April 13, 2007



Why media companies get no respect
by Jim Hightower

Public interest — rather than lapdogs for the power establishment?

Rather than digging into the juicy story of the White House hatchet job on seven U.S. attorneys, too many major media figures are clucking their tongues at those trying to investigate the scandal. A CNBC correspondent chastised Democrats for looking "too political in exploiting this," and Time magazine's managing editor declared that the Democrats should back off their pursuit of truth "because it is so bad for them."

Excuse me, aren't journalists supposed to be hungry for truth, eager to uncover misconduct in high places, or at least be mildly curious about who did what in the White House? Far from doing their jobs, however, media figures are embarrassing themselves by rebuking members of congress for trying to do their constitutional duty. As Time's editor said of congress's intention to subpoena White House officials: "That's not what voters want to see."

Really, Sherlock? Maybe he should look at the recent USA Today poll, which asked this question: "Do you think congress should investigate the involvement of White House officials in this matter?" Yes! shouted 72 percent of the people. Also, the poll asked if Bush and his aides should "answer all questions" rather than trying to hide behind executive privilege, and it asked if congress should "issue subpoenas to force White House officials to testify under oath?" Yes! shouted 68 percent of the people.

Likewise, editorial boards are prissily tut-tutting congress's effort to set a 2008 date for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Once again, they are the ones out of step — a new Pew poll finds that six-in-ten Americans "would like to see their representatives vote for such legislation."

Media companies have become the establishment they're supposed to guard against. And they wonder why they get no respect.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown — visit www.jimhightower.com


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