It's not very often that you run into a story that so perfectly captures both the sheer contempt which many reporters hold for the public and their desire to enable Democratic politicians. That's what happened in Chicago earlier this week when conservative journalist Bill Kelly had the temerity to ask Illinois Democratic senator Dick Durbin if he felt that he shared any responsibility at all for the recent U.S. debt downgrade.
As a coddled and protected Democrat, Durbin certainly wasn't used to a tough question and he proceeded to ignore it, turning instead to a more compliant journalist, one Jim Anderson of Illinois Radio Network, for a different question. Little did he know just how helpful Anderson would be, even going so far as to threaten Kelly with expulsion from the news conference. Read on for video and summary of the disgraceful encounter.
"Will you be quiet?" a very angry Anderson blurted out as Kelly began talking. When he refused and asked why Anderson was trying to shut him up, the former traffic reporter blurted out "Because you're not with the press. Get out of the room."
Kelly refused to leave though and continued talking, correctly stating that he had a right to ask a question. "You can stand and listen but you can't ask questions at a press conference" Anderson said, not realizing the absurdity of his words.
"Do you know this man?" the irritated senator asked to his enabling crowd of journalists.
"I know who he is," the ever-helpful Anderson replied. "He runs Tea Party rallies."
Durbin continued to filibuster until his enabler Anderson blurted out "If you're not quiet, we're going to have you thrown out of the room by the cops."
The double standard of civility is frankly disgusting. Back when George W. Bush was president, liberal media figures cackled with glee at an Iraqi reporter who threw his shoe at him.
Newsweek reporter Michael Hirsh spoke for many in the press when he said that it was "one small measure of justice that was achieved." ABC and CBS hailed him as a "celebrity" and a "folk hero."
That incident and this one show perfectly how the hackneyed leftist notion of "speaking truth to power" only applies to those criticizing Republicans or conservatives.
It's certainly possible that Kelly may have violated some protocols by his actions or presence (I don't know since I wasn't there) but it speaks volumes about Durbin and his enabler Anderson that both were incensed that someone would dare to question a very powerful liberal politician who has smeared his fellow citizens on numerous occasions.
Kelly was forced to leave the room. His wrap-up of the event is worth considering:
No other blogger, freelance journalist, or other member of the media was asked to show their credentials at this event. In fact, the event was sponsored by City Club of Chicago and was open to media and the public.
This brings us to the eternal question: Who is media and who is not? Who gets to decide? Sen. Dick Durbin? His friends in the Chicago media? Are public officials accountable to the public? Do we have the right to question authority? Or must we just accept what they bestow upon us? Do we have the right to question the media? Or do we have to let the so-called “real” journalists impose their own idea of news? Of truth?
During my exchange with him, Sen. Durbin told (instructed) the media, “You guys aren’t going to cover this are you?” And the media…didn’t.
He is correct. As of this writing, there has been zero coverage of the incident from the self-styled "mainstream media." That contrasts perfectly with the wall-to-wall coverage that was given to a left-wing protestor who was kicked out of an event by then-Republican senator George Allen back in 2006.