U.S. Senator Dick Durbin recently held a press conference with members of the mainstream media to talk about the downgrade crisis. But the Senator’s scripted storyline veered off-course when a conservative reporter – me – showed up to ask an embarrassing question. Namely, “Senator, you’ve blamed the tea party…but do you bear any responsibility for this downgrade crisis?”
What, you didn’t hear about this incident in the media? For those of you that need more proof that journalism is dead, read on.
Monday was another beautiful day for a mainstream media cover-up in
Chicago. But it would not have been complete without a picnic-basket
full of hypocrisy from our very own U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of
You may remember Dick.
He’s the Senator that hysterically compared the treatment of the Gitmo detainees to Nazis, Soviet gulags, and Pol Pot. While calling for an end to “hateful” rhetoric, he’s the one who wrongfully pointed his crooked finger at the Tea Party Movement and Gov. Sarah Palin, blaming them for the Tucson massacre and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Recently, he’s the one that, hypocritically, accused the Tea Party Republicans of “political extortion” in the debt ceiling debate.
While the markets were tanking – Durbin took some time out to have a press conference and dish to his friends in the Chicago media about the S&P downgrade of our nation’s sterling credit rating.
Given his history, I expected more of the same accusatory rhetoric about the tea party from Durbin. Since the report of the downgrade hit the newswires last Friday, members of Durbin’s party have been in full anti-tea party spin control.
“The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a tea party downgrade,” said former White House advisor David Axelrod on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Sen. John Kerry must have received the same memo. “This is the tea party downgrade,” said Kerry on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
I went to Durbin’s press conference to set the record straight. My objective: some journalistic balance. Not only did Durbin refuse to answer the question but his cronies in the Chicago media went on the attack.
One of those crony journalists was Jim Anderson, news director for the Illinois Radio Network. You can hear him in the background telling Durbin, “He organizes tea party rallies." In media terms, that’s called being fair and impartial. That’s what a real journalist does.
I stood my ground and asked the question a number of times. “You’re not allowed to ask questions during a press conference,” bleated Anderson. “We are going to have you thrown out by the cops,” he said, running interference for Durbin. In addition to doing news for the Illinois Radio Network, Anderson apparently moonlights as an unpaid member of Dick Durbin’s staff.
A special agent was soon dispatched to have me escorted out of the room, where I, as press, had a right to be. At least, that’s what I read, once upon a time, in the U.S. Constitution.
I am an independent social journalist for the Washington Times Communities and contribute to the American Spectator, and Breitbart.com among others. No other blogger, freelance journalist, or other member of the media was asked to show their credentials at this event. In fact, the event was sponsored by City Club of Chicago and was open to media and the public.
This brings us to the eternal question: Who is media and who is not? Who gets to decide? Sen. Dick Durbin? His friends in the Chicago media? Are public officials accountable to the public? Do we have the right to question authority? Or must we just accept what they bestow upon us? Do we have the right to question the media? Or do we have to let the so-called “real” journalists impose their own idea of news? Of truth?