Reporters sat mute as Rep. Trey Gowdy asked them questions about Benghazi that reporters can’t answer. Reporters normally don’t respond to questions posed by a person who calls a press conference, and this time they didn’t either.
As a long-time Chicago newspaper reporter, I probably would have not answered the questions either; that’s not normal practice. But I would have gone back to the newsroom, itemized the questions and sat down with my editor to explain why these questions must be answered. If not just to preserve our self-respect. But more important, to provide the answers that President Barack Obama said–firmly and without qualification–would be investigated.
Trey Gowdy asked the kind of questions that, years ago, inspired newspapers to launch the Watergate investigations that turned up criminal wrongdoing in the administration of former President Richard Nixon. Those investigations received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the profound admiration of colleagues and inspired a whole new generation of deeply committed investigative reporters.
Where the hell are those reporters now? Gowdy’s questions are entirely reasonable, and obviously would lead to information that the American public has a right to know. When I entered the newspaper business 50 years ago, newspapers would not have hesitated one bit to find the answers to Gowdy’s questions, without having to be prodded and embarrassed by a public official. Most newsrooms were then, as now, mostly liberal, but their ideology and partisanship would now have stopped them.
It’s all too obvious now that ideology and partisanship are running the media’s newsrooms. If not that, then laziness or incompetence.
For information on my award-winning historical novel, “Madness: The War of 1812,” visit: http://www.madness1812.com
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