Imagine the concept of journalists asking probing questions of candidates. Some might find that idea to be off-limits. And some of those who do actually consider themselves to be journalists whose main mission is to protect Democrat candidates, namely Elizabeth Warren.
Among such so-called journalists is Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan. She is best known for regretting that the mainstream media embraced the term "fake news" to explain away Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016 when it later boomeranged in a big way.
In her latest incarnation, Sullivan wanted to stifle the notion that journalists should be allowed to question Elizabeth Warren about if her plan for Medicare For All would raise middle class income taxes. What caused Sullivan to throw an anti-journalism conniption fit was Warren being asked about this during and after the 2020 Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday (emphasis hers):
Framing the (apparently unavoidable) question about universal health care and how to fund it in a non-gotcha way. Journalists are kindly doing President Trump’s work for him when they insist on trying to pin down Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), the new front-runner, to declare she’d raise taxes to fund Medicare-for-all. Of course, it’s legitimate to dig into the costs, but not in a way that creates a nice GOP campaign ad, and misses the larger lens of overall costs. (Warren, notably, refused to take the bait.)
Another supposed journalist who seemed irked that Elizabeth Warren was pressed to answer the tax question was CNN's Alisyn Camerota as she questioned Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday's New Day:
You went at it with Senator Elizabeth Warren about her Medicare For All plan and you wanted a simple yes-or-no answer of will she raise taxes and and what she ended up saying time and again was Americans' household costs will come down with her plan. What does it matter to you what bucket it comes out of?
What's wrong with you, Mayor Pete? Why can't you just accept Warren's evasiveness like a good trooper?
The most blatant of the anti-journalism pleas comes from a professor ot journalism at NYU, Jay Rosen, who tweeted his displeasure at journalists who question Warren about raising taxes.
The "make Elizabeth warren say she would raise taxes on the middle class" question should be a credibility killer. For the journalists who keep asking it.— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) October 16, 2019
Not too surprisingly, Margaret Sullivan bonded with Rosen over this protect Warren from questions sentiment.
I'm glad we agree on this as on many things. (Though not all -- that would be dull.)— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) October 16, 2019
Of course, Rosen's tweet led to quite the torrent of tweets, pointing out the irony:
"Romney's tax plan has big blank spots."— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) October 16, 2019
"Romney's tax plan is mathematically impossible."
"The "make Elizabeth warren say she would raise taxes on the middle class" question should be a credibility killer. For the journalists who keep asking it." https://t.co/HxXhAxZ4TI pic.twitter.com/mv806dG7Fe
But not, of course, for the politician who keeps ducking it. This chap actually teaches journalism, or something. https://t.co/hPsqoTmkYW— Brit Hume (@brithume) October 16, 2019
Sure, the truth is good. But what if it helps Republicans?— Huell Babineaux did nothing wrong (@jtLOL) October 16, 2019
And finally this although there are many other entertaining responses mocking the professor of journalism who seems opposed to practicing journalism.
Those pesky facts are a problem so don’t ask the question. - NYU Journalism Professor is beyond parody.— Reagan & Maverick (@AngleOfAttack1) October 16, 2019