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J. KARL MILLER: Betrayals of public trust should not be tolerated

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:11 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quantum advances in communications devices (e.g., the Internet, e-mail, Facebook, texting and Twitter) have not only opened new avenues for sharing information, they have also provided individuals with intriguing methods to make trouble for themselves. The ready availability of this information carelessly broadcast opens to the world a bag of worms virtually impossible to close.

Consequently, when celebrities exhibit feet of clay — be they athletes such as Tiger Woods or Ben Roethlisberger, entertainers such as Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen or elected officials such as Rep. Charles Rangel or Sen. John Ensign — their antics become public property and fodder for rapid and wide distribution. Most of us, except for those who are prone to schadenfreude, take it with a grain of salt in hopes that it dies a quick death. At least, I hope that is true.

I am reasonably certain that most by now have had enough of the latest scandal involving a sitting member of Congress and his incredibly poor judgment and breach of honesty, integrity and responsibility. For late-night talk shows, stand-up comics, some political factions and people who are easily entertained, it is a gift that keeps on giving. But in reality, as Molly was wont to say on the old "Fibber McGee and Molly" show, "Tain't funny, McGee."

I won't go into the details of the now infamous Rep. Anthony Weiner's transgressions other than to relate that not only were they frightfully stupid, he also was guilty of several bald-faced lies. And, his foolish indiscretions are far more serious than those of mere celebrities — his guilt includes betrayal of public trust.

His early denials of guilt mirrored those of others of similar repute. From a supposed glitch in his Twitter account, to someone playing a prank, to political enemies, his excuses ran the gamut. Conspiracy theories play well in Washington — from the "liberal left-wing media" to the "vast right-wing conspiracy," there is ample precedent for this defense.

When Mr. Weiner was finally caught with his pants down (literally), he resorted to the time-honored and tearful apology to his family, friends and constituents, uttering the now-required and obsequiously phony, "I take full responsibility for my actions."

Give me a break. Who else but the knucklehead who commits the act is responsible? As for the apology, he is sorry only for getting caught.

Rep. Weiner is not the first elected official to betray the public trust and become an embarrassment to himself and the electorate, nor will he be the last. Whether the actions — past, present and future — are criminal in nature or are lapses in morals, character or integrity, for the subject to continue in office is unthinkable.

Unlike actors, entertainers, athletes and private citizens, elected public officials must be held to higher standards of conduct and integrity. Are they not the ones we charge with making and enforcing our laws and empower with the appropriation and dispensing of our monies?

Judging from the man-on-the-street reactions, there appears a sizable number of people willing to forgive affairs and indiscretions as "invasions of privacy." But where is the logic in trusting a public official whose private life is a sham? This "let sleeping dogs lie" attitude is exactly why our respect for elected officials is at its lowest and why the majority of Congress, unfortunately, is painted with the same low esteem.

Neither political party holds a monopoly on members who should be shown the door for criminal, moral or character lapses. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the respective leadership to first ask, then order the offending member's resignation for the good of Congress. Should the individual refuse, the expulsion process is undertaken — in the House, the member is referred to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, in the Senate, to the Select Committee on Ethics.

Impeachment is not an option as members of Congress are not considered officers of the United States for that purpose. Consequently, in the instance of an individual who resists party pressure to resign, the leadership of both parties should bring to bear the full weight of either the House or the Senate to force the issue. The unwritten law, "We can't force you to do a thing, but we can make you wish you had," applies.

The commissioning certificates of the officers of the U.S. armed forces contain the following: "Know Ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of _____, I do appoint," signed by the president. Why then should we who elect the members to Congress expect other than that "special trust and confidence" in return?

Public trust must be denied the less than honorable. These words of Spencer Johnson come to mind: "Integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people."

To accept less from those we empower on our behalf is inconceivable.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at JKarlUSMC@aol.com.

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Comments

Paul Allaire June 15, 2011 | 1:31 a.m.

Alright. I'm tired of this. I spent a few minutes and looked.
These were the photo's that I was able to find...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/anthony_...

