New details on an old race to the bottom

Many readers of a certain age will remember Jack Anderson, a muckraking, partisan Washington DC reporter/columnist whose heyday was the 1960s and early 1970s, and who was an arch-enemy of Richard Nixon.
This story by Howard Kurtz about a new book on Anderson by Mark Feldstein reports that Anderson sometimes stooped to blackmail, bribery, gay-bashing, and the like in order to obtain some of his stories, or simply to accomplish personal objectives apparently unrelated to reporting (he threatened to go after Sen. Robert Byrd unless Byrd worked to derail the nomination of L. Patrick Gray as director of the FBI).
The story raises the age-old question of who is more deplorable, politicians or the journalists who try to bring them down. I’ve always been inclined to think it’s the journalists, since politicians at least occasionally do constructive things.
But even with Feldstein’s revelations, I think Richard Nixon remains more deplorable than Jack Anderson. After all, Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt plotted to kill Anderson, according to both Feldstein and Liddy himself. Liddy, who favored strangulation, called the endeavor “justifiable homicide.”


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