Give ’em Hell, Harry

From Album4

With the discussion about whether once amateur boxer Harry Reid landed a clean blow, made a decent feint — or hit below the belt — in full swing, no pun intended, here’s my .00002 cents worth:

Why don’t the self proclaimed fact checkers, and insiders who work for newspapers, magazines, journals, etc., go out and, oh, I don’t know, practice some journalism?

Harry Reid said a source from Bain told him Mitt’s little (income) tax secret. Now, it might actually take some work, god forbid, but I doubt it’s impossible to determine if Reid has any relationships with Bain insiders. After making this determination (which could be reported), they could try to get these people on the record. If they won’t speak on the record, that can be reported, or perhaps these august fact-checkers and insiders could offer them anonymity as deep background sources. If I recall, a CNN reporter DID suggest Reid was credible.(note–it was Dana Bash.)

One thing that I’ve seen over my lifetime (I’m 47) that’s troubling is that the already rather cozy relationship between journalists and the people they’re assigned to cover has really gotten into dangerous territory. Maybe I’m naive, but it struck me and not in a good way when Tim Russert testified in the Scooter Libby trial that he assumed conversations with politician were off the record…because in the not so distant past I’m pretty sure the rule of thumb was the opposite.

One more thing. I posted comments saying pretty much the same thing at The Washington Monthly and The Reality Based Community, and at the latter, “Cardinal Fang” responded with a good point — Rachel Maddow reported on August 3rd that Mitt has a history of being deceptive regarding his income tax filings

What’s the line? It would be irresponsible not to speculate, or something like that…

5 thoughts on “Give ’em Hell, Harry

  1. It seems to me that Harry and Willard are messing with the ancient and honorable practice of journalism. Harry by being a nasty old politician, and a Democrat at that citing a “credible source” for his claim that Willard didn’t pay taxes for an entire decade. And Mitt for doing what we’ve all said of journalist citing un-named sources of information we disagree with; step up and reveal your source. I’m still trying to decide if taxes are the real issue here or if Harry is trying to take away Romney’s real base, the Mormon vote. What if Mitt hasn’t been tithing to the LDS?

  2. I’m sure Reid’s got all sorts of reasons for letting loose, and yes, you’re possibly onto something re: did Mitt tithe sufficiently?
    But what’s been bothering me about this row is the hand-wringing, particularly from the liberal side. One, Romney could release his tax returns and settle all doubt, but two, a good, honest press corps could do some legwork and make a pretty good case one way or the other for, at the very least, whether Reid has a source or is just throwing mud to see what might stick.
    Journalism has always had prima donnas and suck ups, I’d like to think at one time there was, at least with some journalists, an attempt to inform. Now it’s all one-side-said-this, the-other-side-says-that, and whether or not it’s true it sure is…savvy, which…well, sucks.

  3. @Cyb: Really interesting angle. Reid is LDS too and someone in the church could even be his source. There are still a few LDS liberals out there. Some of them are even not named Udall.

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