You feel free to do your own research if you want. Possibly there are photos that I didn't find. I admit that I initially felt inclined to send him to Iraq but then I asked myself why. Probably because I like to feign moral outrage.
It is apparent that I'm not the only one who likes to feign moral outrage. However, you do a more convincing job of it. Yours is such that you probably believe most of what you are saying.

Here's what I believe. There are some issues that are sensitive enough that the instant someone crosses a line people inevitably react without reason or remorse. At that point you or I may as well be having a discussion with a three year old kid who just dropped an ice cream bar down a sewer the moment after the ice cream truck just drove away on a hundred degree afternoon. I freely admit that my initial reaction was much in line with yours. But after thinking about it and viewing the photos I could find, the only thing I can say is BIG DEAL.

Did I expect a congressman not to ever try to have a sex life?

NO

Is it any of my business what a congressman does with his cameraphone on his off time?

NO

Do I wish that he had been as bold about admitting that the photo was his that he posted on the computer?

YES

But it is only the fear of phony, irrational, or one sided moral outrage that drove him to do otherwise. That is a shame. Let the voters decide about it. They're ignorant enough.

(Report Comment)
Dave Overfelt June 15, 2011 | 8:15 a.m.

My real quandary is here:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/gallery/200...

It took almost a year to call for Rep Bill Jefferson to step down form the House Ways and Means Committee and almost 3.5 years to ask him to resign. This Jefferson had taken bribes and there was no moral outrage.

We have our priorities all backwards. While we freak out and hang Anthony Weiner out to dry in seconds for having a very confused idea of how sex works, we let these same people break the law without any real media consequences. We ought to be outraged that there are children starving on the streets in our nation but we spend out time hunting down people who have "moral or character lapses".

(Report Comment)
Brian Wallstin June 15, 2011 | 12:19 p.m.

I expect, in this day and age, that the Col. is morally outraged with some regularity. After all, any columnist who references Fibber McGee and Molly must have, at this point, amassed innumerable variations on "Hey you kids, get off my lawn."

I've got no problem with that, as some of my best friends are self-righteous and cranky. They just aren't so selective about it.

I don't really care if Weiner stays or goes. He acted like a jackwagon, but he broke no laws. Seems to me his constituents are in the best position to decide whether or not he's now unqualified to represent their interests.

Kind of like when the voters in Louisiana, just last year, decided to forgive David Vitter's use of prostitutes and re-elect him. Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember the Col. weighing in on that lawbreaking lawmaker's right to hold office.

And, his passing reference to John Ensign in this piece is a rather pathetic attempt at even handedness. As if Anthony Weiner is every bit as awful and irredeemable as a man who attempted to bribe his way out of a sex scandal involving his best friend's wife.

Hypocrisy and double standards do not make for credible commentary, Col. You've been doing this long enough now to know that.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin June 15, 2011 | 1:54 p.m.

Uh oh:

Weiner's wife returns home to confront errant husband as new images emerge showing congressman cross dressing and 'oiled up'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller June 15, 2011 | 4:50 p.m.

My "moral outrage" as you put it is directed at Congressman Weiner's lying. Unfortunately, I have reached the point that I fail to be shocked or surprised at the perversions and sexual peccadilloes of the rich and/or famous.

By the way Mr Wallstin, your allegation of hypocrisy and double standard is laughable--that dog just won't hunt as I was dutifully fair and balanced in my examples--one Democrat and one Republican. When the subject is elected officials caught lying, that opens an extremely fertile landscape. Need I say more?

(Report Comment)
Tracy Greever-Rice June 15, 2011 | 4:51 p.m.

Uh oh! I guess my son's political career is over already. He dressed up as female (one year as a young lady, the next year as an old lady) two Halloweens in a row.

Somewhere I have a photo of my parents dressed up for Halloween when they were in their early 20s. My dad's a pregnant teen-aged girl and my mom's dressed in suit carrying a briefcase advertising her skills as a social worker. Another year about that time he went as the guy in the rain slicker riding a tricycle from Laugh-In (Dad's a funny guy, but I digress).

