Saturday, February 23, 2008



In its largely fluffy weekend edition today, The Wall Street Journal reports that Representative Rick Renzi has been indicted on 35 counts of extortion, money laundering, embezzlement, and other nefarious manifestations of public corruption. So one of our public servants is indicted with his hand, directly or indirectly, in the till. Nothing new here.

What is interesting about the Journal story, however, is that it never explicitly identifies Rep. Renzi as a Republican. My interest in this aspect of the story was piqued when I noticed that there is no “(R., Arizona)” after his name anywhere in the story. Then, as I read the story, I noted that never in the story is Renzi’s party directly identified. Admittedly, in the fourth paragraph, there is the statement

“Those probes (of corrupt, and, in the Journal’s view, as long as they are Republicans, presumably selfless, public servants) are likely to lead to more troubling headlines in the months before the election, especially for Republicans.”

and one could infer from that statement that Rep. Renzi is a GOPer, but, then again, maybe not. The word “Republican” again appears in the very last sentence in the story, to with

“His (Rep. Renzi’s) future in Congress now is uncertain; on Capitol Hill, Republican House leaders have said they have taken a ‘zero tolerance’ approach with members facing federal investigation.”

and in this sentence, the inference that Rep. Renzi is a Republican is easy to draw. Still, the very last sentence? And then only to compliment the GOP leadership over its supposed diligence against corruption?

Note also that this story was not in the opinion section of the paper, but in the supposedly news section of the paper (page A3).

The next time the Journal assumes its disingenuous “We aren’t for any political party; we are merely for free men and free markets” pose, and then goes on to castigate the “mainstream media” for its liberal Democratic bias (which does exist, by the way) take the Journal’s posturing for what it is: blatant, shameless artifice.

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