The Obama administration has suffered so many epic scandals that it is hard for any newsroom, much less an individual journalist, to keep up with what is boiling over on the political stove. Unfortunately, White House tethers to the mainstream news media are at an all-time high. Perhaps using the word ‘tethers’ is too passive an analogy. The current relationship between our ‘free press’ and the White House is an umbilical cord. A few media giants readily take the stem cells (talking points) offered by the host and happily embark on creating tissues of lies.
What is the look of this umbilical cord? Let us start with the recently departed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. He is married to Claire Shipman, an ABC network senior correspondent. Personally, I am glad the man has vacated the podium. He was a master of platitudes. President Obama’s Special Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood? Is her husband a tinker, tailor, soldier or sailor? Nope. Ben Sherwood is the president of the ABC news network. What about Ben Rhodes, the man who was the architect of the Benghazi “talking points”? His brother is the CBS network president. So, it comes as no surprise when in a June 26 CBS news video we are asked to endure another assault on our common sense as the President of the United States (POTUS) reminds US citizens there are “phony scandals” afloat in Washington and we should not be “cynical”. At this point, I envision the naked man in the closet and the wife grasping the sheets. Do not be cynical. It is not what it seems.
Are you one of the many viewers who depend on ABC or CBS for an unbiased cavalry-charging attempt to get at the truth regarding the preventable death of an ambassador in Benghazi? Do you look to them for clarity regarding any number of bumbling international mishaps by the current administration? Do you love Meet the Press because they court the unvarnished truth? Imagination is not inspiration. And neither imagination nor inspiration are the bedrock of healthy policy initiatives.
The scandals that continue to rock the people of the US are of immense importance for the future of our Republic. As the latest scandal flashes on the screen, I can now be found muttering, “Diaper Man flies again.” Diaper Man was the leader of a short-lived cartoon series titled Mighty Heroes. He was a fully articulate baby and the brains of the heroic group. He is joined by Strong Man, Rope Man, Tornado Man and Cuckoo Man. Together these mighty heroes find themselves engulfed in ludicrous situations, which are then orchestrated into even worse situations. Combat ineffective, they fall prey to a villain but the heroes always manage to regroup and coordinate their efforts to win the day. Mighty Heroes ran for 21 episodes. It was mercifully short-lived but the Obama administration uses a short-lived cartoon series template to manage its affairs. There is no end of repercussions for the US public but no need to worry. The White House wins the day with the collusion and coordination of a stagnant and bloated press corps, which has a preference for privilege over duty — receiving plums instead of looking for crumbs. So let me use some of the Diaper Man cartoon titles to discuss White House scandals.
The Ghost Monster: It was the evening of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi. We all know the story and there is no need to recount much except two salient facts: US Ambassador Christopher Stevens was under attack at the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. A complete stand down on military intervention cost him his life. The ghost monster was a YouTube video. Susan Rice took the stem cells and created a tissue of lies. It saddens me to know that we are capable of mounting a mission that reaches into the heart of Pakistan to bring an assault on the Osama bin Laden compound but when the diplomatic compound of our own ambassador is under attack, there is a failure to respond. This is dereliction of duty.
The Shrinker: The IRS scandal continues with all talk and no action. Shrinking the pool of evidence against Lois Lerner and the IRS seems to be the order of the day. In legal terms, this is spoliation of evidence — the intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, alteration or destruction of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding. When a party destroys evidence, it may be reasonable to infer ‘consciousness of guilt’ or other motivation to scrub a trail of forensic evidence. Obstruction of justice charges can be brought by the Department of Justice (DoJ). The POTUS will do no such thing. He must also protect himself from self-incrimination in what seems to be the deployment of the IRS as a miniaturised, digital army against conservative Christian organisations and their voting pools. British colonists rose up against the misuse of the power of the purse and a new nation was birthed. The US people are capable of doing it again.
The Drifter: The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has attempted to manage their own scandal with spoliation of evidence with a new twist. Not only are the e-mails of former EPA employee Phillip North “lost”, it appears that the poor man is also lost at sea. The Senate Oversight Committee dealing with his “crashed hard drive” has now been alerted that Mr. North has taken off for a yearlong boat trip and he cannot be located. He is probably drinking Mai Tai cocktails at a resort in Tahiti.
The Shocker: The majority of US citizens remain in a state of shock regarding a bi-level prison break. Five top Taliban leaders broke out of Guantanamo Bay. One military deserter nobody gives a damn about escaped from Afghanistan.
The Proton Pulsator: In the last 12 months, 58,000 children have crossed our southern border into the US. Our borders are not secure. Our laws are not enforced. What keeps the man with a dirty bomb from also making that trek?
Diaper Man flies again!
The writer is a freelance journalist and author of the novel Arsenal. She can be reached at email@example.com