In the past, I have claimed that the mainstream media is in bed with the Obama Administration. This time, I mean it literally.
According to the New York Post
, Obama budget boss Peter Orszag is engaged to ABC correspondent Bianna Golodryga. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas, gave birth to his illegitimate child on November 17. Orszag is already a two-time father by his first wife (they are divorced, naturally).
Bianna Golodryga and Peter Orszag
The media is treating this whole story as a seedy morality play starring an incredibly nerdy Director of OMB. But even though it now appears that Orszag was spreading his seed just as profligately as taxpayer money, that isn’t the real story.
The real story here is actually Bianna Golodryga and the extremely cozy relationship that sometimes develops between reporters and their sources.
Golodryga, according to her profile at ABCNews.com, covers “the economy and business beat for all of the network’s programs, including World News Tonight
, Good Morning America Weekend
, and Nightline
… Golodryga reported extensively on the housing and credit crisis as well as the collapse of Bear Stearns.”
Now, it would be unseemly for a reporter on Afghanistan policy to be sleeping with General David Petraeus. It is just as unseemly for the main economic reporter for ABC News to be sleeping with the Director of the OMB. Golodryga also covered Orszag when Orszag was running the Congressional Budget Office. Reportedly, they did not meet in person until the White House Correspondents Dinner in May 2009. They immediately began going out, even though the week they met, Orszag was featured together with Milonas in an article in The New Yorker
Golodryga, it should be mentioned, is just as liberal as her fiancée. In a May 2008 Nightline report
, she participated in open class warfare, stating, “As many Americans watch personal investments like their homes go belly up, many of the super rich have seen their fortunes only grow.” She’s also a water carrier for the Obama administration
. “One year ago,” she said on Good Morning America
in November while defending treasury secretary Tim Geithner, “the stock market was in a nose-dive. Major banks were going under. And the economy suffered its biggest quarterly contraction in seven years. Now, all of that has significantly improved today, except for when it comes to jobs.”
Abe Rosenthal, who headed up the New York Times
from 1969 to 1986, had a very simple conflict of interest policy, one that become known in journalism circles as the Rosenthal Rule: “I don't care if my reporters are [sleeping with] elephants, as long as they aren’t covering the circus.” That policy, by the way, was occasioned when a Times
reporter began having an affair with a Pennsylvanian politician she was covering.
Sadly, the mainstream media suffers from a rash of elephant love. When Peter Jennings was bureau chief for ABC News in Lebanon, he dated Palestine Liberation Organization spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, a move sure to call one's journalistic integrity into question. On September 11, 2001, after news networks showed Palestinians celebrating the attacks in the streets, Jennings hosted Ashrawi on air, where he greeted her with the friendliness you would expect from former lovers.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s dashing foreign correspondent, dated and married Jamie Rubin while he was the spokesman for Bill Clinton’s State Department. He’s now a foreign policy advisor for President Obama, and Amanpour is still reporting on foreign affairs. How seriously does Amanpour take her conflict of interest? Not very – last year, Amanpour interviewed her own husband about the situation in Iran, where she just so happened to grow up.
Jamie Rubin and Christiane Amanpour
In 1997, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell married Alan Greenspan, who was chairman of the Federal Reserve at the time. This has created a bit of a hubbub over the last couple of years, with the left openly questioning Mitchell’s integrity. The Columbia Journalism Review
analogized, “You wouldn’t want Laura Bush asking you about the federal government’s reaction to Katrina.” NBC defended the decision to keep Mitchell reporting on the financial situation: “We see a distinction between pure analysis of the bailout – such as the conditions that led to the crisis, which we’ve decided to keep her away from – and coverage of the politics related to it.” This is inane, to say the least – choosing which stories to cover and what aspects to focus upon is the name of the game in journalism. It’s just as easy to slant “objective” coverage as it is to let bias color "analysis."
Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan
Psychologists are not supposed to sleep with their clients. Neither are lawyers. Bosses aren’t supposed to sleep with their secretaries. Professors are generally not allowed to sleep with their students. Yet reporters are somehow supposed to be immune from the implicit biases associated with having sex with the people they're covering.
Golodryga is sleeping with the nerdiest elephant in the circus. And she happens to be one of the lead reporters on the circus. Which makes her a clown rather than a reporter. Golodryga never should have gotten involved with Orszag. Now that she is, ABC News should move her to another division of their news bureau.