Alea Jacta Est?
Are Democratic leaders willing to cross the Rubicon when it comes to the media? One can only hope.
So, let me say that it was a pleasant surprise to see two recent instances when Congressional Democrats showed that they are indeed capable of displaying some spine when it comes to the media. I mention these cases not because I necessarily believe Democrats have realized why and how they need to deal with the media. These may be very well be isolated incidents. But, I'd like to mention them so that Democrats do recognize that their critics will acknowledge it when they (the Dems) do the right thing.
The first case was a diary posted by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), at Daily Kos. The diary itself is short and was basically a brief announcement. What I found significant in the diary is highlighted in bold below:
I'm going to be on Fox (Faux) News
by Rep Louise Slaughter
I will be on Fox News Live to discuss the ongoing House Ethics rules scandal at about 5:10pm ET. Be sure to log in after watching and post your comments and reviews. Keep your fingers crossed we all know how Fox can be. I will give it my best and make certain our voice is heard on the ultra-conservative "news" network.
Dare I say that every Democrat in Congress should be saying the same thing from today: it's Faux News folks, not Fox News.
Let me also say this: Congresswoman Slaughter, you have clearly signaled a strong interest in crossing the Rubicon - so Godspeed to you.
The second case relates to a message from House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), via Atrios:
In a recent column, Robert Novak claimed that HouseDemocrats.gov "went blank after Republicans complained that its language was over-the-top for an official site that bar partisan rhetoric." Apparently, Mr. Novak's reporting is only accurate when he is blowing the cover of CIA operatives.
HouseDemocrats.gov was indeed down - for technical maintenance. It is now back up and running, with several new features including Dear Mr. President, Abuse of Power, Ethics, and the GI Bill.
If expressing the views and values of the House Democrats can be labeled as "partisan rhetoric," what does Mr. Novak call the taxpayer-funded work of Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Mike McManus?
The last sentence is a bad frame because House Democrats expressing their opinion on their own website is not propaganda. So, Rep. Pelosi would have been better off without this kind of a comparison. That said, would it be too optimistic of me to hope that this is the beginning of a trend?
P.S. If Democratic leaders don't feel comfortable putting the Liars, Inc. in their place, on their own, can't they at least find some able proxies?
P.P.S. My all time favorite so far (not that there's a lot to pick a favorite from :-(...) was Gen. Wesley Clark's strong takedown of Faux News during a live interview in late 2003. Readers, please mention any notable examples I may have missed, in the comments.