My ex got in the act once and went to a Twin Peaks party attired as the Log Lady. And Glenn looked quite fetching as Daisy Duke a year or two ago - that cute little Pa Kettle beard rounded out the ensem beautifully. He was hot.

Folks might need to lighten up a little. I've yet to see a pic of Mr. Weiner that wouldn't require ratcheting up the 'outrageous' factor a notch to even be considered for an Abercrombie & Fitch spread in Vanity Fair.

You want to know what's offensive to me? Want to know what I think is twisted and perverse? Folks that get off on ruining other people's lives for political gain and financial profit.

(Report Comment)
david smith June 15, 2011 | 5:37 p.m.

I think wiener should stay, he is a great leader and really puts his neck out for those unfortunate who dont have the motivation to find a job. I love to hear him speak, his voice and demeanor make him the perfect democrat leader. Come on folks, give him a break, sexting pics of yourself to multiple women while you are married is something us democrats like to do, it counters those stupid republican family values arguments.

Tracy griever-rice, you hang out with a lot of cross-dressers, let's party!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 15, 2011 | 7:17 p.m.

Oh my gawd. A cross dresser too. Send him to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
R. Whitfield Smith June 15, 2011 | 8:01 p.m.

I'll leave Wiener's future to his constituents. They elected him. They can keep him or vote him out, as they see fit.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 16, 2011 | 7:08 a.m.

Romans 3:23. I agree with R. W. Smith's sentiment that it should be up to voters in the jurisdiction that elected the official to deal with whether he/she stays in office.

As to the House (or Senate) expressing disfavor over the actions of one of its members, that's like the group of prostitutes who formed a society to debate the virtues of chastity. Some excellent debate actually ensued, but no one outside of the group payed the slightest attention!

(Report Comment)
Brian Wallstin June 16, 2011 | 9:23 a.m.

Col. Miller: If you're such an equal opportunity critic of elected officials caught lying, why do you only call out Democratic elected officials caught lying? I can't remember a single instance of you getting your shorts in a bunch over bad behavior by a Republican. If that's a double-standard and hypocritical, I don't know what is.

And give us all a break for having the intelligence to see that simply dropping a Republican's name, with no context or explanation, in a column dedicated to expressing disgust with a Democrat does not make you or the column fair and balanced.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush June 16, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.

The "Selective Outrage Machine" at its finest...or I look forward to your Tom Coburn (R-OK) and David Vitter (R-LA) columns.
"--that dog just won't hunt as I was dutifully *fair and balanced* in my examples--" You keep on using those words - I don't think they mean what you think they mean.

And I look forward to your column on Sir Winston Churchill: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

But you and I know the real reason...IOKIYAR <wink,wink>.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop June 16, 2011 | 3:38 p.m.

I can't speak for other branches of the military. In the Marines, which of course Colonel Miller knows best, there were and are actual consequences to moral indiscretions. Go to any Marine Corps Base and look at the base paper. There are continual publications of courts martials for Marines of every grade and rank for infidelity. You can also have your security clearance revoked for use of drugs, alcohol, debt, and morality reasons. For those of us involved in intelligence or counter intelligence, these were the areas that hostile foreign intelligence agents looked for when targeting potential sources to compromise. If you wanted to find a foreign spy, look for him at the bars close to the base, or to be running a home for wayward women near the base (not advertised in the yellow pages). A couple of pictures or a recording is sometimes all it took to turn a source who would prefer his wife not find out, or his/her commanding officer not become aware of substance abuse. We did it to them too.

What Colonel Miller is used to is being surrounded by people who, when they've messed up, even if there was no intention to do so, stand up and fess up and did the right thing. Could be why you find very few politicians who were once Marines. And many times we've seen those politicians who were possess those qualities which Marines loathed - compromising principles, self serving, or just plain dishonest.

What I know is Colonel Miller will not condone unethical behavior by any politician or public official of any stripe. The simple fact is though, if you research the news stories from regular news sources, you will find the vast majority of political corruption comes from the left side of the isle. You can selectively pick all the stories you want to make it appear that it's even. But use the word convicted in your websearch, and you find where the truth lies.

