Apparently, Etheridge Was Simply Caught In An Unflattering Moment

Just imagine for a moment, if you will, that Bob Etheridge (D-NC2) was a Republican. The media coverage would not be quite so flattering. Editorials would be written about how bad this incident was. They would demand a criminal investigation, and, perhaps, well, probably, demand he resign. Instead, we get

The video was harsh. There was U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, a grandfather with a nice-guy reputation, fuming on a Washington sidewalk. He grabbed the wrist of a young man – then the scruff of the man’s neck – all the while demanding: “Who are you? Who are you?”

The Internet video immediately dominated cable television Monday, highlighting a growing trend in political discourse: bloggers and students catching politicians off guard, recording unflattering moments, then blasting them across the Internet.

Pardon me, but, an unflattering moment? That is an interesting way to describe simple assault by an elected official being asked a simple question by, God forbid, a citizen of the United States. Remember that important speech by Lincoln, where he describes government by the people, for the people?

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The article in the Raleigh News and Observer, the main paper out of the state capital, goes on to mostly focus on citizen journalism, the video going viral, cable news (they mean Fox), Conservatives with cameras, and partisan journalism, as if that all somehow excuses Etheridge’s actions. So much for the media being the watchdog to keep government in check. There was, in fact, a reason “The Press” was mentioned specifically in the 1st Amendment: namely, to give them the ability to investigate and report on the government without reprisal, the same reason Free Speech was mentioned. It wasn’t so the media could stick their noses into the affairs of celebrities and other private citizens.

What will come of this whole affair? More than likely, Etheridge will be defeated by his Republican challenger, Renee Elmers. But, coverage of the assault will disappear by the end of the week, if it even makes it past Wednesday, within the Old Media. It has, for the most part, already started. A good chunk of the NC media have no new stories today, though they do have yesterday’s on their front pages. For the moment. Usually mentioning his “apology.”

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach

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