Excerpt Of The Day: Blankley On The Media Meltdown Over Bird Shot Gate

“As I understand the profound concern of the ever-alert White House reporters, they smell a constitutional crisis because the shooting party failed to alert the media of the accidental shooting down in Corpus Christi, Texas. Well, actually, they did alert the Corpus Christi media — but that didn’t count. Unless the exalted ones have been formally informed by an official government press secretary, no public communication has technically occurred.

I checked the bylaws of the White House press corp, and they are right. It seems that the bylaws refer to Article XXIII of the U.S. Constitution, which expressly designates that White House reporters with a minimum annual income of $375,000 (plus minimum stock options equal to not less than two-thirds their yearly salary, plus use of driver and long sedan during business hours, of which hours must include post-deadline dinner engagements of a semi-social nature) are the exclusive recipients of all government information.

If information isn’t hand-delivered in gilt-edged paper to them while they are reclined on their chaise lounges, it hasn’t been released to the public. And if they don’t report a fact, it hasn’t happened. This provision is vital to a vigorous and independent free press. [I should note, my copy of the Constitution must be outdated, because it doesn’t have an Article XXIII.]

Of course, this provision technically makes the White House press corp not reporters, but receivers — sort of glorified shipping clerks, but with the prerogative to re-write and re-package the material before they deliver it to the public.

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When an out-of-town newspaper got the scoop, the dignity of the White House press corp had been impeached, so they threw a public temper tantrum. As that has worked for many of them since their early childhood, they obviously expect it to work while on the job — to use the term loosely.

…Most of us can tolerate arrogance if it is accompanied by extraordinary capacity and virtuosity. The brilliant scientist, the war-winning general, the great artists are entitled to their pride.

But the hallmark of the Washington Press corp these days is mediocrity, groupthink, a lack of curiosity and rampant careerism. These attributes were all on show in the shooting party incident.” — Tony Blankley

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