Dearest darlings, it just isn’t done: Professional courtesy plays a large role in American pseudo-journalism.
And no, it isn't just Rachel Maddow! Consider the editorial in yesterday’s Washington Post about the IRS mess.
In our view, the editors made an obvious, constructive point in their editorial. Without diminishing or excusing the “troubling conduct” of the IRS, the editors blasted the overstated scandal-mongering of the GOP.
They even named some names:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (6/10/13): Capitol Hill saw three more days of hearings last week about the Internal Revenue Service, none of which offered much more insight into the genesis of the agency’s troubling actions over the past three years. Who conceived the idea to target groups with conservative-sounding names for extra scrutiny as the IRS processed their applications for tax-exempt status? We still don’t know. How could that have been considered an appropriate option? And why did targeting resume a few months after a senior manager shut it down?Quite correctly, the Post blasted the GOP for getting ahead of the facts as they promote scandal. The Post even defended Lois Lerner, the designated witch of this episode, referring to the actual findings of the report by the Inspector General.
In the absence of answers, Republicans have begun to fill in the blanks with overheated rhetoric—for example, the possibility of a White House “enemies list,” as House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said last Monday. Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) talked about the scandal originating in “Washington” or “Washington headquarters.” Mr. Issa called the president’s spokesman a “paid liar.”
“[I]n the absence of evidence linking anyone directly connected to the president with the IRS’s decision to sort applications the way it did, talk of ‘enemies lists’ and similar hyperbole are inflammatory and counterproductive,” the editors wrote. We agree, but we couldn’t help noting a hole in this editorial.
The editors named several names, as you can see in the passage above. They even named Darrell Issa, a major Republican player.
But what sorts of names didn’t make the cut? Names like these: O’Reilly, Hannity, Van Susteren.
If it’s “overheated rhetoric” the editors hate, they can find a steady dose on Fox in the past few weeks. They can also find a steady dose of bogus facts, as we have documented again and again.
Millions of people have been aggressively disinformed by the multimillionaire hosts on Fox. But so what? The Post is happy to name minor names like Crenshaw and Rogers. But the editors refuse to name the much bigger names at Fox.
Why has Fox been playing this way? They know it’s completely allowed.