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View Diary: Matthews implicated in Abramoff scandal (210 comments)

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  •  Matthews is supposed to be (4.00)
    "investigating" these kinds of confabs, not enabling the smarmy glad-handing.

    If I were a top-tier talking-head investigative journalist confronted with a GOP all-star list attending a massive, expensive "do" fronted by a massively powerful, nearly omnipresent lobbyist king, I would not be participating, I would be taking notes.

    That's the LEAST we can ask of people paid hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to interpret and report and assess the news.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:15:18 PM PST

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    •  If I waited a few more secs I could have saved my (none)
      typing finger and said ditto.  Plus you said it so much more diplomatically.

      Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

      by ETinKC on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:27:43 PM PST

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    •  I see your point (4.00)
      However, I would be interested in finding out how often so-called journalists get involved in charity events that also involve political figures and lobbyists.

      Here are list of somewhat respected and prominent television, newspaper, and magazine "journalists." Can anyone find out how many have ever been involved in such charity events:

      • Ted Koppel
      • Peter Jennings
      • Tom Brokaw
      • Dan Rather
      • Ben Bradlee
      • The Graham family of the Washington Post
      • The Editors at the New York Times
      • Joe Klein
      • Cokie Roberts
      • Jonathon Alter
      • Frank Rich
      • Maureen Dowd

      I could probably think of others but I simply want to make the point that I'm not sure what the ethical standards are for journalists in situation like this. I tried to list people above who seem purely journalist rather than an infotainment mix like Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Larry King, and Matt Laurer who I am almost positive have lent their names to charitable functions that involved people involved in politics.

      At what point is a journalist considered compromised by their associations? Or more importantly, haven't most so-called "journalists" compromised themselves lately? None of us have documented how Brit Hume and Tony Snow have reacted to this scandal and yet they also were involved in this same fundraiser. I fully realize that their association with Fox News makes them more like propaganda co-conspirators. But at what point in Washington or even in the news business is someone no longer considered legitimate because of their associations outside the newsroom.

      Again, my point is that I just don't see this as comparable to Judith Miller's or Bob Woodward's involvement in the spinning of the Iraq War. While Matthews loses further credibility with us guys, I don't see him losing much from his involvement with the rest of his profession. There will be no consequences for his involvement.

      •  Good questions! (none)
        How would we go about finding out?

        I see your distinction, and agree to some extent...however, I think that Matthews, like Woodward, doth protest too much...he should not be talking about the case, given that it is entirely possible that he got some percs from Abramoff - at the very least in the form of more access to powerful people - for his appearance.

        Judith Miller is in a League of her own, given her connections to Mylroie and Pipes.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:49:15 PM PST

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      •  This is a red herring (4.00)
        His co-hosting this event, that is. It's what he's said and done since it started to emerge that Abramoff was so dirty that taints Matthews. Just as it was one thing to rally behind Bush right after 9/11 (or even in the run-up to the Iraq war when few of us knew that the WMD evidence was phony), and another thing entirely to do so for the past couple of years, it was one thing for Matthews to offer his services to Abramoff in early '03, and another thing entirely for him to continue to play down the importance of his misdeeds until just now.

        Btw, your list is a very mixed bag. None are open conservatives, some are consistently anti-BushCo, but some have certainly done their share of sucking up to or at least validating right-wing talking points while knocking down Democrats, especially Roberts, Klein and Brokaw. Which events they may or may not have attended is not necessarily indicative of their professional ethics or political leanings.

      •  I don't see Tweety's co-hosting (none)
        an event that he probably believed was a legitimate charitable fundraiser as a problem per se.  Lots of journalists get involved in such things.  Couric especially is involved in various anti-cancer charities, including one she founded in memory of her late husband, and I'm quite sure that politicians have been prominent guests.  If you are trying to raise public awareness of a particular problem, or influence policy, you will want the involvement of politicians.  And I don't draw a distinction between Tweety and Couric -- Tweety is not an investigative journalist, he is a television "personality," a pundit.  No Bob Woodward, even after Woodward became a shill.  

        What is problematic, in my mind, is Tweety not mentioning that he had a connection with Abramoff and this particular fund.  Perhaps not as bad as Russert not mentioning that his testimony was the testimony that proved that Libby was a lying sack of shit, but still bad.  Even journalists apparently haven't learned that the cover-up is worse than the crime.

        Sometimes you cover your ass with the lame excuses you have, instead of the lame excuses you wish you had. (-3.00, -5.49)

        by litigatormom on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:41:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How easy would it be to figure out (none)
          that Abramhoff was behind the charity?  Because really, in 2003 any journalist/pundit who has enough brains to zip their pants should have been able to figured out that he(Abramhoff) was involved in some pretty sketchy stuff and stay far enough away from anything he was touching so that it can't come back and bite you.  He had already bilked 80+million out of the Indian tribes and  his deal making was spiralling out of control.  According to the Washington Post, link by early 2003 he was bouncing checks around town.  From everything I hear about Washington it is a very small town and people find out other people's business pretty quickly.  

          I don't know now if he is trying to cover by his 'move along, nothing to see here folks' reporting/punditting on this....his idiocy, his duplicity or both.  

          Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

          by strengthof10kmen on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 10:09:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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