PEOPLE Make a world of difference ! We’re proud of our employees and their contributions to your success and ours. Call us for quality printing, binding, mailing and data processing services. Get to know the people at Futura. FUTUM P.O. Box 17427 Austin, TX 78760.7427 389-1500 COMMUNICATIONS, INC and parry with both men, pretending to draw blood when all he really wanted was a few gasps from the front row. But the deference with which he questioned Bush, compared to the disregard with which he treated Clinton, revealed a journalist more dazzled by status and power than dedicated to reporting the news. Indeed, though Donaldson quietly suffered the president’s rambling replies, he refused to allow Clinton to complete an answer. While it is characteristic of Donaldson to behave badly, he outdid himself on this night, reflecting the bellyfull of terror that apparently gripped journalists everywhere after Bush threatened to hang the blame for his failures on them. This is the kind of media terror we’ve seen before. We first saw it after the Vietnam War, when the reactionary right decided to pin the blame for that humiliating loss on the “liberal news media.” Just as the country, in response to that ugly war, said, “Never again;” the news media decided that it would never again risk being blamed for national tragedy, such as the defeat of an incumbent president. So the mainstream news media behaved during the week prior to November 3, after George Bush began waving the bumper sticker that read, “Annoy the Media, Re-elect Bush.” For the record, self-respecting journalists deny this phenomenon ever occurred. But off the record, some are willing to confess, if not repent. The Washington bureau chief of one major newspaper chain admits the news media cut and ran like unwilling conscripts in a bad fight. “We just didn’t want to carry the blame,” this editor concedes. “The public dislikes us enough already.” Another print journalist working in Washington, D.C., says, “I never thought the press was that hard on George Bush. Personally, I thought we could’ve been a lot tougher. But people outside the press are convinced we were really too tough on him. I don’t know.” That comment tells us much about the pressure working journalists feel from above readpolitihow tenuous is the idea of “objective journalism;” not even the reporters know what it is. But mostly her comment reveals that the people who got through to her, the people outside the press,” were Bush supporters and the Washington establishment, not the substantial majority of Americans who voted the president out of office. Now that the election is done, expect some public and dramatic self-flagellation as the mainstream news media pretend to examine their role in the recent campaigns. This period of selfanalysis will be brief and superficial, so watch closely or you’ll miss it. Mostly, they’ll analyze the “new role” of talk shows on radio and TV that put the candidates “in direct touch with ordinary people.” But don’t expect them to mention their own cowardly response when Bush pointed a fin Continued from page 24 and family leave, while four congressmen and a senator managed to score zeros in the record compiled by the Association of Community Archer, Jack Fields, Larry Combest and Tom Delay scored zeros, as did Republican Sen. Phil Gramm. Other scores included John Bryant, 90 percent; Martin Frost, Ronald Coleman and Kika de la Garza, all 84.6; Albert Bustamante, 83.3; Jack Brooks, 81.8; Jake Pickle, 69.2; Jim Chapman, 66.7; Chet Edwards, Mike Andrews and Solomon Ortiz, 61.5; Charles -Wilson and Tom Laughlin, both 53.8, slightly above the House average of 53 percent; Bill Sarpalitis, 46.2; Pete Geren, 38.5; Ralph Hall, 23.1; Sam Johnson and Joe Barton, 8.3; and Charles Stenholm, Lamar Smith and Dick Armey, all 7.7. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen scored 58.3, above the Senate average of 45 percent. WHEELS GRIND AT JUSTICE. “Coincidentally or not,” as the Associated Press put it, the three Texas congressmen who were among the few incumbents who had not been cleared by the Justice Department of criminal wrongdoing in the House bank scandal the week before the election were the three Democrats involved in the tightest races for re-election. Yet under investigation by Justice Department special counsel Malcolm Wilkey on the eve of the election were Reps. Albert Bustamante of San Antonio, ger their way. And certainly don’t expect them to recall the vows they all made a year ago, when they promised more than sound bites and when all the news heavies swore to focus on serious issues. In the end, the folks in the Fourth Estate, who this past campaign season brought us cial” draft-dodger issue, and speculation whether a student trip to Moscow constitutes treason those are the same folks who time and again were forced to return to the real issues by … us, the citizens of this republic. If we could only bring such pressure to bear all the time, what a wonderful world it would be. who had 30 overdrafts; Ron Coleman of El Paso, who had 673; and Charles Wilson of Lufkin, who had 80. AP found that 17 incumbents seeking reelection had yet to be cleared four days before the election; 16 were Democrats. CLOSED DOORS. The offices of the state’s elected officials are increasingly closed to “drop-ins” from the public. Attorney General Dan Morales has declared “off limits” to the general public the entire eighth floor of the Price Daniel Sr. Building where Morales has his office. A citizen wanting to see Morales has to show a driver’s license before a security officer will enter a code to get the elevator to the eighth floor. Morales spokesman Ron Dusek told the Houston Chronicle the decision to increase security was made several months ago after a series of courthouse shootings around the nation. He said other state attorneys general and U.S. attorneys have high security. Morales’ security is similar to that at the state Treasury, where financial instruments are kept on the premises, and the Supreme Court, which was sealed from the public in the mid-1980s after allegations that lawyers were improperly meeting with justices to argue their cases. Former Attorney General Jim Mattox, now in private practice, questioned the need for such security measures. “Most of that security will keep out honest people,” he told the Chronicle. “If somebody is a criminal who really wants to hurt you, they’ll get to you at the Capitol or a political event.” Members of the public must show an ID and sign in at a security desk to gain entry to the unfinished underground Capitol Annex, where the offices of the Governor and Secretary of State are located, but the annex is expected to be opened to the public when the project is finished in January. JUSTICE DENIED. Federal prosecutors of San Antonio businessman M. Douglas Jaffe Jr., who was charged in a campaign-contribution conspiracy case, got a scolding from U.S. District Judge Lucius Bunton, who said the case was “rinky-dinky” and smacked of politics. A San Antonio jury acquitted Jaffe. The Justice Department is expected to drop a threeand-a-half-year-old probe into alleged influence peddling in South Texas that targeted U.S. Rep. Albert Bustamante, D-San Antonio, who was defeated in the general election. 22 NOVEMBER 27, 1992
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.