Thursday, December 18, 2008

Objective Media - Just like the Tooth Fairy

In what I hope will be a continuing series, I begin to look at why I have long been an advocate of an openly partisan media. I'm absolutely serious here. I think newspapers and TV news would be more profitable, and citizens waaaaaay better off with a partisan press.

Today's example - consider the Manhattan Worker's Daily story about all the friggin money that our Most Entertaining President ever raised for his foundation - $500,000,000. That's a lot of zeros for a library and "philanthropic activities" (insert inappropriate joke here). Paragraphs 3-5 give you a full flavor of the slant of this piece:

"The donor list, posted on the web site of the William J. Clinton Foundation,, indicates that his organization accepted multimillion-dollar gifts from a variety of foreign governments, companies and individuals who might have an interest in United States foreign policy. The foundation raised $500 million over the last decade to pay for Mr. Clinton’s presidential library and his philanthropic activities.

Federal law does not require a former president to reveal his foundation’s financial benefactors and Mr. Clinton until now had declined to do so, arguing that many who gave expected confidentiality. But when Mr. Obama asked Mrs. Clinton to join his cabinet, the former president agreed to release his list as part of a nine-point agreement intended to keep his multifaceted activities from compromising his wife’s work if she wins Senate confirmation to become the nation’s top diplomat.

Mr. Clinton’s advocates said the publication of the list showed that he had nothing to hide and argued that most of the largest contributors had already become known. The foundation said that its median gift since its inception came to $45 and that nearly 90 percent of its gifts were $250 or smaller."

Sounds quite reasonable no? I mean all those foreign governments and companies who "might have an interest" in US policy and "Federal law does not require," and my personal favorite paragraph bit about how 90% of the gifts were $250 or smaller. Yeah, just like the local soup kitchen raises money from the Saudi government and George Soros.

Of course that is in pretty stark contrast to the the first four paragraphs from the AP piece:

"Former President Bill Clinton's foundation has raised at least $46 million from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments that his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton may end up negotiating with as the next secretary of state.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit created by the former president to finance his library in Little Rock, Ark., and charitable efforts to reduce poverty and treat AIDS. Other foreign government givers include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica. The Dutch national lottery gave $5 million to $10 million.

The Blackwater Training Center donated $10,001 to $25,000. The State Department -- to be led by Hillary Clinton if she is confirmed -- will have to decide next year whether to renew Blackwater Worldwide's contract to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq. Five Blackwater guards have been indicted by a U.S. grand jury on manslaughter and weapons charges stemming from a September 2007 firefight in Baghdad's Nisoor Square in which 17 Iraqis died.

The foundation disclosed the names of its 205,000 donors on a Web site Thursday, ending a decade of resistance to identifying the sources of its money. While the list is heavy with international business leaders and billionaires, some 12,000 donors gave $10 or less."

And then the AP piece ends with a note about a 450,000 dollar thank you gift from Marc Rich's wife. The MWD piece ends with some legal crap about how this will impact Hilary's new gig. And before I forget, the implication that Bill Clinton somehow acted irresponsibly by asking rich, powerful people he knew for money is hilarious. What's he supposed to do? Stand in front of the Safeway with a bell in a bad Santa outfit?

So let's see, Blackwater, conflict of interest stuff, and the phrase "decade of resistance" concerning the anonymity question from the AP. I should note that the Blonde Bimbo Totalitarian News Corporation posted the AP story. Same news, different story.

News/objectivity never equals 1.

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