Monday, January 18, 2010

Lazy Journalism, Part 3!

I took two weeks off- one because Jeff beat me to it, and another because "Z" apparently took the week off also.  But now I'm back with my Lazy Journalism series (Part 1, Part 2) on my favorite curmudgeon, Robert Z. Nemeth.

“I’m not beholden to special interests. Because I don’t owe anybody anything, I’m free to tell the truth and fight for what I believe in."  -Scott Brown, as told to Robert Z. Nemeth
Candidates tell the voters and reporters many things, some true, some false, some chock full of BS.  It's the job of responsible voters and reporters to do a little digging and find out if the candidate is telling the truth.  It's especially important for reporters to dig a little harder- after all, their articles are read and trusted by many readers.  When a reporter doesn't dig deeper, they do a disservice to their news organization and their readers. 

If Mr. Nemeth had anything better to do with his time, perhaps he could have turned up these few choice facts about Scott Brown's claim that he isn't beholden to any special interests.

FreedomWorks and Club For Growth have been mobilizing support for Mr. Brown.  (Article on  FreedomWorks is headed by former House Republican Dick Armey, author of the Contract For America back in 1994.  You can thank Mr. Armey for this summer's disruptive town meetings regarding health reform.  FreedomWorks has been the chief architect of the angry and divisive tone of the town halls.  Instead of a true debate based on facts, we can thank FreedomWorks for displays such as these: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)  Club For Growth is a Wall Street PAC that lobbies for influence and bailouts from Washington.  Candidate Brown claims he is opposed to future stimulus bills, despite the fact that he accepts money from firms that benefited from the two stimulus bills. is a great website for tracking candidates and contributions to their campaigns.  Unfortunately, they only have numbers through 12/31/09.  It will be interesting to see the updated numbers for January, when all the attention on Scott Brown materialized.

The Office of Campaign and Political Finance has a partially updated website.  Scott Brown's last update was apparently in 2008???
My favorite part of Mr. Nemeth's scribblings came in the paragraph regarding the recent failed underwear bomber.
"At a time when homeland safety is endangered due to an ultra-liberal mindset in Washington that at times appears to be more concerned about the rights of terrorists than the safety of Americans, the Senate needs a hard-liner on national security. Even before the Christmas Day attempt by an Islamic jihadist to destroy a Detroit-bound airliner with nearly 300 people aboard, Scott Brown, a lieutenant colonel with close to 30 years of service in the National Guard, expressed concern about flawed security measures and the apparent breakdown of the command structure. He said authorities should have recognized the warning signs before an officer described as a Muslim fanatic murdered 13 military personnel at a Texas Army base in November, just as they should have prevented the “underwear bomber” from boarding an airplane. "
I think the same could be said for the summer of 2001 when the Cheney/Bush Administration along with the CIA, FBI and NSA missed out on the largest terror attack on U.S. soil.  Eight years later we have the Department of Homeland Security, a Cheney/Bush creation that should be the focus of Mr. Nemeth's criticism, not the candidacy of Martha Coakley or the Obama Administration. 

Perhaps Mr. Nemeth believed Rudy Giuliani a few weeks ago when he claimed that "We had no domestic terror attacks under Bush."  (In a stunning coincidence, Rudy "9/11" Giuliani recently campaigned with Scott Brown.  With 'independent' allies like that, can we really trust Mr. Nemeth's candidate to keep us safe?  Did Scott Brown denounce the Cheney/Bush Administration when Richard Reid tried to blow up his shoe on an airliner?
I'll end with this chestnut tossed in near the end of Mr. Nemeth's column:
"She hardly displayed a profile-in-courage by refusing to debate her opponent one-on-one, insisting on the presence of a nonentity who has no chance of getting elected."
 That nonentity is a candidate who gathered enough signatures as an independent candidate to appear on the ballot for this election.  Having that sort of organization and dedication should guarantee Joe Kennedy's appearance in the debates.  This is a democracy where any citizen can run for office, regardless of party affiliation.  I would think that Mr. Nemeth would encourage candidates like Joe Kennedy- after all, Mr. Nemeth constantly hopes for an 'independent' voice to guide us.  Apparently Mr. Nemeth's has a dictionary where Independent = Republican.

No comments: