Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The real news from Chicago: a thought experiment

By Roger Kimball

But here’s a little thought experiment with which to while away an idle moment. What if John McCain had won the election, and what if the governor of Arizona were not Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, but some Republican pol? And what if the governor had just been arrested on the slate of corruption charges facing Rod Blagojevich? And let’s say that McCain, when confronted with news of the scandal, said (as did Obama yesterday) “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening,” but that McCain’s campaign manager, when asked whether the President Elect would have a role in choosing his successor in the Senate, said (as did David Axlerod, Obama’s campaign manager) “I know he’s talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.” Fix that scenario in your mind’s eye and then ask yourself how the legacy media would react. Would NPR instantly fall over itself to assure everyone that Obama was in NO WAY connected with the scandal? Would The New York Times offer similar assurances and even go so far as to suggest that an ethics bill Obama supported helped bring about the governor’s downfall? Would the campaigner manager’s insistence that he had “misspoke” simply be digested and accepted by most of the MSM?

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