Since Colonel Miller was at one time the Marine Corps' liason to congress, he more than all the rest of us was in a position to recognize the political beast as it existed in the not too distant past. Knowing too the leadership positions he has held in commanding thousands of Marines in a combat unit, or molding young teens as the Commandant of the Marine Military Academy, he has personally been responsible to teaching and providing the example of how to conduct yourself in a manner which not only avoids shame, but provides a stellar example to all.

When it comes to judgment, experience, leadership, and intelligent opinion based on logic and common sense, I'll take Colonel Miller over anything Brian or Paul have to offer.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller June 16, 2011 | 5:19 p.m.

I suppose I should let sleeping digs lie but, for several of you, what purports to be fair and balanced is far to amusing let pass. Since my example ratio of one to one--one Republican, one Democrat does not appear to satisfy your sense of fair play, may I pose this question? To be equitable, must my ratio of evil doing Republicans to Democrats be 2 to 1, 3 to 1 or perhaps five untruthful Republicans for each lying Democrat? I await your responses.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush June 16, 2011 | 6:51 p.m.

Col. Miller,
I will encourage you to re-read what you wrote. You mention one Republican and two Democrats. But the “ratio” is as much of a distraction as the digital “flasher” you spend so many words in castigating. It is a distraction from a President disregarding the War Powers Act and due process. It is a distraction from the debt ceiling and wealth concentration. It is a distraction from unemployment and foreclosures – tax cheat Tim Geither and a stalled Consumer Protection Agency.
If your thesis is one of scoundrels as politicians *yawn*. But if your thesis is one of “we need to do better vetting and holding accountable those entrusted to public service” then we are in agreement. Though, I am reminded of something that you may find familiar. “If one is interested in the foibles of the rich and famous, the select and the ordinary, or merely rumor and innuendo, there are always the tabloids located at grocery store checkout lines.” Here’s the link to the story - http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

Finally, being creepy is not a crime nor is dishonesty unless under oath.
With respect to your friend on the archipeligo - let's hear some praise for Sen. Jim Webb.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 16, 2011 | 7:21 p.m.

Don Milsop wrote this: "The simple fact is though, if you research the news stories from regular news sources, you will find the vast majority of political corruption comes from the left side of the isle."
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That is a quantitative statement (as in "Don's researched it, added it up, and here are his conclusions"), and Don owes readers at least some gesture towards evidence that supports what he's claiming here. Otherwise, we can simply treat it as hogwash.
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PS: By "isle," he probably means "aisle."

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 16, 2011 | 7:30 p.m.

Damn Gregg. Why didn't I think of that? Selective outrage machine/selective apologist. Tsk tsk tsk.

And Tim, forgive Don. He allegedly lives on an isle. Although he won't say which one or what side...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop June 16, 2011 | 8:40 p.m.

Tim - when you live in Hawaii, you get used to saying isle.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop June 16, 2011 | 9:11 p.m.

Tim, what is blatantly obvious to most conservatives, but not to liberals, is that often news stories about malfeasance or misconduct by Democrats often lack the identifier as Democrat in press stories, unless they happen to be a nationally known figure.

Do a bit of research on how the press votes, and you will see on the average that more than 80% of media vote Dem. Even at FOX it's something around 60% who vote Dem. I have a 2007 MSNBC story that tracked 148 people in media that made political donations, only 16 gave to Republicans. Chris Wallace, Shepard Smith, and Bernard Goldberg are all Dems. When you have a balanced political viewpoint given to the American people by those who present the news, then the distribution of viewers amongst news outlets will be more evenly distributed. As of last year, FOX held the top TWELVE news slots on all of cable. And regardless of the type of network - sports, movies,etc, FOX ranked #4 in viewership amongst all cable networks. Call it hogwash or whatever you will, the media bias is real.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 17, 2011 | 6:36 a.m.

Not to contribute further to the derailing of a thread, but Don Milsop needed to provide evidence for his claim that "the vast majority of political corruption comes from the left side of the isle. [sic]"
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Instead, he trotted out the old saw about media bias, a very different thing.

