Why A Media Hit Job?

The general sense in the comments to all this stuff on the Richardson rumor is that I am unfairly maligning the media for going after a legitimate story. These comments are mostly from Democrats who no doubt thought the media was unfair in going after Clinton on the Lewinsky matter, but now think it is fair game. That’s fair enough.

To the AJC’s credit, they have apparently decided not to run the story unless (A) they get the pictures or (B) a challenger arises to the Speaker. While I can confirm a great deal about this story and what is and is not available to further the story, I don’t think the AJC is going to be able to move forward. I do think that less credible papers, particularly those that really don’t even pretend to be objective, can.

I think it is abundantly clear that this a hit job because of the volume of Democrats who, only four years ago, were in power and very open about their girlfriends and the media never laid a hand on them. Now, all of a sudden, it becomes fair game.

As of now, the media is in a holding pattern — each reporter hoping the other reporters’ editors give the green light to move forward.

I expect this story to move forward. I expect the story to have zero impact on the Speaker beyond, perhaps, his family. I expect it to be a wake up call to the GOP that they have no friends in the media and should stay on permanent offense. I also expect it should be a wake up call to a number of legislators who want to move up the ranks that they better get their personal lives in order.

We all know the rumors of what goes on when the legislature is in session. I don’t think the GOP will keep getting the free ride that the Dems got. Sure, that’s all partisan of me. I’m an admitted partisan. But I also think I’m right.


  1. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, I’ve resisted kicking in so far. First, Erick, great job covering this on here. It’s good to see the blogs keeping them honest.

    As for the media and the GOP, I think that the GOP would have much better relations with the press if it would be more sincere and frank in dealing with them and not play games.

    Say what you want, but I think that Brad Alexander is a good example of someone who does well in working with the press.

    Republicans have a hard time on some level with the press because they tend to wrap themselves in the cloth of family values and then cry when they are exposed to a degree as hypocrites.

    For example, those that complained about Clinton and Monica made excuses for Mike Bowers when his affair was made public. You can’t have it both ways.

  2. commonsense says:

    It’s an issue of hypocracy.

    It’s not news if someone who supports gay marrige is gay.

    It’s not news if a libertarian who wants the government out of our lives has an affair.

    It is when someone who campaigns on morality, who says the government has a right and obligation to be in our bedrooms, turns out to be failing his own standard that he wants set for the rest of the state.

    Marriage is apparently too special for two adults who are of the same sex but not too special for someone who doesn’t respect it enough to honor his promise to his wife.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Personally, I think that the press needs to focus on the substance of what is going on in the legislature and less on the tabloid style trash that they sometimes cover.

    But, again, Republicans tend to wrap themselves in family values and such, so when they are exposed as hypocrites, it is legitimate news and fair game.

  4. fishtail says:

    Family values aside, the media coverage of the Speaker’s extramarital escapades with a female utility lobbyist would be totally justified if it is revealed that there was a “quid pro quo” involved, such as sponsoring legislation for the benefit of the utility…is this no more than the old-way of providing prostitutes for legislators at the legendary Grady Hotel? Stay tuned….

  5. Adam Fogle says:

    It’s an issue of hypocracy.

    Ahh yes… the most common logical fallacy: Argument ad Hominem.

    “A debater commits the Ad Hominem Fallacy when he introduces irrelevant personal premises about his opponent. Such red herrings may successfully distract the opponent or the audience from the topic of the debate.”

    Your argument doesn’t sound like “commonsense” to me.

  6. IndyInjun says:


    The DEM’s got a FREE RIDE?

    My goodness.

    I recall that Max Cleland was subjected to some very trashy exposes in the media over his alleged sex fetishes and affection for porn long before Chambliss ran against him.

    Back in the 80’s there was a HUGE EXPOSE in the AJC about the excesses of Labor Department officials, all Democrats.


  7. commonsense says:

    Yes and the “slippery slope” is another fallacy.

    For example that gay marriage would lead to bestiality.

    In fact as you will start to learn many things that would be considered logical fallacies are relevant to a political debate.

