Romney’s Taxes and the Media
Sen. Reid made a statement on the floor of the Senate alleging that Gov. Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years. Sen. Reid indicated that the information came from unnamed sources over the phone with nothing to support the allegation.
A senator made serious accusations in public, on the Senate floor against a major party candidate for President without a shred of evidence. A person on the phone who was not identified, who probably has no way to know the facts, informed Sen. Reid that Gov Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.
Is Sen. Reid so gullible that a phone call with serious allegations but no facts is enough to convince Sen. Reid that he must make a public announcement accusing a public figure of serious wrong doing? Is Sen. Reid that irresponsible, to make a baseless accusation with nothing to back it up? With absolutely nothing to indicate the accusation is true, and with the flimsiest of information, let alone real proof, a Senator stands on the floor of the Senate and makes outrageous accusations against a man running for president. How can this happen in the information age?
The media should have jumped on the obvious story. The media is supposed to be the watch dog for the public. A public figure should not be allowed to make unfounded accusations in public about a candidate running for office. The media should have jumped on the story and focused on Sen. Reid’s baseless accusation. The focus should have been on his deliberate attempt to plant a negative impression on a candidate with absolutely no facts to back up the accusation.
Sen. Reid made the accusation because there are no negative consequences to making false accusations. The media should serve as the public’s watchdog and pounce on public figures who say things that they can’t back up. If Sen. Reid can back up what he accused then the public should be made aware of the facts.
The media let us down. The media should learn what journalists used to do. Effective journalists could smell a story and pounce on it and dig until they got to the truth. When the truth was discovered they would publish it and then brag of their scoop. They beat out other professional journalists to a real good story.
Today the unprofessional and incompetent media will allow a public figure to make either a false accusation about a public figure. They miss the story and they miss the opportunity to be first to serve the public in a positive way. Protect the public, i.e. taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, the people the senate works for.
We have a senator who feels comfortable making unfounded yet serious accusations in public and the media doesn’t feel an obligation to make that senator produce more facts to support his allegations or to shut up.
I could arrange to receive an anonymous phone call alleging that a prominent senator frequently molested underage students at an all girl school and then make public announcements about the allegations. I know it’s Ok because there are no consequences to doing it. The media won’t challenge me so maybe I’ll do it. If I make the allegations the senator will have to prove he didn’t commit any of the felonies I allege, unless the media does choose to challenge my baseless accusations.
My job requires me to be accurate and consistent, but then maybe that’s not a requirement in all professional endeavors.
This story should be about the senator’s audacity to allude to wrong doing that may not be true. How dare a senior member of government make serious accusations in public with no challenge from the media? How do they consider themselves professionals if they don’t see that as a story?
The media’s failure should be the big story here, but of course it isn’t.