A very small item in the newspaper about Al Gore and Al Greenspan caught my attention and I have blown it up into this evening's Talking Points memo.
It seems that Al and Tipper Gore attended the play The Producers on Broadway, accompanied by Alan Greenspan and his wife Andrea Mitchell, the NBC Correspondent.
How can Ms. Mitchell cover Al Gore if she is pals with him? How can Alan Greenspan be an independent Fed chief if he is a buddy with a Democratic icon? What the heck is going on here?
The fabric of CNN was badly damaged by a man named Rick Kaplan, who was hired to run CNN's hard news operation. Kaplan was a buddy with Bill Clinton and soon CNN's coverage tilted toward the Democrats. You may remember that financial reporter Lou Dobbs quit CNN because Kaplan was cutting into Moneyline to give Mr. Clinton some marginal coverage.
Anyway, there is far too much cozying up between public servants and journalists. No way Andrea Mitchell should be going to a play with Al Gore and Mr. Greenspan has plenty of explaining to do as well.
But the powerful protect each other and it is doubtful that you will see any criticism of this double date in the elite media.
Now, there is nothing wrong with journalists meeting with public servants in a social setting. In order to see them up close and personal, having a meal with someone you cover is perfectly fine. But yucking it up in house seats at a Broadway theater is not fine. And schmoozing out in the Hamptons is not fine and barbecuing in Georgetown or Malibu is over the line.
Many journalists just love to hang out with the powerful — they love it. And that's why coverage, especially on television news is often soft.
Talking Points would have heckled Alan Greenspan and his wife, had Points seen them in the theater. This stuff has got to stop. Journalists are supposed to be looking out for the American people and right now many of them are not.
It is all about the party and I'm not talking political here.
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The transportation infrastructure in the New York metro area has totally collapsed. Today it rained, traffic was paralyzed everywhere and airport delays stretched for hours. It was just rain.
Tomorrow we are going from this chaos into the valley of the sun in Scottsdale, Arizona, from 60 degrees to 100 degrees. The Factor will be broadcasting from the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and we'll see if Sen. John McCain has the solution to the border problems. I just hope the traffic in Phoenix isn't as bad as it is here in New York.
If it is, it would be ridiculous.
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