News reporters have always loved the reference to those vicious animals that protect the junk yards late at night. Some of the most frightening, realistic scenes from movies depict the bad guy climbing over a chain link fence only to be confronted by a large, nasty looking creature that has been trained to destroy intruders. Once the junk yard dog latches on, there is no letting go and … well …you know how this story usually ends, and it isn’t pretty for the perp.
The best news reporters love the junk yard dog reference. Every news room has at least one of them and they are not just the junk yard dogs, they are the Alpha Dogs in the news room. “I will take you down!” Or something like that, is what the promos usually say.
We have two very clear examples of news stories that need junk yard dogs: Solyndra and Fast and Furious. The list is long on potential scandals here.
Solyndra is the so-called “Green Energy” company that blew more than half-a-billion of our tax dollars in less than two years (stimulus anyone?). Fast and Furious is the gun running operation to Mexico that was approved and perpetuated by the Obama administration and has led to at least two deaths of U.S. enforcement agents. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has already been caught in an apparent lie over what he knew and when he knew it. The President stands behind Holder, even after these facts have been reported.
Tell me there isn’t something there to latch on to that might ruin the perfect crease in his pants.
The media has started to cover these stories. Started. Props have been given here on BigJournalism to reporters, like Jake Tapper of ABC and Sharyl Attkisson of CBS who have started digging into these issues. Rush Limbaugh calls them “random acts of journalism.”
So far, groundwork has been laid by these reporters on Solyndra and Fast and Furious and they stand apart from the much larger group of poodles hiding in the corner “covering” this administration. To preserve our democracy we need junk yard dogs covering any administration.
Now, it needs to be stated here that the scandals within the Obama administration pile up so quickly that it will take several packs of junk yard dogs just to make a tear in the blue jeans. It seems major stories pop up every day or so, and with so few junk yard dogs out there, it’s almost impossible to protect the expanding premises. The Pigford Scandal, the New Black Panther Scandal, the attacks on American businesses, the Stimulus going to Democrat states and causes, the personal verbal attacks on American citizens….the junk yard is being over-run and the dog is spinning in circles wondering which direction to go.
Read any chapter of Michelle Malkin’s Culture of Corruption and you’ll find enough there to create half a dozen Woodward and Bernstein’s.
Fearless journalists on the internet have been justly attacking this White House on each of these fronts for years and the activist old media has finally decided to wake up from its slumber, look around, and notice that something isn’t right amongst the carcases of Chevy’s piling up in the back lot. Much of the hard work has been done. Deep Throat is a mouse click away these days.
In some cases, the media feels they have already been tough on this administration. You’ll hear them say that they did the story already, or they have already asked the tough question. What? That’s not the media in which I worked and grew up with for 30 years. Where are the junk yard dogs?
A favorite trick of a partisan media is to ask a question, perhaps do a story or two and then drop it like a rubber ball at the feet of the owner. Fetch! They play that game back and forth and nothing ever really happens. They call it “action news.” Somebody, somewhere needs to latch on to the ankles and not let go until the right thing is done.
When you ask a question, ask follow-ups, over and over again. The best answer you get from powerful people comes only after the second, third, or fourth follow up. Watch how you did interviews with Sarah Palin if you want to see how that is done. Don’t bark and run and act like you’re the big bulldog protecting the property, the Chihuahua can do that. You’ve got something here, lots of “somethings” here. Latch on and don’t let go.
I’ve been in that investigative position. I’ve done those stories and taken powerful people down. I’ve done the right thing. I know what it takes, and it takes fearlessness and an obsession for the truth put in its proper context.
What happened to the junk yard dogs that were there during the Bush administration? We saw junk yard dogs foolishly spending 4 years going after the White House over the supposed leaking of a CIA agent’s name. They grabbed the ankles of the wrong guy. Real junk yard dogs don’t do that. Those were blind junk yard dogs.
So my question now, as I watch my friends in the media finally notice that somebody had taken wire cutters to the chain link fence and are now removing parts from the old rusted Pinto, what is their reaction?
Will they be junk yard dogs, or continue as lap dogs?