Monday, April 11, 2005

Why The Schiavo Memo Matters to the Media

John Hinderaker has a pretty decent chronology and postmortem of the Schiavo Memo which came out of the Senate in the Daily Standard. It came from a Republican staffer to Sen. Mel Martinez.

And given the fairly rough condition of the draft, as well as Martinez's stupidity in not watching what he was handing Tom Harkin of all people, the thing gets out. And rather than discussing it with Martinez, and collegially returning it to him, Harkin called the Washington Post and ABC. Note to Republican Senators: you're idiots if you grant Tom Harkin any further courtesies.

So what does this document prove?

More than anything, it stands for the proposition that Republicans actually do evaluate political considerations when making decisions. Which, last I checked was not a breathtaking revelation in Washington. So like John Hinderaker, I still haven't figured out what makes this document of political analysis a headline.

If the media want to prove that the Republicans they so abhor think about political implications of their choices, then they've done it. And I'm certain it came as a big surprise to their readers. But more than anything, this was a fairly embarrassing media effort to fan some form of public outrage over a non-issue.

And it reflects a certain level of desperation. They are so eager to point the finger at Republicans for something, anything that they are also willing to make fools of themselves as they do it. Recall Dan Rather and Mary Mapes? And again, it removes all doubt that the mainstream media are left-biased.

This "memo" from a staffer to a Senator was authentic. But it confirms what we knew all along. Politicians think politically. Stop the presses!

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