Blogging Lynch Mobs

Frank Rich compares Watergate and Nixon’s men to “today’s blogging lynch mobs”.

Writing today (Don’t Follow the Money/Deep Throat), Frank Rich uses powerful and emotional phrases as he bemoans that the Watergate scandal is being covered up and written into history as the Nixon administration’s spin of a “third rate burglary”. Rich’s regurgitated phrases include “follow the money”, “destroying the old establishment”, “founding father”, and “lap dog media”.

“Had the scandal been vividly resuscitated as the long national nightmare it actually was, it would dampen all the Felt fun by casting harsh light on our own present nightmare. … The current administration, a second-term imperial presidency that outstrips Nixon’s in hubris by the day, leads the attack, trying to intimidate and snuff out any Woodwards or Bernsteins that might challenge it, any media proprietor like Katharine Graham or editor like Ben Bradlee who might support them and any anonymous source like Deep Throat who might enable them to find what Carl Bernstein calls ‘the best obtainable version of the truth.’ … This is the kind of lapdog news media the Nixon White House cherished.”

Rich attacks one of the survivors of Watergate, Charles W. Colson, as a ruthless intimidator. He condemns Mr. Colson’s recent words on television, “I want kids to look up to heroes”, because Mr. Colson, who was President Nixon’s special counsel, dishonored the law and served “jail time”. One would think Charles Colson to be a role model for liberal elites, such as the writer. Here is a man who paid for his crime to society by serving “jail time”. Indeed, Colson was released from prison as a changed man. He was rehabilitated and now serves those same prisoners as mentor and minster of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Should not Frank Rich celebrate the likes of former inmates such as Colson? Yes he should, but he does not in this case. Instead, Rich castigates “Today” host, Matt Lauer, and other TV anchors for introducing Mr. Colson, as a “former White House counsel” instead of identifying him as a jail bird. How puzzling it is, as Mr. Colson truly has paid his debt to society.

The good news is that Frank Rich was writing about Watergate and the Nixon White House and not Hitler and the Nazis. Although Rich reminds us that the phrase “follow the money” was a Hollywood creation, never uttered by any of the Watergate cast of characters, he writes that the current Bush Administration “outstrips Nixon’s in hubris by the day”.

“The main difference is that in the Nixon White House, the president’s men plotted behind closed doors. The current administration is now so brazen it does its dirty work in plain sight.” Frank Rich: Don’t Follow the Money/Deep Throat

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