All right-thinking people agree that Debra Saunders, the Chronicle’s
token house conservative columnist, is woefully misguided on a vast number of political and policy issues. One thing she is not, however, is lacking in integrity.
So when U.S. Rep. Pete Stark this week falsely and recklessly accused her – in front of her boss — of violating the most basic standards of ethical journalism, it closed the case once and for all of just what a doddering old fool he’s become.
The 20-term East Bay congressman is now an utter embarrassment to himself and his constituents, and if he has a shred of dignity left, he should immediately withdraw from his re-election race, before his self-imposed humiliation gets even worse.
In the ugliest ed board meeting since Clint Reilly was carried out on a stretcher from the old Examiner, Stark a) mendaciously accused Saunders of donating money to primary opponent Eric Swalwell’s campaign; b) haplessly confused Solyndra, the scandal-wracked solar energy company, and Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, both in his district; c) continued backfilling on his earlier unscrupulous charge that Swalwell has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in “bribes.” Video of the whole thing is here.
Of course, this represents just the latest in a decades-long pattern of outrageous behavior by Stark, ranging from his threat to throw a journalist out of a window to his browbeating exchange with a constituent in which he spoke of urinating on the man’s leg and his ad hominem attack on a colleague whom he called a “cocksucker.”
Never mind the episodes in which he gallantly referred to a female House member as a “whore” or described an African-American cabinet member as a “disgrace to his race,” among other classy outbursts.
To their everlasting discredit, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues have long enabled and tolerated the thuggish behavior of the “dean” of the Congressional delegation. Enough already.
Great fares to Dallas! It won’t be long before the afflict-the-afflicted, union-busting crowd starts waving around the latest issue of “Chief Executive” magazine pronouncing California the “worst” state in which to do business and heaping praise on the oh-so-enlightened policies in Texas.
This plaintive caterwauling doubtless will quickly be followed by thunderous denunciations of greedy public employees and onerous “job-killing” regulations like those intended to, you know, reduce levels of air pollution, toxic sludge in the soil and oil befouling beaches.
A smidgen of perspective on this one: we were shocked – shocked! – to find that the top 10 “business-friendly” states all happen to be run by Republican governors. Not to mention that the kind of one-percenter CEOs who cast their votes in the survey have many hundreds of millions of personal reasons to prefer the exploitation ethos of the Lone Star state; a new Economic Policy Institute study finds that CEO salaries spiked 725 percent in the three decades between 1978 and 2011, while the wages of average workers increased, um, 5.7 percent. This easy-to-read chart tells the story.
Read of the week: Amid the MSM’s endless self-referential and self-congratulatory gushing over the White House Correspondents Dinner, we find ourselves agreeing with the National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, who nails the reverse snobbery of Beltway geniuses who love to label the event the “nerd prom.”
Suddenly, we’re supposed to call the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner the “nerd prom.” Hundreds of media outlets have recycled that description.
And, frankly, I find it offensive. George Clooney doesn’t go to “nerd proms.” Nor do Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan. I’ve been to a half dozen correspondents’ dinners, and nerds were far less well represented than rent-seeking K Street sleazeballs, social-climbing poseurs, and power-hungry pols of all parties.
Not to put too fine a point on it.
Press Clips: Speaking of media hypocrisy, how about those big time tribunes of the First Amendment battling the FCC’s effort to require details of political ad spending at MSM outlets to be posted online? We demand transparency! Except for ourselves.
Amid the latest depressing data about print advertising dug out by our old friend Alan Mutter over at Reflections of a Newsosaur, Calbuzz was surprised and even briefly cheered at news that J-school types are still finding work. Fortunately, we quickly descended back into our default mood of grumpy geezer gloom.
How the White House put the kibosh on news of Obama’s trip to Afghanistan. (Hint: they lied).
Headline of the week: “Dinosaurs were Drained of blood by Gigantic Horror Fleas.”