The Bush gambit and the Press
The press and Republicans kept the 2000 Presidential election close enough for the Supreme Court to steal it for George W. Bush thanks a great deal to Bill Clinton’s abdication under fire. The Justice Department stopped trying to enforce the voting rights act - facilitating Florida and other states gross vote theft operations. The FBI was basically handed over to the Republicans and spent 2 years devoting enormous resources to investigating Clinton, his allies, and many Democratic politicians on trivial issues - remember the destruction of Henry Cisneros? And from every government agency, there was a flood of inappropriate leaks of information that was or could be made to seem embarrassing for the Administration from empowered GOP sympathizing bureaucrats secure in their untouchable status.
Ken Starr commanded vast resources from the executive branch to ferret out and publicize any rumor he could find about Clinton’s sex life. (And so the FBI did not have the resources to look at Saudis who were studying how to fly planes, but not land them. ) Grand Jury secrecy, supposedly one of the cornerstones of rule of law, was openly violated thanks to the complicity of the press. And when the press was not assisting Starr’s “elves” to violate Grand Jury secrecy, they were assisting in 24-7 hysteria about Clinton’s penis. That was a great moment when, at a joint Press Conference with the French President in Paris, the US press didn’t even pretend to want to know anything about US relations with France or national security issues or trade - just about semen stains on the blue dress. Income inequality, tax fairness, the already visible problems of bank deregulation, racial discrimination, jobs, environment - the Press was bored with all that when they could run with low grade smarm all day. What a glorious moment for the First Amendment.
The press creation of fake scandals intimidated Clinton and Janet Reno so much that they gave up trying to run the Department of Justice (and FBI). They scared Gore out of running on the Clinton Administration’s successful and popular record. And then they pushed their “serial liar” smear of Gore while covering up Bush’s extremism and racist dog-whistle campaign. Now Bill Keller the former NY Times editor wants to go back to the glory years of Ken Starr when the NY Times went day after day inventing scandals to benefit the GOP.
And now we are being told to support the AP’s sabotage of a US espionage operation directed at AQAP bomb makers? Or even more ridiculous: to support Fox “News” effort to sabotage US foreign policy in Korea and embarrass the Administration. When there is not a scintilla of evidence that there was any government wrongdoing exposed? And to line up with the Press in their defense of their right to violate any law in an effort to damage a Democratic Administration while treating the GOP with fear and an embarrassing servility?