Private citizens doing the job investigative reporters won't do
As explained here yesterday, Rich Weinstein, an investment banker and private citizen, with just average computer skills and higher than average persistence, uncovered the video of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber admitting that voter stupidity and deliberate lack of government transparency were necessary for the passage of the (Un-)Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, in which he was involved.
This revelation raises the question: why didn't any investigative reporter with access to the right people, a basic understanding of the problems involved with the ACA, paid for persistence and – most importantly – a chance for a career-making scoop undertake the investigative part of the job and make the discovery? And where were the fabled watchdogs – governmental and non-governmental – when they were so desperately needed?
Peter Igemi of Da Tech Guy Blog provides one answer.
It’s not the suggestion that lawmakers were trying to hide the true meaning and costs of the law. After all lawmakers have spun or twisted law for the sake of personal power, pandering or achieving particular ends since before Daniel was tossed into the Lion’s den but something more subtle.
What is implicit is the idea that said deception would be entirely successful. Why? Because he understood that the media would not reveal and/or report on it. (italics in original)
There is a specific reason why the Bill of Rights after explicitly protecting freedom of speech specifically mentioned the freedom of the press, it’s because the press has the power to amplify that freedom far beyond the individual. While one might be able to downplay or defame an individual making a claim such tactics are considerably less effective when applying them to a press organization (although in fairness the administration has done their best when it comes to Fox News).
Because of that explicitly granted privilege the press has an obligation to honestly and accurately report the goings on of government in order that the people deciding who shall rule them can make their decision based on the merits.
That the press didn’t do their job in reporting on this deception is despicable but the fact that the administration and their allies took it as rote that said press act in that fashion should be a matter of personal disgrace to any person who claims the Constitutional protections of a journalist. (italics added)
Postscript. That being said, this report was almost a given:
Since the video was uploaded, the major English and Spanish broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, and Telemundo have chosen not to cover this devastating video on either their morning or evening newscasts. (italics in original)
Nothing to see here; move along.
Igemi then links to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, who asked (italics in original):
If the Gruber video had come out before the election, would the GOP have picked up Virginia and New Hampshire? Quite possibly.
As Reynolds is fond of noting, reporters, investigative ones included, are merely Democrat operatives with bylines.
But now, with contemporary electronic tools available to everyone and just about everything videoed, recorded, and accessible online, it is time for non-bylined Democrats, such as presumed amateurs Weinstein and James O'Keefe proved can be done, to expose even more.
And as Weinstein has shown, with ObamaCare, there is much to be exposed.