    I applaud your attempt at being condescending Mr. Fogle. It’s an important part of politics.

    I would however argue that your point is off the mark.

    I am not using his hypocrisy to distract from the topic of debate. See the topic of debate is that the Speaker is in fact a hypocrite.

    I didn’t say that because he is a hypocrite the government shouldn’t “legislate morality.” My only point is that because he is a hypocrite it should be reported that he is a hypocrite.

    For example:

    Mitt Romney hiring illegal aliens to clean his lawn while advocating against their employment.

    Max Burns working for a lobbying firm that is suing gun makers while claiming to be a champion of the second amendment.

    Jack Murtha claiming to be against the GOP’s culture of corruption while abusing earmarks for his own gain

    The people of this country have a right to know when their elected leaders aren’t willing to extend their policy positions to their own lives.

  8. bowersville says:

    For me, the most important aspect of this debate on the “rumor” centers on the “quid pro quo” of this situation, or with the lack there of, blackmail. Hypocrisy, morality, family values, sex fetishes, porn, etc. are irrelevant to me at this juncture. It doesn’t matter to me whether it was flying the friendly skies at the behest of a lobbyist for a golf junket, or flying the friendly thighs of a lobbyist for a sex junket. The outcome is the same, the citizen gets screwed in the end (no pun intended).

  9. Mad Dog says:

    Laffing as the spin continues.

    The Goobernator lets a $100,000 tax break cloud his personal judgement.

    Democrat hit job

    Casey Cagle pads his resume to get FDIC and SEC approvals for Southern Heritage Bank in Oakwood.

    My personal attacks

    The Goobernator lets Oakley Woods go to private developers and Surprise, Surprise, Surprise, the Goobernator watches his land values rise. Never disclosures the deal profits him.

    Democratic fantasy

    The Republican Speaker of the House is spreading his seed, smoking weed, and taking care of his bidness on the taxpayer dime. All rumors of course. Also rumored to have blackmailed his colleagues with secret files and photographs of their sexual misconduct.

    The AJC is on a hit job.

    Are there any questions of just enforcing the law?

    Not under the Gold Dome.

    Any questions of ethical restraint?

    Not under the Gold Dome.

    Any question of honesty?

    Not under the Gold Dome.

    Laws, ethics, and honesty are like taxes. That’s for the little people as they scurry about in their short, pathetic, and meaningless lives.

    Just remember to lie in your campaign ads with your wife standing beside you.

    “We’re the kind of people, just like you, that know right from wrong.”

    How many ways can I say disgusting.

    Republican, conservative, Reaganite, Bushophile, GOP, Southern Heritage, Grand old Party (my personal favorite).

    It is just one Grand Old Party until someone gets caught, tried, and convicted. And, the conviction upheld on appeal. And the sentence finally imposed.

    Partisan of me to hate the Grand Old Party for being corrupt, dishonest, immoral, inbred, buttfokkers?

    I’m a taxpayer and I pay their salaries.

    Take pride in your partisanship, Erick. Get your wife a job as a lobbyist.

  10. Booray says:

    Yo Dems – I got two names for you to remember as you rent your clothes in twain about the rumors on here:

    1. Larry Walker

    2. Terry Coleman, whose suite was paid for by lobbyist campaign dollars for his girlfriend – the same suite that caused the Ethics complaint

    Rock meet glass house.

    Y’all sure you want to continue this line of discussion?

  11. Gag Halfrunt says:

    Booray, are you predicting that Richardson is going to join Walker and Coleman in the ranks of ex-members of the house? Wow!

