Politics Foreign Affairs Culture

Rigging the Machinery

Calling b.s. on the 'Cathedral'

A journalist with whom I’m friends of Facebook writes:

Wait a minute. Stephanopolous donates $75k to the Clinton Foundation WHILE he works as a news anchor?

Huckabee/Santorum/Gingrich et. al. fatten on the FOX payroll WHILE laying groundwork for presidential candidacies?

Ginsburg performs a same-sex wedding WHILE she considers the constitutionality of same-sex marriage? (How sweet! Isn’t she just a pistol?)

Are we agreed then? No more pretense to nominally disinterested umpires, adjudicators, arbitrators, appraisers, whatever? You rig the machinery your way as hard as you can, I’ll rig the machinery my way as hard as I can, and we’ll see who wins?

Did you hear about the Ruth Bader Ginsburg thing? It’s pretty outrageous. I mean, it’s not like there was any doubt how she is planning to rule in this case, but doesn’t she at least owe us the pretense of neutrality before she actually rules?

The Stephanopoulos mess is so serious that I don’t see how he can continue in his role. Why is this not perfectly obvious to ABC News? Peter Schweizer writes in USA Today:

I agreed to be interviewed [by Stephanopoulos], expecting a robust examination of my new book, Clinton Cash, and my reporting on the Clintons’ accumulation of massive personal wealth, cronyism and the lack of transparency surrounding the Clintons’ foundation.

I expected probing questions, similar to the ones I’ve received from Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Chris Wallace on Fox News and Frank Sesno on CNN.

What I did not expect — what no one expected — was the sort of “hidden hand journalism” that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly.

If Stephanopoulos had disclosed his donations to the very foundation I was there to talk about, perhaps it would have put the aggressive posture of his interview with me in context.

But he didn’t.

And even though he has apologized to his viewers for keeping this information from both his audience and his bosses, there is much that Stephanopoulos has yet to disclose to his viewers. Indeed, far from being a passive donor who strokes Clinton Foundation checks from afar, a closer look reveals that Stephanopoulos is an ardent and engaged Clinton Foundation advocate.

He details it in the column.

About the Fox News thing, I agree with the journalist I quote. It’s corrupting, both to the candidates and to the credibility of Fox News. Does it just not matter anymore? Sorry, that’s a ludicrously naive question.

This is what the neoreactionaries call “the Cathedral.” I am not a neoreactionary, but I have to give them credit for this coinage.



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