Sunday, March 27, 2005

Remember When

David Neiwert has a (as usual) good post. But, I want to highlight this part:

Yes, that is precisely the problem with this model of "balance." But what seems to have eluded everyone on the right is that this is not an isolated problem with C-SPAN. It is, in fact, pervasive throughout the media -- and particularly from self-identified "conservative" media like the "fair and balanced" Fox. And it has been going on for a long time now.

It was not uncommon, in the 1990s, to see clearly outrageous liars like Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and L. Jean Lewis treated not only with kid gloves, but as the chief source of supposedly credible "investigations" into Bill Clinton's private life.

As impeachment fever reached its crescendo in 1999, this willingness to treat blatant falsehoods as "the other side of the story" became pervasive. It was not uncommon to see Barbara or Ted Olson, or Mark Levine, or Ann Coulter, or some other congenital frothing-at-the-mouth Clinton-hater fulminate all over the tube daily with some bizarre speculation or other based in nothing but groundless conspiracy theories and a heavy dose of bile. It continued through the 2000 election, when we were told constantly that "Al Gore says he invented the Internet" and, later, that machine recounts were more accurate than hand recounts.

I lived through it, but even now the journalistic "excesses" of the Clinton years shock me when I'm reminded of them. I was hunting for something unrelated today, and I came across a full segment on Fat Tim's Meet the Press where he interviewed Gary Aldrich. Aldrich, you may remember, claimed in his book that the Clintons hung crack pipes from the White House Christmas Tree.