Thursday, June 25, 2009


Zach Roth writes:

None of these are the biggest crimes in the world, but still: It feels absurd to have to point this out, but politicians and their staffers frequently have reason to dissemble, about issues far more important than an extra-marital affair. Too often, though, the press treats public statements from elected officials' offices -- especially those purporting simply to provide information, like the Appalachian Trail line -- as self-evidently accurate. It's as if, despite everything, some in the press can't quite bring themselves to believe that politicians might try to mislead people.

I don't think this is quite right. I think members of the press believe politicians and their staffs lie, they just think that they don't have the guts to lie to them. It is, as I said before, a belief based in part on the idea that they will use their journalism power to damage anyone who does. But then they don't.