The Corner

In Praise of Schadenfreude

This is hilarious: 

Reporters across The Associated Press are outraged over the Justice Department’s sweeping seizure of staff phone records – and they say such an intrusion could chill their relationships with confidential sources.

In conversations with POLITICO on Tuesday, several AP staffers in Washington, D.C., described feelings of anger and frustration with the DOJ and with the Obama administration in general.

“People are pretty mad — mad that government has not taken what we do seriously,” one reporter said on Tuesday. “When the news broke yesterday…people were outraged and disgusted. No one was yelling and screaming, but it was like, “Are you kidding me!?”

Welcome to gangland, kids. As I wrote a couple of months ago over at PJ Media: 

The Obama administration, I believe, will come to rue the day it declared war on the dean of the Washington press corps, Bob Woodward of Watergate fame. Now, I have never met Woodward, although I’ve been friendly with Carl Bernstein, the other half of the Watergate duo, for many years. But from what I know of both men, and of the journalists of their generation, I believe them to be good old-fashioned reporters for whom the story is everything. And if this is the moment when the last remnants of what used to be the American journalistic establishment dig in their heels and finally draw the line on rank partisanship – well, it’s about good and goddamned time.

It’s axiomatic today that “mainstream” journalists are corrupt tools of the liberal ascendancy, ethical roundheels who finally found Mr. Dreamboat in Barack Hussein Obama and have spent the years since 2008 lying on their backs and moaning. And that’s partly true. Obama was the culmination of everything they had wished for since the civil-rights movement, which to journalists of a certain age is the equivalent of Mao’s Long March, the event by which they define themselves. . . .

All those things are true, and yet – speaking as someone who began his journalistic career in 1971 – they are more true of the younger generation(s) of journalists, kiddies like the Juicebox Mafia ideologues masquerading as reporters, for whom leftist attitude is everything, especially when it is put to the service of the Democratic Party. That is to say, I hope and pray that some of us old coots still believe in the reporter’s core mission: to find out the truth and publish it. Period. That the thrill lies in the hunt, and it doesn’t matter which variety of big game you’re hunting as long as you bag it.

Why is anybody surprised by the tactics of this administration? Starting with the 2008 campaign, some of us have been warning about the fundamental nature of a crew whose explicit goal was the fundamental transformation of the United States of America. Today, as scandal piles upon scandal, the press finally seems to be waking up to the fact that it’s been had. 

In the interests of assisting my younger media colleagues, may I simply point them to the history of Chicago under (as it happens) the last Republican ever elected mayor there, Big Bill Thompson, whose reign coincided with the Capone era and, of course, the very model of the modern corrupt journalist, Jake Lingle. Any resemblance to figures currently active in Chicago and Washington is entirely intentional.

You know what they say: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Enjoy the history lesson, with this switch: first time farce, second time tragedy. Karl Marx, wrong again — as usual. 


Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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