  12. Old School Politics says:

    In all fairness if you are going to mention some of the names that have already been mentioned on here please dont forget Mike Bowers and the 30 year SCANDAL!!! Also the rumors about Speaker Tom Murphy,

  13. Booray says:

    Here’s some more names for the Dems to ponder:

    1. Gayle Sexton

    2. Charles Walker (and his frog)

    There’s that glass breaking sound again…

  14. SpaceyG says:

    Bull M: I totally agree. Let MSM bore its readers further towards its own oblivion. The real money, for a new media, trash lovin’ expert like moi, would be in assisting all these exs and extracurriculas in launching their own tell-all blogs about what REALLY went down with the prominent politician, CEO, married media figure, etc. they once knew… before they got/get dumped of course. You gotta love the Brit Hume saga for instance. Makes this GA Speaker thingee look like chump change:

  15. RiverRat says:

    Booray, anyone else complaining about that the Democrats got a “free pass” – as a Democrat, I a) can’t really do anything about what the AJC or any other paper wants to report about b) would have prefered if Terry Coleman, Charles Walker, etc. had been busted while in office. They frankly sucked – and if I were a republican, I’d want Richardson to get busted. He’s an arrogant, angry man who in the long run will do more harm to good to the party. As a Dem, I hope he sticks around cuz his buttons are so easy to push.

    Y’know, there are plenty of “conservative” papers in this state – the Augusta paper comes to mind. What prevented them from running all these stories?

  16. Mad Dog says:


    Did you ask Cagle about his personal barrio of rundown trailers?

    Yeah, Cagle’s staff did a great job. They used the rent money from the illegals.

    When you have a lot of cash, spend it to make more cash. By buying rundown double wides to rent.

  17. TPSoCal says:

    Hello all:

    I feel I can speak about media bias since I have spent the last 6 years working for a major media company perceived by many to be conservative. I can attest that liberalism is the absolute norm. In 2000, I was the ONLY person at work who voted for Bush. I was called “pure evil” by a co-worker when I informed him I was supporting the GOP. My job was threatened in 2004 after Bush beat Kerry. I was told to “go home”. I promise, I did not say one word as I am not one who gloats. They told me they could not have me there on the day that Kerry conceded. I would hear all the rumors regarding politicians and I promise they were only interested in rumors that hurt the GOP. There is a bias and anyone who thinks not is either a liberal or quite naive.

  18. Mad Dog says:


    I’m glad you can generalize to all media from a single experience, Yes, you were there for six years. But, it’s only one man’s experience.

    My experience in Georgia has been the opposite. I quit a tiny weekly when the editors repeatedly panned me for being too partisan in the editorials I submitted.

    There are thousands of “media outlets.” There is no common or single bias for ALL media outlets other than the theme, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

    Well, maybe the theme that if our advertising base doesn’t like our bias, we have the wrong bias.

  19. Adam Fogle says:

    Mad Dog,

    You’re absolutely right. Any “bias” on behalf of the media is nullified in that the end result is a complete lack of correlation between spin and persuasion. Whatever perceived “media bias” may exist does nothing but reinforce existing beliefs (by either upsetting or praising a person/groups mores).

    The only real influence that the media have are in agenda setting. That is, the media’s coverage results in establishing topic salience among audiences.

    But realistically, that is the extent of “media bias.”

  20. sasa says:

    I am hearing that they have the pictures but they are not going to use them until the session starts….seeking to smear the Speaker and possibly making him retire which would make the Pro Tem pretty strong……

  21. AlanSmithee says:

    Did anyone else see the story WSB just ran on the 11:00 news? Looks like the Richardson stuff is starting to break.

  22. Mad Dog says:


    In plain english, what were you saying?

    Maybe you confused me by agreeing with me.


    The media does more to focus attention than it does to educate?

  23. IndyInjun says:

    There is no louder GOP attack dog than Augusta radio host Austin Rhodes and he says it is unlikely that Richardson will survive this scandal.

    While Rhodes would support a rabid skunk with a Republican label, he was singed by past support of Linda Schrenko and Robbin Williams, who proved to be utter scoundrels. These experiences, and the constant reminders of them from his listeners, have brought him around to a mite more even-handed approach to GOP rascals, even to the point of turning his unexcelled vitriole upon them, now at the early stages of trouble.

    Give him credit, he was out in front on this one.

    Give him credit, he isn’t whining like Erick.

    Give him credit, he holds the GOPers to THEIR OWN STANDARDS. (better late than never.)

    Bobby Kahn and GOP attack dog Austin Rhodes, on the same page…….wonders never cease.

    THAT is what it takes to keep both parties HONEST.

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