November 24, 2003

"uninhibited money bazaar" Moi?

My friend Frank sends:

I don�t know if you find this as irritating as I do, but the New York Times has become even more disingenuous than usual over recent developments in financing political campaigns. The Times agenda in this area has always been clear. With �freedom of the press� constitutionally protected, they would like to leverage that protection into becoming the dominant voice of political opinion going into elections. So naturally they support any �reforms� aimed at silencing speech that is privately funded. In today�s editorial they are bemoaning the �collapse of Watergate-era restraints on special-interest money in presidential politics� because candidates can opt out of publicly financed subsidies and �aim for prodigious amounts of private contributions to out spend competitors.�

What the Times will never acknowledge is that these private contributions are coming from individuals giving five or six hundred dollars each to their favorite candidate. What could be more democratic than this we wonder? But instead of celebrating democracy in action, the Times is deliberately falsifying the activity by giving the impression that these �prodigious contributions� come from special interests and are part of an �uninhibited money bazaar� and that the presidency will soon be determined by a �blank-check bidder�s war.�

Surely it�s just the opposite! I hope the Times� transparent attempt to achieve political monopoly is just as obvious to others.

If my little political contribution helps buy a Republican ad in the NYT, that's " special-interest money." If the NYT endorses the Democrat (they've never yet endorsed a Republican presidential candidate, by the way) that's not campaign spending, it's wise counsel from an august institution.

Posted by John Weidner at November 24, 2003 9:15 PM
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