One of my favorite television series of all time is David Simon’s Homicide: Life on the Streets. Not only did the show hire Baltimore drug dealers to play the role of, well, Baltimore drug dealers, on one memorable occasion a shoplifter fleeing a store ran onto scene being filmed and surrendered to the actors dressed as BPD officers. There was a strong ensemble cast but the real star was Richard Belzer who played the cynical and jaded Detective John Munch (a role he carried over to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.)
In the first episode, a drug dealer tells Munch a particularly improbable lie
Det. John Munch: You’re saving your really good lies for some smarter cop, is that it? I’m just a donut in the on-deck circle. Wait until the real guy gets here. Wait until that big guy comes back. I’m probably just his secretary. I’m just Montel Williams. You want to talk to Larry King.
Bernard: I’m telling you the truth.
Det. John Munch: I’ve been in murder police for ten years. If you’re going to lie to me, you lie to me with respect. What is it? Is it my shoes? Is it my haircut? Got a problem with my haircut? Don’t you ever lie to me like I’m Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams.
Bernard: Who’s Montel Williams?
Det. John Munch: I’m not Montel Williams.
Keep this scene in mind as you read this.
Yesterday, the decidedly non-partisan and left-leaning Center for Public Integrity published some astonishing data on political contributions by members of the media.
In all, people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism — have combined to give more than $396,000 to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Trump, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.
Nearly all of that money — more than 96 percent — has benefited Clinton: About 430 people who work in journalism have, through August, combined to give about $382,000 to the Democratic nominee, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis indicates.
About 50 identifiable journalists have combined to give about $14,000 to Trump. (Talk radio ideologues, paid TV pundits and the like — think former Trump campaign manager-turned-CNN commentator Corey Lewandowski — are not included in the tally.)
Read that parenthetical statement again. These data are for actual journalists, not for pundits. The number is actually much, much worse. I contribute under my wife’s name because she doesn’t have to worry about an employer who might be offended when it comes to promotions by the presence of a conservative on staff. When I was in the Army, my friends who were politically active did the same so their politics would never become a part of their professional file. Many news organizations outright forbid political contributions so you can be certain that there are a lot of spouses — or whatever liberal reporters call them — donating.
This is the Washington Post’s take:
It is tempting to view these donation figures as a proxy for journalists’ political leanings overall (i.e. 96 percent of journalists are liberal, whether they contribute to campaigns or not), but support for Clinton over Trump is probably an inaccurate gauge. The Fix’s tally of prominent Republican politicians, donors and operatives who back Clinton is up to 67, at last check. Preferring the Democrat in this election does not necessarily make you a liberal.
Plus, Trump has blacklisted news outlets whose coverage he disdains, mocked a reporter with a physical disability, called journalists “scum” and said he would like to “open up” libel laws to make suing media companies easier. Journalists who chip in to defeat Trump might be motivated by a desire to protect a free press, rather than by some left-wing ideology.
I am f***ing offended by this. This is an insult to anyone who reads it and, if it appeared on the op-ed page, I’d assume it was parody.
But, as the man says, wait, there’s more.
Yesterday, the Wikileaks revealed a fawning, fellatio-ridden email exchange between Politico’s political correspondent, Glenn Thrush, and Clinton consigliere, John Podesta. In the email Thrush asks for Podesta’s approval of his story and closes by asking Podesta to not share the email (with anyone other than Russian hackers, Wikileaks, and the civilized world) and to please not tell anyone.
Thrush was roundly mocked on Twitter and probably in every newsroom in the nation. How did he respond?
My goal in emailing Podesta: TO GET HIM TO CONFIRM STUFF I HAD FROM LESSER SOURCES. It worked. Nobody controls my stories but me. Troll on!
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) October 17, 2016
Absolutely. I read everything back to everybody when practical– always. Rarely email, not u see why! https://t.co/YwwDtvYjvt
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) October 18, 2016
This, by the way, was not a read-back to ensure accuracy. This was sending the story to Podesta, asking his approval and giving him a veto on the story.
Cos I was dodging HRC press office MT @BorisTheCrusher: if it was just plan old fact checking, then why say 'don't tell anyone'?”
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) October 18, 2016
Raise your hand if you think John Podesta gives a fat rat’s ass about Hillary’s press office. He doesn’t. The press office is much more concerned about what Podesta says and does. He does not inhabit the same universe as the toads in her press office.
In fairness to Thrush, Politico is basically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Clintons. I documented how their reporter, Josh Gerstein, did transcription for Patrick Kennedy to defend Hillary during the email scandal. If you go back you’ll see that each and everyone of his stories on her email was proven false by the nonsensical statement issued by FBI Director James Comey. The Clinton campaign discussed how helpful Maggie Haberman, now at the New York Times, was is “tee[ing] up stories for us.”
The problem isn’t that the media are in the bag for Democrats or that they have a slavish, fetish-like subservience to Hillary Clinton. We know that. We have known that for decades. The problem is that when they get caught they tell us lies that are so contemptuous of basic intelligence that you want to scream.
What is it? Our shoes? Our haircut?