Even though I complain almost daily about the partisan hackery and unprofessionalism of newspaper journalism, even though Leonid Brezhnev would have drooled at the possibility of having a press as subservient to party ideology as the U.S. mainstream media now is, I didn’t realize it had become quite this corrupt. It’s an AP article by Sharon Theimer that appeared in the Battle Creek Enquirer a few days ago: “The influence game : Toyota’s Powerful DC Friends”
The article happens to make a lot of good points. There are legislators who worked hard to get Toyota to locate in their districts, and who have reason to want Toyota to stay. Those legislators are now the ones who are investigating Toyota’s safety issues. It’s a corrupt arrangement, to say the least.
So what’s wrong with the news media telling us about it?
Nothing. The news media absolutely should tell us about it. They should tell us about it starting when legislators get involved in plant-siting decisions in the first place. That kind of business-government partnership is corrupt from the word go. But it has been going on for years, with encouragement from newspaper editors across the land. It is only when the administration which has made a heavy investment of tax dollars in the former General Motors needs help in attacking one of General Motors’ competitors that the news media have seen fit to point out the problems with this kind of government involvment.
And naturally, this article had not a word to say about the conflict of interest when the corporate owners of General Motors, aka the Obama administration, are the ones that are providing regulatory oversight of General Motors’ competitors.
The next time a Governor John Engler or Jennifer Granholm gets involved in trying to entice a business to locate a plant in our state, will these same news people who pushed this story into print have a word of criticism about this kind of inappropriate role for elected officials? Of course not. It’s only when Public Motors and its influential friends on the left need help in harrassing the competition that they will point out the conflict of interest involving the influential friends of competitors.
The people who can put something like this in print, but only for this purpose, are not ordinary human beings with a conscience and a sense of right and wrong. They are not people who are driven by idealism. These are people who are more Machiavellian than Niccolò Machiavelli, but without the moral scruples.