Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Power Corrupts

Walter Kirn, who is guest blogging for Andrew Sullivan, has a great post on the corrupt incestuousness of the DC press corps:

What big-time Washington journalists largely do these days, in my experience, is to get as close as possible to power, socially and in every other way, while maintaining the legal fiction that they aren't implicated in its workings. They send their kids to school with power's kids, they marry it, they go to parties with it, they jabber with it on the phone, they watch the game with it from adjoining seats, and, as a natural result, they keep its confidences - until, that is, some secret leaks out anyway and they have to pretend that they didn't already know it but will get to the bottom of it immediately or that they knew it all along and just weren't telling their audiences because they were bound by some lofty code of ethics that allows them to do the jobs they rarely do. They're profound double-dealers, is what I'm saying, who pay for their access, influence, and by going along and getting along until it's simply too embarrassing not to. They reserve their best stories for one another, publishing them only when they have to and feeling very nervous when they do, because it might screw up the Great Arrangement. And afterwards, once the secrets are on the street, it often comes out that they were common knowledge among the people whose jobs it was to tell them.


ultrarunningmybuttoff said...

Power definitely corrupts. Great post about the way things really are. It is a shame that we only get the information that they think we need to get. Here's my anti war blog if u want to take a peek.Have a great week.J

QPRHigh said...

I agree completely. What's funny about this arrangement is how poorly foreign relations and defense matters are communicated by the press, in the cases where they do decide to communicate them. Is this due uniquely to their own ignorance, to their inability to clearly describe particular issues (especially in the case of television "journalists" trying to describe a particular issue or strategy in 30 seconds), or ignorance they share with the "power elite"?