Selective detectives

Journalists can uncover just about any fact they want. They can also downplay, obfuscate, or totally ignore information that doesn't fit their templates. Joseph Sean McVey proves this point, especially in contrast to the media's treatment of Barack Obama. Since McVey's arrest at the Asheville (NC) airport we've learned more about this obscure Ohioan than we ever learned about the President.

Media investigators wasted no time uncovering McVey's "birther" opinions about President Obama's residency status and qualifications for office. In the media's eyes McVey is a bona fide right-wing crank with the IQ of a turnip, just like every other opponent of the President's agenda. McVey also uses Obama's middle name--Hussein--confirming his place among single-cell organisms.

Through the media's investigative prowess we've learned exactly what items McVey's car contained when he was arrested, from ballistics charts to police sirens. Oh, and speaking of arrest, only a few days were required to reveal McVey's 2006 arrest in West Virginia for displaying an illegal blue light.

McVey's home and hobbies have been exposed, too. Media outlets informed us that he lives in Coshocton, Ohio, about an hour's drive east of Columbus. In fact, we know that McVey lives in a simple white house on a country road that twists through the forested hillsides just south of Coshocton. He's a ham-radio operator, a religious weather observer and has more than a passing interest in police work. McVey also volunteers with police and fire crews during emergencies.

No time was wasted uncovering McVey's potential reward for packing heat at the Asheville airport, where Air Force One was whisking the President out of town. The misdemeanor charge could net him 120 days in the jug. We learned that his Ohio driver's license was invalid and now his concealed weapons permit is, too, having been revoked by the Coshocton County Sheriff.

No doubt the dutiful media will unearth even more startling details of McVey's life, such as his favorite breakfast cereal, his shoe size, the prescription for his eyeglasses, or his high school biology grades. Yes, sir. The media can track a piss ant across the Mojave Desert when it serves their purpose. At other times these selective detectives couldn't find Charles Manson at the Corcoran Prison, or they would conveniently conceal what they discovered.

During the presidential campaign the media deftly ignored Barack Obama's issues. They hushed his association with Bill Ayers, a self-proclaimed radical and small "c" communist, and quickly dismissed the Rev. Wright saga. Obama's status as the most liberal legislator in the U.S. Senate earned a pass and the Communist Party USA's euphoric reaction to Obama's election wasn't mentioned at all.

Media outlets praised Obama's speaking prowess. But they uttered nary a peep when he called a reporter "sweetie", bungled off-prompter speeches, or claimed to have campaigned in 57 states. Silence was the rule when Obama said his healthcare reforms would lower employer premiums by a mathematically impossible 3000-percent.

Had a disfavored politician made similar statements, or kept like company, reporters would've pounced like hungry lions. Don't believe it? Have you seen Dan Quayle lately? And why was a five-percent unemployment rate wholly unacceptable during a Republican administration but a ten-percent unemployment rate is considered an economic recovery under Obama?

It's not that media pundits don't know the history of our 44th President. They've just chosen to let it pass quickly or to suppress it altogether. As for Joseph Sean McVey, he is just a means to an end. Not even the Secret Service considers him a threat to the President. But the "mainstream media" churns up all the mud McVey's 23 years can offer, all to paint Obama's detractors as loose screws and nutcases.

Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 200 published articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. He can be reached through his website,