Another Media Beclowning

Trump and his folks took a lot of predictable heat for remarking several weeks back that the media is the enemy of the American people. Heavens! You’d have thought he’d said “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.”

The media may not be self-consciously the enemy of the American people, but it is hard to deny the asymmetry of their sympathies. As many of you know, I’m currently serving a one-week sentence at the annual Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado at Boulder. (My first panel Monday morning matched me up with Lizz Winstead, the former head writer for The Daily Show, and the quip war went thermonuclear very quickly. If I can get video, perhaps I’ll post some over the weekend.)

I learned when I arrived, however, that a reporter for Colorado Public Radio had made a formal request of the university’s general counsel under Colorado’s Public Records Act for copies of any emails I might have had with Neil Gorsuch from three years ago when I was a visiting professor here. (As a government institution, my campus emails are subject to relevant public requests.) My emails were long ago purged from the Colorado email system, but in any case there were none with Gorsuch, since I had never heard of him before his nomination. A dry hole.

We’re still waiting, of course, for journalists to show any similar detailed curiosity about so many of the gaps and mysteries of Barack Obama, like his grades at Columbia, the Khalid Rashidi tape, etc. Funny how Republican figures seem to excite the more thorough curiosity of reporters, like the ones who purloined Robert Bork’s video rental records back in 1987.

Which brings me to this week’s scoop: remember Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” that caused such a hoot back in 2012? The Boston Globe has found them! And they are treating it like a huge scoop. Clear some shelf space for the inevitable Pulitzer.

For all the high-stakes attention they drew, the binders themselves never surfaced. Until now.

A former Romney aide recently exhumed the files and shared them with the Globe. Two white three-ring binders (weighing in at an aggregate 15 pounds, 6 ounces) are packed with nearly 200 cover letters and résumés, along with a few handwritten notations.

Contain your excitement!

Of course, the complete story is a nothingburger, and not worth reading. So let’s skip to the last line:

Indeed, if the binders seem vestiges of a political era past, so, too, does Romney’s verbal blunder.

Talk about fake news.

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