(Report Comment)
Brian Wallstin June 17, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

Col. Miller: As I said, "I can't remember a single instance of you getting your shorts in a bunch over bad behavior by a Republican."

Can you?

(Report Comment)
Evelyn Dunn June 17, 2011 | 8:33 a.m.

Having read Col. Miller's column and the ensuing comments, it appears to be a simple matter to separate the Liberals from the Conservatives. However I believe when the simple matter of right and wrong becomes the basis for one's belief system and every topic is reduced to those two categories, it is a waste of time to "debate" since any given fact is met with "Prove it". Obviously in a comment column, that is almost an impossibility. Did it ever occur to those of you who refuse to accept the statements given that maybe you ought to check it out for yourself?

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm June 17, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.

Miller,

I’m a little confused. If a married public official sends risqué pictures and lies about it then it is an offense that one should lose their job over. However, if a married public official has an actual physical affair and lies about it and then has his boss help try to cover it up it is okay and the public and press should back off. The first is your opinion on Weiner and the second your opinion on the Dressner issue. You cannot seem to keep your opinions in line with each other. Maybe you are the confused one?

Gov. Schwarzenegger had a child out of wedlock and lied about it for a decade. Where is your article condemning him? Oh wait; he is a republican so it is okay right?

What it looks like to me is you only care about progressive vs regressive. Once again you show yourself to be divulged of any critical thinking and instead boil everything down to black and white sides. You treat politics and people’s lives like they are just a football game. One again, you are a partisan hack.

Personally I think that the public has a right to know in both the Weiner and Dressner situations and I think it should be left up to the voters of Rep Weiner’s district to decide if he is fit for office. We are still a democratic republic right?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 17, 2011 | 9:50 a.m.

"Even at FOX it's something around 60% who vote Dem."

Wow. I wonder if anybody ever thought to examine their rate of suicide. That sounds like you may have found some proof that Democrats have no integrity. Do you have a source for that?

"I have a 2007 MSNBC story that tracked 148 people in media that made political donations, only 16 gave to Republicans."

Did you consider that it would be relatively hard for someone to work in the media on a daily basis and then do like the most of the rest of the country does and not pay attention to what is actually going on? I mean, is it any wonder that only a small percent of the media would give anything to the Republicans?

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller June 17, 2011 | 2:47 p.m.

I am still chuckling at the attempts to politicize the column. Not once did I mention Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, or even Presbyterian. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads the column or merely jumps to conclusions?

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 17, 2011 | 5:39 p.m.

Tim Trayle - "Don owes readers at least some gesture towards evidence that supports what he's claiming here. Otherwise, we can simply treat it as hogwash."

Ever read any Bernard Goldberg, the Emmy Award winning, registered Democrat, journalist, who was fired from CBS News for writing an OP-ED about the bias in media news? First book, I believe, was "Bias". Try it. You will not like it.

Your selection from "all the studies" to prove the "hardships" imposed by voter photo ID, discussed on the other thread, was sorely lacking. As you recommend, I treated it as Hog Wash.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 17, 2011 | 7:30 p.m.

Send the hogwash to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 17, 2011 | 7:50 p.m.

Thanks Frank! I appreciate the reading suggestion, but read it long ago, and several more insightful studies! (P.S. Wasn't Bernie's op-ed in the Wall St. J. printed without approval from CBS, in clear violation of contract? PLEASE don't respond--that's a rhetorical question! We need to keep with the thread.)
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Meanwhile, Don M. still owes us a glimmer of evidence to support his quantitative claim that "the vast majority" of political corruption comes from the "left" side.
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Don?
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J. Karl--don't be coy. Surely you can see that people are suggesting that you politicized the column through your selective dismay. Yes, you balanced your examples, but your *topic* is Weiner (couldn't let that one go, could we?), and you've demonstrated vibrant political colors time and again in your editorializing.
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(That's fine, of course--you've got a perfect right to your political bias--but for you to act as if you're mystified by liberals [I suppose they are] who have pointed out the wider, and yes, politicized, context of your cri de coeur is disingenuous of you. Surely you can understand the point here.)
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It's kind of like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. You've been such a spokesperson for prevailing conservative culture-war views, that, as a result, your ostensibly neutral dismay over politicians' behavior just isn't that believable. People will inevitably read your work as produced through a Limbaugh-filter, because you created that expectation. Not good journalism (in my opinion), but it's been a path to riches for some...

