The only hookers Fox WON'T cover ...
As Media Matters has repeatedly documented, if there's one kind of story Fox News likes nearly as much as partisan smears of progressives, it's a story about the sex trade. From the arrest of a man who left his son in his unlocked vehicle while he went to a strip club to a porn star at a fundraiser to Playboy's newest Playmate of the Year to interviews with Victoria's Secret models to a segment advising women to show "less skin" at the workplace (a segment that, naturally, required Fox to air images of women showing a great deal of skin) to a piece about a pole-dancing Pamela Anderson, Fox takes every available opportunity to broadcast photos and video of scantily clad women.
So when you have a story that involves A) prostitutes and B) corrupt politicians, you would think Fox News would be all over it, taking advantage of the ratings gold that had fallen into its lap.
Ah, but the corrupt politicians allegedly involved are Republicans. That changes everything, doesn't it? And not just for Fox News -- as blogger Joshua Micah Marshall has noted, major media outlets have all but ignored a story about "members of Congress getting sauced up at rollicking parties and set up with hookers by crooked defense contractors in exchange for help bagging pricey defense contracts." Marshall and his colleagues at TPMMuckracker.com (along with Harper's Magazine's Ken Silverstein and The Wall Street Journal's Scot J. Paltrow) have taken the lead in covering the federal investigation into whether contractors implicated in the bribery case of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (currently serving a jail term for his misdeeds) provided Cunningham and other members of Congress with prostitutes and free limousines and hotel suites. As part of the probe, Silverstein wrote, the FBI is reportedly investigating current and former lawmakers on congressional defense and intelligence committees, "including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post" -- a description that fits CIA director Porter Goss to a "T."
Now, I haven't blogged about this, or Porter Goss's conspiciously abrupt resignation, because it's really not my sort of story. While I might mention something like that when I stumble across it, it's other, larger matters that concern me, above and beyond one corrupt and incompetant Bush appointee, more or less.
Likewise, I tend to shrug at the "immorality" of public officials. I'm less concerned with their morals and more with their professional ethics. So long as their peccadilos are confined to consenting adults and well-paid professionals, I feel it's none of my business.
However, I do get testy about government officials who screw the pooch AND prostitutes with an equal lack of finesse and a media that takes neither seriously unless, of course, the official has the wrong politics.
I have this old-fashioned idea that the calling of a journalist is to tell the truth, no matter what it does to any favorite sacred cows. When media whores itself out to the highest bidder, it ceases to deserve respect as "The Fifth Estate."
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tag: journalistic ethics, free media, media matters, porter goss, MSM, propaganda