The conservative blogosphere is debating whether Congress should investigate “Rathergate.” Our favorite conservative blogger (indeed, our favorite conservative, period) Hugh Hewitt is leading the call for an investigation. Congressman Christopher Cox, one of the very brightest and most able conservatives in the House, also wants to investigate. Tom Maguire has been the most outspoken opponent of such an investigation. Patterico agrees with Maguire, as does James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation. Patterico notes that the point may be moot, since the Chairman of the relevant House communications subcommittee has apparently rejected the idea of investigating.
I hope that’s the outcome. I’ve rarely witnessed a Congressional investigation I liked, and a Congressional investigation of the media strikes me as particularly distasteful. That’s not to say that network news organizations should always be exempt from investigations in all circumstances — the call to investigate the premature calling of Florida for Al Gore in 2000 was not without appeal. But in that case, one could conceive of reforms that might address the concerns over the conduct at issue, so arguably it made sense to kick ideas around in public. In this case, the solution is for CBS to kick out Dan Rather and the others responsible for the scandal, and to start being honest. Congress isn’t the institution that should dictate this solution, or even press for it. That’s the business of the marketplace and the rest of the MSM. So far, both are doing pretty well.
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