The saga of Chris Christie is a testimony to what happens when you have a vigorous local press. If you'll remember, this story was blown wide open by the reporting from New Jersey's second-largest newspaper, The Record of Bergen County. The Texas Democratic Senate primary, sadly, may be an example of the other end of the spectrum. For those who missed it, an alarming poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune shows that the frontrunner for the nomination is Kesha Rogers, a loud-and-proud follower of Lyndon LaRouche.
Rogers openly bills herself as a "LaRouche Democrat" and openly calls for Obama to be removed from office--either by way of impeachment or being declared insane under the terms of the 25th Amendment. She also claims that Obamacare is a kissing cousin to a Nazi-era program--one of many reasons several of her campaign posters feature Obama with a Hitler mustache.
I respectfully submit that had the press adequately vetted her beforehand, Rogers wouldn't even be in the discussion. For instance, if they had done even a cursory amount of research, they would have turned up this little gem Rogers put up during her 2012 run for TX-22 (the DeLay district) claiming that Obama was insane, set to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
Does anyone seriously think Rogers would be in the discussion if this video had surfaced sooner?
I'm reminded of a similar situation two years ago in South Carolina. If you'll remember, the favored Democratic candidate to derail Jim DeMint's bid for a second term, Vic Rawl, was upset in the primary by Alvin Greene. To say that Greene came from out of nowhere would be an understatement. He had no campaign to speak of--no yard signs, no Website, nothing. this led to charges that he was a Republican plant. However, it was only after the primary that it was discovered he was facing felony obscenity charges for showing a pornographic image to a female student at the University of South Carolina and then propositioning her. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that had this come out BEFORE the primary, we wouldn't have even had any discussion about whether he was a real candidate or a plant. All somebody had to do was check public records on Greene before the primary. Simply put, the South Carolina press failed to do its job--and as a result, DeMint pretty much got handed a second term.
As we all know, newspaper budgets across the country have been cut to the bone. But just a little bit of checking on Google could have unearthed enough information to prove that Rogers was not a credible candidate. And if the press isn't willing to fulfill this role, then someone needs to fill the void and fast. But what about the blogosphere, you ask? well, someone has to reach those who aren't political junkies. The integrity of our electoral system may very well be at stake.