financial dealings of the man who might be the Majority Leader of the US Senate was more than sufficient.
  • Last week Time Magazine's cover was of an elephant's tush - even someone with my limited sense of humor got that joke; and Newsweek had a close up of Mark Foley with an inset of George W. Bush - the implication being that Foley is somehow Bush's responsibility.
  • On Saturday, our friends at the Washington Post did their level best to provide balanced political coverage on its front page.
  • The Republican story was about Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) pleading guilty to charges of influence-peddling:
  • Ney Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charges

    Lawmaker's Conviction Is 8th in Abramoff Probe

  • Legit news, to be sure, so you can't complain.
  • But, here was the headline of the front page story about Democrats:
  • Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of Votes

    With a Parade of Attractive Candidates, the Party May Benefit From the Politics of Beauty

  • What? The best the crack political staff at the Washington Post could come up with is a story about how Democratic candidates are prettier than Republicans?
  • In a front section political piece about Karl Rove being optimistic about holding the House and Senate, Post reporter Mike Abramowitz - one of those national reporters with whom I am acquainted and who I like - has this graf:
  • "The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- based on Bush's and Rove's electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command -- or of self-delusion."
  • Note that there is no one quoted here. Abramowitz was permitted to openly speculate, in a hard news piece, about whether the President and Rove are delusional.
  • Finally John Kerry was interviewed by Bob Woodward while Kerry was in - wait for it - New Hampshire giving a political speech. Kerry. New Hampshire. Speech. Politics.
  • Now, that's being delusional.
  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to all the stories referenced above; the Time & Newsweek covers; a modestly amusing Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.