Columnist: Many Reporters Enable ‘Wimpy’ Democrats

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By: E&P Staff

Ted Rall, in his latest column, said congressional Democrats could stop the Iraq War if they wanted to — and offered a theory to explain why many reporters don’t take these politicians to task.

Rall writes a column for Universal Press Syndicate’s site, does editorial cartoons for Universal, and serves as acquisition and development editor for United Media.

Congressional Democrats lament that they can’t stop the Iraq War without a certain number of Republican votes. But Rall said the U.S. occupation could be ended if money for it is cut off.

“The Constitution grants Congress, and only the Congress, [the power] to ‘raise and support armies,'” wrote Rall. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could meet over cocktails right now and cut off the funding tomorrow. Within a few months, the Pentagon would run out of money for the war. They’d have to start bringing home troops.”

He added: “The Dems won the 2006 elections with promises to end the war. Weeks after taking over Congress, however, Republicans spooked them with one of the most ludicrous talking points of all time. Cutting off the money, they said, would abandon U.S. soldiers at the front, their ammo dwindling as Al Qaeda insurgents swarmed over them. (Actually, the fact that I have to write this speaks to the American right’s intellectual dishonesty — the troops would go to the airport. They would board airplanes. They would fly home.)”

Rall continued: “Democrats worry that they’ll be portrayed as weak on defense if they act unilaterally to pull out of Iraq. Irony of ironies, they’re wussing out to avoid looking wimpy.”

Many media people, said Rall, go along with the story of the Democrats’ alleged helplessness to get the U.S. out of Iraq. “Why are so many respected journalists parroting the Democratic party line?,” Rall asked. “I suspect that corporate media culture, rather than Judith Miller-style malfeasance, is largely to blame. Ink-stained newsrooms have been replaced by bullpen offices indistinguishable from those of banks or insurance companies.

“Reporters used to come from the working classes. They distrusted politicians and businessmen, and politicians and businessmen loathed them. Today’s journalists are products of cookie-cutter journalism schools. Because graduate schools rarely offer scholarships, few come from the lower or middle classes. They look like businessmen. When they meet a politician, they see a possible friend. They wear suits and ties. And when a U.S. senator like Joe Biden feeds them a line of crap, they gobble it up.”

The complete column can be seen here and here.

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