So says northern journalist: Why are we inclined to support those Charleston families over our northern journalists and professors? Especially when the brilliant moral and intellectual tradition in question formed the backbone of the civil rights movement?
Consider the relentless bad judgment of our current northern intellectual guilds. Let’s start with the front-page report about Candidate Bush in today’s Washington Post.
The report concerns Candidate Bush’s allegedly shaky business history. Written by O’Harrow and Hamburger, the piece appears beneath these hard-copy headlines:
As Bush built wealth, questions aroseThe piece runs 3832 words.
Legal cases involving some of GOP hopeful’s associates put his reputation at risk
Personally, we find reports of this type a bit dull. We’d rather see insightful reports about policy matters, including issues of racial justice.
That said, this is the basic nugget concerning the way the GOP hopeful has put his reputation at risk:
O’HARROW AND HAMBURGER (6/29/15): Today, as he works toward his run at the White House, Bush touts his business experience as a strength that gives him the skills and savvy to serve as the nation's chief executive. He has said he “worked my tail off” to succeed. As an announced candidate, Bush soon will be making financial disclosures that will reveal recent business successes and show a substantial increase in his wealth since he left office as Florida governor in 2007, individuals close to the candidate told The Post.Let’s be fair! Nothing in that passage says that Bush himself ever did anything wrong. The passage also seems to say that the business troubles it describes all occurred before 1998, when Bush was elected governor of Florida.
But records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk.
Five of his business associates have been convicted of crimes; one remains an international fugitive on fraud charges. In each case, Bush said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and said some of the people he met as a businessman in Florida took advantage of his naiveté.
Bush, now 62, has said that he has learned to be more careful about vetting his associates, telling the Miami Herald during his first, failed run for Florida governor in 1994 that getting “burned a couple of times” made him “better at deciphering people's motives.”
The passage gives that plain impression, but that impression is wrong. Several thousand words into the piece, O’Harrow and Hamburger report that Bush fell in with one of his crooks in 2008, after leaving the State House, when he joined the board of a start-up firm called InnoVida.
The head of the firm “eventually was charged with taking $40 million from investors and $10 million from a federal loan program intended to finance construction of homes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake,” the Post reports. “He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay $24 million in restitution.”
The firm’s chief financial officer got a four-year sentence, according to the Post.
We’ll admit it! As we fought our way through these matters, we wondered how the corps would handle such facts if Candidate Clinton had been involved with this array of crooks.
We can’t necessarily answer that question, but it came to mind. Then, we read Jaime Fuller’s synopsis of the Post’s report at the up-country New York magazine, a pillar of the northern journalistic establishment.
As she starts, Fuller runs through the basics of the Post report. She then cites an earlier report by Jennifer Senior, a New York magazine piece which covered similar ground and produced little discussion.
According to Fuller, Senior described the InnoVida matter as Bush’s “most eyebrow-raising venture.” That’s the venture which started in 2008.
We were puzzling over the way the New York Times has broken its back inventing scandalous conduct by Candidate Clinton while saying next to nothing about matters like this. At that point, Fuller broke our hearts, fecklessly typing this:
FULLER (6/29/15): However, as Senior points out, at least one other 2016 presidential candidate has failed to win the Florida political missteps version of “Where's Waldo”—although not quite as badly as Bush.Fuller then posts a long excerpt from Senior’s piece in which Candidate Clinton once had her picture taken with an unsavory person at a public reception.
In Fuller’s account, this means that Clinton has screwed up too, “although not quite as badly as Bush.”
Fuller’s end her piece with that utterly silly excerpt. Our question: Where in the world—where on earth—do they find these people?
In Fuller’s case, they found her post-Middlebury. She graduated four years ago, in 2011.
Today, Fuller displays the strange lack of judgment which has characterized our political reporting for lo, these disastrous years. Our advice?
Remember who you’re running with when you let these puzzling people stage their latest jihad—in this case, their jihad against the brilliant moral and intellectual values which drove the principal strand of the civil rights movement.
We’ll be discussing that jihad all week. Meanwhile:
Candidate Bush was in business with a succession of crooks. Candidate Clinton once had her photo taken.
Her conduct “wasn’t quite as bad!” Where in the world do they find these people? What makes us listen to them?