What to make of elite journalists trading their quills and cameras for water guns and a few laughs with the White House subjects they’re supposed to be covering? Glenn Greenwald writes that “all of this just helpfully reveals what our nation’s leading ‘journalists’ really are: desperate worshipers of political power who are far more eager to be part of it and to serve it than to act as adversarial checks against it—and who, in fact, are Royal Court Spokespeople regardless of which monarch is ruling.”
In case you missed it, media bigwigs such as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Ed Henry got wet and wild at chez Biden over the weekend, giddily tweeting things like “Rahm was chasing Mrs Biden & she hid behind me so i got in his crosshairs—now i know how Sestak felt.”
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
About all of this, Ambinder writes:
“Does an afternoon of leisure with senior administration officials violate journalistic ethics? To many, the self-evident answer is: ‘Absolutely.’ I have a different view, although perhaps it’s a way to rationalize my own decision to attend the Bidens’ first beach party for journalists. . . .”
Yes, “perhaps.” I personally don’t think that these types of interactions “violate journalistic ethics” because I don’t think such a thing exists for them. Rather, all of this just helpfully reveals what our nation’s leading “journalists” really are: desperate worshipers of political power who are far more eager to be part of it and to serve it than to act as adversarial checks against it—and who, in fact, are Royal Court Spokespeople regardless of which monarch is ruling. That’s why they’re invited into the heart of Versailles to frolic with the King’s most trusted aides: it’s their reward for loyal service as Court courtiers. Just marvel at the self-abasing joy in which Ed Henry wallows by virtue of getting to play water sports with Emanuel and the Bidens. He sounds like a gushing pre-adolescent who just met his favorite boy band idol and got his water gun signed. Digby asks, quite rhetorically: “do you think this sort of thing makes it easier or more difficult for journalists to maintain their independence?”
With total disregard for his own safety, CNN’s Ed Henry commits an act of modern journalism, capturing this photo of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wielding a fully-loaded water gun.