EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 17, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — News organizations are in Obama’s pocket

To the editor:

The great majority of today’s major news organizations have so deeply burrowed into Barack Obama’s voluminous back pocket that when his calves itch, they scratch. In terms of what has evolved as the primary function of federal operations in this administration, i.e., protecting the Administration against legitimate inquiry, PBS and CNN, along with Scott Pelley and CBS, Diane Sawyer and ABC and Brian Williams and NBC act far more as conspirators and insiders than as watchdogs and truth seekers.

Searching and reporting are primary rationales for their existence. The freedom to pursue mandates of inquiry and fact-finding abides in our Constitution precisely so that news organizations remain relatively unfettered in pursuit of credible and significant information for the people.

To say that the cited news groups have fallen short of the mark is much like saying that Bernie Madoff made a few bucks in a penny-ante street hustle.

Consider two presidential situations in our recent past.

Inept, would be spies stumbled through a comedy of errors attempting to bug the office of the Democratic National Committee in Washington’s Watergate hotel in 1972. The wrongdoers turned out to be zealots for what they saw as rightful causes. The perpetrators’ criminal actions soon became secondary to the question of what part, knowledge, or even possible participation in the ill-conceived scheme could be connected to Richard Nixon. As unrelenting inquiries by all media news functions — TV, radio, print, and periodical — intensified, the question became one of whether Nixon was involved in a cover-up of the truth. Nixon eventually resigned his presidency as a result of the Watergate aftermath.

In 1995, Bill Clinton began an affair with an intern. The affair was exposed by a confidante who had secretly taped private conversations. The ensuing scrutiny of all media news operations resulted in a number of public denials from Clinton. He maintained his persona as victim until the intern produced a semen-stained garment, purportedly carrying a Clinton contribution. Within days of this revelation, Clinton acknowledged the inescapable truth he had steadfastly denied.

For his actions throughout a robust investigation into this affair, combined with claims from other women, in December 1998, Clinton was brought up for impeachment on two charges — obstruction of justice and perjury. A very close vote kept the chastised Clinton barely and celibately in the Oval Office.

Through Watergate and the Clinton affair, the reputations of Nixon and Clinton, along with already questionable judgment and integrity, suffered largely.

However, no Americans were murdered, no terrorist involvement was suggested, no international political positions were compromised. But media watchdogs did their jobs. Did I mention that no Americans were murdered?

The Obama administration knew within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi that the attack was terrorist, planned, and without demonstration as context. In short, nothing was “spontaneous.” The administration lied. The lies were delivered by Susan Rice. The face and fixture of the administration is Barack Obama. He knew.

The news agencies that are supposed to investigate, probe, inquire on behalf of the people cowered in the face of duty, fearful that doing their jobs might get them removed from the administration.

We hurtle toward totalitarianism with little commentary and in growing darkness.

Barry McCloskey


Brown’s Fox gig mars future candidacy

To the editor:

Scott Brown is getting a job at Fox? What a surprise.

Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who of course has a lot of interests that the federal government (and just about every other government on the planet) regulates and otherwise oversees. Obviously as well, Murdoch and his family are very rich, too, and want to pay as little of that in taxes as possible.

Fox gives high-paying jobs to a lot of out-of-work politicians, not just here but also in other countries, many of whom will doubtless hold high office again, perhaps including Brown himself.

I’m not calling it bribery. But surely working for someone, especially someone who pays you a heck of a lot of money, strongly tends to make you see a lot of things from their point of view and tends to make you identify with them, even long after you leave.

I worked for Western Electric/Lucent for 10 years and never made more than about $13 an hour, but I still remember the company with a lot of affection, even though I was very happy when I quit and even though I also set a company record for pleasant little talks with my supervisor about my own many failings as an employee.

Is it no coincidence that Fox demoted Sarah Palin and cut her pay to the point that she quit now that it’s obvious that she’ll never hold public office again, unless it’s as a dogsled officer up in the little town where she and Todd spent so much time watching the Ruskies and Mr. Putin through the cross-hairs on the scopes on their high-powered wolf-hunting rifles from the back porch of their double-wide igloo?

I can only say that I’m going to remember this if Brown ever runs for anything where I’ll get to vote against him, even though I happen to agree with him on a lot of things and think that he’s nowhere near as annoying as Professor Warren or whomever the Democrats might choose to run against him. I have a forlorn hope others will, too.

Michael Christian