Thursday, June 29, 2006

Need to Know

There has been a lot of talk swirling around lately about the media and whether it tells us, the public, more than we need to know. But what disturbs me most is how much it seems to be an insider business.

A "for instance": Jack Burkman is usually labeled a "top Republican strategist" when he appears on cable news shows. I learned to despise Mr. Burkman back during impeachment days for his smarmy, oh-so-sanctimonious pronouncements about Bill Clinton. I always thought he positively exuded self-righteous insincerity but I kept in mind that I could be seeing him through my own biased lens as I had nothing on which to base that judgment.

Well, now I do. It seems that the pious Mr. Burkman recently happened to pass a group of young women who were in Washington for a Gay Pride celebration. Taken by one of the girl's impressive bosoms, he turned back to introduce himself and give her his business card. She text-messaged him once and he then contacted her several times. Before it was over, he offered to pay the girls' hotel bill and to give them $1,000 if two of them would have sex with him, (using a much blunter term than "having sex").

The girls, who remember were in Washington to celebrate gay pride, thought it is rather a joke until they decided to google Mr Burkman's name and discovered that - hey, this guy is, like, someone kind of important! They then posted the business card he'd given them on MySpace.com, outing him as a dirty old man, so to speak.

Now, none of this so far surprises me. Most of us probably know that the opportunities for hypocricy and perversion exist in abundance in Washington, even among those who most profess their undying commitment to family values.

No, what I hate is that only a few week's later, I see Jack Burkman on Scarborough Country discussing the flag-burning amendment. In that same, holier-than-thou voice that he used with impeachment, Burkman raves on about how the flag stands for America, symbolizing the integrity and morality of the USA and that only unpatriotic liberals would be against a flag-burning amendment but since they have no honor and really hate the goodness of America, they couldn't possibly truly believe that flag-burning is akin to free speech. Those aren't his exact words, of course, but it is definitely the thrust of his argument.

And did Mr. Scarborough call Burkman on his two-faced stance in which he reveres the morality of America on the one hand while propositioning young women to trade sex for money on the other? Does he question him about his evident ultra-confidence in his own studliness in believing that he can "turn" young lesbians straight with the power of his sex appeal? (Ah, now I think of it, maybe this was his mission - perhaps he thought he was doing a good thing by using sex and money to turn these young ladies away from homosexuality.... nah.) Did Scarborough care to tell his viewers that the very man who was lecturing them on moral values had only weeks before proven that he wouldn't know a moral value if it smacked him in the face? Nope, Joe did none of these things. It was a conspiracy of silence. Evidently, Joe felt he had no responsibility to reveal to his audience that they might want to take into account that the man who was sermonizing them needed a remedial course in morality himself and that perhaps, a slimeball isn't the best representative Scarborough Country could find to lecture us on integrity.