Their Rules, Not Ours: Time to Vet Private Lives of Journalists?
We now have three instances of three individual Politico writers digging up and publishing political oppo-research about the private lives of private citizens who don't support Obama, and the motive behind these attacks can only be twofold:
1. To change the narrative of effective criticism of Obama to the less flattering moments of the private lives of these individuals.
2. To intimidate and frighten others who might consider supporting a candidate not named Obama.
So desperate is the media to Palace Guard for their Precious One that everyday Americans who dare ask Obama a question he flubs, appear in a Romney campaign ad, or donate to a pro-Romney super PAC, are now considered fair game.
But if this is the new MSM standard, what are those of us in New Media to do? In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be faced with this question, because in a perfect world the media has integrity and would never even consider attacking and intimidating private citizens.
But the world isn't perfect, and Politico's lack of human and journalistic integrity begs a question…
If the media says the private lives of private citizens are now fair game, aren't journalists private citizens?
Actually, journalists, in my opinion, are not private citizens. In fact, I believe they hold a public position of power, trust, and responsibility more important to our democracy than that of some private citizen who asks Obama a perfectly fair question, appears in a Romney ad, or donates to a super PAC.
Right now, Politico is telling us that the private lives of private citizens should be investigated, and any dirt discovered is worth reporting. Since those who write for, edit, run, and own Politico are in true positions of power and responsibility -- doesn’t that make their private lives fair game along with the lives of all journalists?
What do we know about those who abuse the power entrusted to them by shilling for the left behind a phony and cowardly shield of objectivity? What should we know about their personal lives, their finances, their personal mistakes, their traffic violations, and any run-ins with the law?
According to the media itself, quite a lot.
After all, if the public has a "right to know" about an unemployed plumber, doesn’t the public have a "right to know" about those with the power to expose that unemployed plumber?
I'm willing to let Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Abby Phillip (pictured above), and the rest of our journalist class set the rules.
But are they willing to live under those rules?