Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 30, 2002
POLITICS: Beyond Bizarre
Andrew Sullivan and Rand Simberg point out that Ted Rall and Buffalo State College "journalism and media studies" professor Michael Niman need the tinfoil in their hats changed again.
Sullivan aptly catches the parallel to Vince-Foster-was-murdered theories in the paranoid Left's wish to charge George W. Bush with murdering Paul Wellstone. (James Taranto at Best of the Web Today also jumped on Niman's column yesterday).
Just a few funny ones: Rall: "spending a decade's worth of savings in six months . . . A man capable of these things seems, by definition, capable of anything" Gee, Ted, whaddya think of Gray Davis? Actually Rall probably thinks he's a right-wing nut case. Rall also cites, as evidence of Republican depravity, claims that "GOP workers phoned senior citizens to tell them that Wellstone was plotting to take away their Social Security." Of course, no Democrat would ever, ever suggest that an opponent intended to take away anyone's Social Security . . .
Besides, anyone can play this game. When John Heinz died in a plane crash, the Democrats gained a Senate seat, and the Republicans lost a family fortune that may some time soon bankroll John Kerry's presidential campaign. When Paul Coverdell died suddenly and without warning, the Democrats gained a Senate seat. When Mel Carnahan, who was trailing in the polls, died in a plane crash, the Democrats gained a Senate seat (note how Rall describes Carnahan's opponent as "future Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft" - as if anyone knew that in October 2000, and as if Ashcroft would have become the AG if he had won re-election). Now, a Democrat is endangered, and just as he appears to be momentarily ahead in the polls, he dies in a plane crash so the Dems can run a party veteran on his memory.
In other words, motive in politics is a two-way street, and using motive alone to make charges of murder is, to put it mildly, irresponsible. What's really insane is that my taxes pay Niman's salary, and that respectable journalistic organizations pay Rall's. Forget the outrageousness - the quality of this kind of stuff just isn't fit for the National Enquirer, let alone a major newspaper or university.