I take this as truth and not irony-the road to hell is paved with good intentions....I would however amend it to include:As it is with those who are intoxicated with their own noble deeds.Anthony Weiner was run from office by a self-deluding mob as well as his own reckless actions.That Weiner is guilty of nothing more than being unable to decide if he wants the life of a married man or that of a single man is the real offense here and at that,it is his wife's upon which to pass judgement.
A reporter named Christopher who writes for Mediaiate wrote a story two weeks ago that suggested that Weiner may have had questionable contact with underage teenage females-the reporter in his noble aims of fairness and concern decided to give these teens the names Betty and Veronica. I will leave it for you to ponder his choice of names and what it may or may not suggest. Weeks later but not before Anthony Weiner was to fail himself by giving in to the mob and resigning it comes to light by way of Times reporter Jennifer Preston that there were no such teenagers. It would appear that a deliberate effort was made to ensnare Weiner by the establishment of fake Twitter accounts and fake identities.It would also seem that the congressman and his communcations were being monitored by a group of self described conservatives using the hashtag #bornfreecrew. Have I missed that part of the reportage where someone asks who appointed these people to watch anyone?
Long ago in the late eighties William Burroughs gave a reading wherein talking about Ronald Reagan and the country as Reagan would have it that we were becoming a nation of rats..of finks peeking into other's keyholes but never our own.It was also determined by the Times reporter that along with fake names came just as false driver's license's as well as none existent enrollement in Hollywood High-which verfied that they had no records of any such person's.One can be forgiven as more information comes to light for thinking of Tricky Dick and his notions of rat f**king but isn't it odd that a media that can uncover with un-gentle alacrity who is cheating on whom and for how long seems in no rush to uncover who these imposters were and for whom they were in service to.One might even forgive the outrage that simmered and boiled over as if some plague had been imminent if not for the fact that such a vulger display of mob rule and its consequences should rouse from stupor those who took the middle ground or demurred and must now accept that the rules under which the game is being played is now for blood.That a reporter can be fooled in an age where information can readily be redacted or contructed for the purpose of being deliberatly false is not a crime-it can and no doubt will happen again. It is one the more unfortunate perils of the internet age.What is difficult to forgive is that this new information seems not to interest the mob of moralists and the self-proclaimed protectors of the public trust...And worse is the attitude of the reporter:
“Even in hindsight," he says, "the decision to run the story did not create harm, ** and did, in fact, prevent harm. As a journalist and a parent, I'm not sure what I would have done differently."
Has no harm been done?
Let me state for the record that I do not desire either a Liberal press or a Conservative one-I want a truthful and responsible press. A press comprised by those who would rather be journalists first rather than cocktail party ornaments or ex officio sycophants. Nor at an age south of thirty am I need of surrogate parents to keep me assured by revealing only that which they think I need to know as opposed to what they really know. So let me ask-how exactly was harm prevented? Was it to the people who perpetuated this fraud? Is there no harm when people for reasons unknown appear mysteriouly to help to harm to a man's character and then just as suddenly disappear when that goal is accomplished? Did Mr. Christopher's story highlight some great truth otherwise hidden about bad choices and teens on the web that might save both a nation and themselves? Are you less harmed thanks to the efforts of Tommy Christopher.How should we-the less harmed-take the notion that you were concerned with the reputation of a known character assassin like Breitbart and the mindless cipher that is Dana Losch. A stunning irony all the more grim when you understand that people like Breitbart and those who support him see this not as virtue but a weakness to be exploited.Lastly, how well was Anthony Weiner served in this scenario of no harm?
Do the shouted questions about the supposed under age teenagers,shouted with smug certainty by an angry hydra of press and for the sole purpose of 'gotcha' journalism-to slur in full throat with insinutations of pervert sting,now that there is a different light? Does it cause discomfit and embarassment as it should? Do you feel as sad as I to have such a craven and easil ymanipulated press-as insensate as sharks when they sense blood in the water.There is a problem with the media in this country-too many want to be heroes and even more want to be provocatuers diviorced from the consequences that thier actions have. It is easy to fall victim to the meme from certain quarters that no one pays attention to the press and that old press like newspapers are at best irrelevant or at worst pawns for a particuler side. Don't believe it-while many people do indeed get much of their information from e-zines and websites that is a much a choice as it is the economic and social reality of the shift in the way we expect information to be delivered.There are still more people for whom the old press as embodied by the New York Times, The Wasington Post and yes even the N.Y. Post-still matter. There are plentyof people who have no idea who or what sites like Mediaiate are or why they sould care.There is a smugness on both sides of the media-from those who believe that they are always only moments from capturing history and as such find it easy to rationalize their failures as both reporters and citizens of the body politic. At minimum, if we can expect nothing else can we not at least expect that if you fail in getting the story right that you will face up to your failure and own it...That you will spare us tropes and the hiding behind undeserved conceits.
Our politics suffers in the same way-politicians are never wrong-just misquoted. They can never apologize without hedge and subtle wink.Just as no good will come from Weiner's resignation either now or down the road...No good will come from a journalism that is sloppy and distracted,practiced more for money and lathered in mediocrity with one eye always on the prospect of the next big thing. I understand why journos who toiled as interns on dreary beats like obits and local desks have a problem with bloggers and the media that blogging has created. There are some blogs and some bloggers who are bottom feeders-Drudge anyone-who want the right for themselves to decide what truth is and who should be allowed to shape it.Bloggers who suffer from the illusion that they are Murrow or Rather when he had Nixion in his sights. But journos need to admit that more and more thay are no better than well heeled mouthpieces with devalued degrees who too often don't even possess the moral compass that Bruce Cutler had when he was defending Gotti.
And while it is to Mediaiates credit that they have published an article trying to explain what happened-harm has been done and not only to Anthony Weiner but to you and I and the growing legion who find with every failure of the press more reason to believe that you can't trust what's printed anymore than you can the government. Read the article by Colby Hall and tell me that it doesn't sound more than a bit like excuse and justification wrapped in the facts of failure and when you get to the end tell yourself,if you can that no harm was done and that the republic can at last sleep safe and sound.
*Two weeks ago** Taken from Mediaiate