Sunday, November 20, 2011

WaPo Explains Away George Will's Wife's Connections to Bachmann, Romney and Perry

WaPo's ombudsman Patrick Pexton informs that:
[George] Will, a longtime friend of Nancy Reagan, got flak in 1980 for not disclosing until later that he helped Ronald Reagan with debate preparation. And although a consistent free-trader, Will was zinged in 1995 for his defense of free trade in automobiles without disclosing at the time that Maseng Will’s company was lobbying for Japanese car manufacturers.

So it was not surprising that Politico revealed in three stories Nov. 11 that[when Will's wife] Maseng Will worked for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) early this year, flirted with Mitt Romney’s campaign in June and was hired full time by Texas Gov. Rick Perryearly [sic] this month.
Pexton conclusion about all this:

Should Will have disclosed it, and did he give favorable treatment to these GOP candidates?

All of Will’s columns in the past year and all the “This Week” transcripts reveal that Will has been complimentary about almost all of the GOP candidates in the race, and about those who were considering entering, including Bachmann and Perry. In his TV comments, he criticized only three: He savaged Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin repeatedly and with glee, and he delivered glancing blows to Romney all year...

I think disclosure is always the better part of valor. It should be prompt and complete, especially for someone so in the public eye as Will. Readers need to be able to judge for themselves if any conflict of interest could bias a journalist, even an opinion columnist.

Will should have mentioned his wife’s work with Bachmann a bit earlier than he did, even if he wasn’t writing about her, and when Maseng Will was hired by Perry, it would have been very easy to put out a statement to that effect almost immediately. But I don’t see that he changed his tune, in his columns or TV commentary, because of his wife’s work.
For the record here, George Will has written very little about Ron Paul, while his wife is running around the Beltway seeming to be working for "anybody but Ron Paul". A quick Google search, and this is just about all I found:
If Paul finishes first or second [in the Iowa straw poll], the political community will shrug: There he goes again, the Babe Ruth of straw polls.

1 comment:

  1. The DC media and the Federal government are so incestuous it's ridiculous. You can predictably scratch the surface of almost any big journalist and find that they're hooked in to the juice somehow.

    For example, after seeing Bob Schieffer's absurdly hostile "interview" of Ron Paul on Face the Nation today, I decided to do a little research on him.

    His brother, Tom Schieffer, is a longtime Bush family business partner who was US ambassador to Japan and Australia in the 2000s, while Bob himself is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (!):

    These aren't watchdogs, and they aren't journalists. They're scribes, and they're just as much a part of the corrupt system as any congresscritter, Bob Schieffer included.