In 1884 Scientific American gave its position on whether a tree falling in the woods makes a sound. "If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound," page 218 of the April 5 article said.
This phenomenon can be adapted to politics.
If a scandal occurs and the media ignore it, has it really happened? Recently, America’s last president and his former sidekick, who seeks to be its next one, have reminded us the answer is no.
In March, former President Barack Obama told a crowd in Canada he was “proud that we left office without a scandal.” After announcing his 2020 presidential bid last week, former Vice President Joe Biden told America’s foremost political panel, “The View,” “not one whisper of a scandal” emanated from the White House while he and Obama worked there.
Not even a whisper. Maybe that’s why no one heard about it.
Or just maybe no one heard such whispers because the national media held its collective hands over its ears for eight long years.
This Obama-Biden we’re-scandal-free routine is as tiresome as it is wrong, and made even more so because our ever-woke media refuses to wake up to correct the record. That falls almost exclusively to conservative news outlets whose work, with perhaps the exception of The Wall Street Journal, is as welcome within the national press “corpse” as a skunk at a picnic.
Nonetheless, some conservatives are up to the task. Wish them well.
Last week David Harsanyi, a senior editor at The Federalist, retweeted a column he wrote in May 2018 outlining some mighty trees that fell under Obama.
Harsanyi recalls the federal gun-running operation Fast and Furious, which got people killed. That nasty business generated a separate scandal when Obama asserted executive privilege and prevented his self-proclaimed “wingman,” Attorney General Eric Holder, from testifying before Congress — otherwise known as that necessary oversight business Democrats now prattle on about. Accordingly, Holder became the first AG in U.S. history to be held in contempt by Congress.
Harsanyi further notes the Veterans Administration’s cooked-book wait-listing of patients — which also got people killed, the IRS hounding conservative nonprofit groups, Holder’s department surveilling reporters and rousting them for records, Obama’s CIA and national security directors lying to Congress about spying on Americans, the Secret Service chasing hookers on the job, the phony motive given for the killing of a U.S. ambassador and three aides in Benghazi — the investigation of which, thanks to former GOP Congressman Trey Gowdy, helped uncover Hillary Clinton’s usage of a home-brew email server.
Mainstream media may have offered coverage of these events — probably within the context of some Republican congressman like Gowdy making a stink about them. Yet, as the rest of us well understand, none of these matters was met with the intensity, scrutiny, or longevity the media casts on President Donald Trump’s opening morning tweet.
Meanwhile, Glenn Beck’s network, The Blaze, reported last month on how Joe Biden, as vice president, helped secure deals worth billions of taxpayer dollars for projects involving his brother and son.
Trees fell under Obama for eight years and continue to do so. Is anyone listening?
Bill Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the editorial page editor of The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida.