Why Can't Johnny Reid?
Those of you roaming around Europe at the moment (Paul, Emery, Frances, Sam, Rebecca, my folks--alas, not me) may have missed this meme, but the AP has been aggressively pushing a series of stories this week by John Solomon that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) failed to reimburse the Nevada Athletic Commission for tickets to a boxing match while he was introducing legislation concerning the industry. Lesson? The big-time corruption in DC is bipartisan.
The only problems? Well, apparently Reid's bill was opposed by the NAC and he never altered it in any way to please them. So no quid pro quo. Plus, Senate rules allow gifts from state agencies, although they say that, as a rule of thumb, you ought to avoid appearances of impropriety. Solomon noted these points as asides, but he buried them deep below the lede. As it turns out, there were other salient facts he didn't bother to mention. Reid didn't exactly get a "ticket," he got a "credential," which was not reimbursible and carried no monetary value. And Nevada law makes it illegal to pay for such items. Solomon made a big deal about how John McCain, who accompanied Reid, sent the NAC a check. But the AP stories failed to mention that the NAC refused McCain's contribution (it being illegal), and, when McCain wouldn't budge, got around the problem by donating the check to charity.
In other words, this is a non-scandal. Trivial b.s. Like Clinton's airplane haircut, or Whitewater, or Filegate, or, well, how about just about every recent "scandal" involving a Democrat not from Louisiana. Making the problem worse, Solomon has a history of making bogus charges against Reid, as when he blasted Reid for connections to Jack Abramoff's lobbying on the Marianas Islands, when Reid had consistently opposed Abramoff's favored bills. He followed his initial story on the boxing match with a follow-up article claiming that Reid had apologized and acknowldeged misreading Senate ethics rules, when he had not. Oops. When called on their deceptions by TPMmuckraker, the AP lamely lied about what both Solomon and his critics had said regarding the credentials. Double oops.
So what to do about this? Should AP fire Solomon? Or maybe just a transfer to Iraq, where pro-GOP press spin is always rewarded in that distinctively Iraqi style. Whatever happens to Solomon, Democrats do have a lesson to learn. The mainstream media is not your friend. They hate you. They will lie, cheat and steal to destroy you. Why? Corporate ownership, or maybe the "FOX effect"? Who cares. It's who they are. They've been like this for at least a decade, and there are no signs of change on the horizon. You may need to smile at them now and then, but always be ready with a knife. And never apologize. Not to those bastards. At least not when you haven't actually done anything. The GOP never apologizes, and they're basically an organized crime syndicate. And the press kisses their collective ass.
I'm not one of those bloggers who believes the mainstream media should just die out. They'll always serve a purpose. But they need to be punished when they behave like right-wing hacks. Which seems to be most of the time.