Beto O’Rourke was a member of a teenage hacking crew. Perhaps the only interesting thing anyone’s ever said about him actually. A Reuters reporter sat on this information during the Senate race against Ted Cruz. Hmm, right, the nation’s press is politically impartial, isn’t it?
Imagine the same basic information being known about Ted Cruz. That he had, as a teenager, been a lawbreaker. This would have been sat upon in a tight Senate race, wouldn’t it? Sure it would, no reporter of any American journalistic outlet would have wanted to disrupt the democratic mandate, would they?
You know, just like George Bush wasn’t assailed with stories about National Guard duty and the Clinton email server was thoroughly investigated and never merely dismissed as a bit of fluff about nothing. Or, indeed, the Clinton Foundation.
It’d be great if reporters stopped handing President Trump ammunition for his attacks on the press. Reuters’ Joseph Menn, for example, discovered prior to the 2018 midterm races that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, was a member of the infamous Cult of the Dead Cow hacking group in the 1980s. As a contributor to the group, the former congressman penned a whole lot of deeply weird and poorly aged fiction and poetry. Yes, he wrote violent and deeply perverted things. Still, teenagers do and say many, many, many regrettable things. The real issue here is that the Reuters journalist offered to sit on the story until after the midterm Senate races had ended, even after O’Rourke had already confirmed in 2017 that he was a member of the group. That is really bad.
Well, no, it’s not really the sitting on it that was really bad.
Reuters is facing ethical questions after admitting that reporter Joseph Menn sat on an unfavorable story about media darling Beto O’Rourke until after his crucial Senate race against Ted Cruz.
What’s bad is this. Does anyone at all think it would have been done if it were O’Rourke (R) instead of O’Rourke (D)? No, obviously not. And that’s what the problem is, that’s what’s bad here.
The British press makes absolutely no bones at all about being deeply politically partisan. Which is fine. There are demagogues on all sides in that British press and I’m even one of them occasionally. I’ve certainly been employed to be one. The American press insists upon privilege as a result of its impartiality. And that’s what’s wrong here. It’s not the sitting on a story, it’s the hypocrisy of the pretence of impartiality.
Did you know that some 90% of even the Wall Street Journal identifies as Democrat? That’s the problem here and Beto O’Rourke and Reuters is only a symptom of it.