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson June 18, 2011 | 12:17 a.m.

Colonel: Upon reading your critics' comments here, I am reminded of the Latin phrase that was supposedly the motto of General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell: "Illegitimati Non Carborundum". Don't let the b**tards get you down. I am also reminded of the old saying I have heard from my father: "Some folks would b*tch if you hung them with a brand new rope."

Weiner's a D. That rankles some folks (the fact that he's a D, not a Weiner). Same with Edwards, probably more so, since he had some big boosters around these parts. Personally, I found the scandals of Foley and Craig more creepy.

Sometimes this "Limbaugh-filter" is less a product of Limbaugh, and more a product of Media Mutters, DailyKos, MSDNC, et al.

Keep on truckin', Colonel.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance June 18, 2011 | 9:53 a.m.

Tony,

The point of us "bastards" is that the Col decided that the focus of his article about Wiener while just giving a passing mention to Ensign. The Col seems to think lately that not only voter suppression is in order, but it seemly less of a problem for him that a congressman break the law, hire a hooker, than try cover it up. The Col is unfortunately is a partisan hack and just regurgitates the party line of the day.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 18, 2011 | 2:44 p.m.

Tim Trayle - The thread was about truth and character, or the lack of it in elected officials. You and the others changed it to "bias", so stick around awhile.

B. Goldberg's contract is not what his firing was about. He was so upset with the way our "news" was/is being portrayed that he went to everyone concerned. First,Dan Rather, who told him, (Rather's) news casts were "right down the middle of the road". (Rather, of course, was later fired for falsifying information to vilify W. Bush in CBS nationwide news coverage. Goldberg then went to the "boss", KFRU Radio's own Eric Engberg, got no satisfaction there, so, wrote the article and was removed from the roles of the CBS employed. Goldberg states that the moguls at NYT and Washington Post distribute the line of thought for the broadcast news, to the TV networks on a daily basis.

If you know this,"read it long ago, and several more insightful studies!", do not contest it, but, continue your, lame, laments about the handling of facts by another, you would be the disingenuous, among us, in my opinion.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 18, 2011 | 6:18 p.m.

Frank, Frank, Frank...
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I don't contest that there may be a (slight) liberal bias that appears in news from time to time. Most journalists are democrats, and while good ones practice objectivity (if we still believe in that concept), bias will creep in. But the idea that it exists at a sufficient level to...what...mask the unreported "reality" that the political left contributes "the vast majority" (Don's words) of political corruption in this country *seems* ludicrous. I'd just like some *evidence* for these kinds of wild claims, instead of conspiratorial anecdotes.
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Do note that if you read my intervention in this thread, you will see that it came when Don Milsop claimed that "the vast majority" of political corruption comes from the left. I asked for evidence, so I could somehow examine this warrantless claim. Milsop offered no evidence (still has not), I called him on it, and *you* jumped in with the bit about media bias. As if a mention of Goldberg's book took care of the evidence problem.
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Are you committed to making arguments from evidence, Frank? Or will you resort to name-calling, other forms of insult, and odd generalities about "typical liberals"?
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Let's see real evidence to support Milsop's claim. It's a serious charge, and so that evidence will need to be conclusive.
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Lastly, I would imagine you & I may be the last people reading this particular thread. So feel free to present your evidence--or Don's--in a more recent one, when it seems appropriate. If what you, or he, have to offer is genuine, it needs to be seen by the whole community, and indeed, the entire country.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger June 18, 2011 | 10:42 p.m.

I'm waiting.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson June 18, 2011 | 10:56 p.m.

Jeez, Tim Dance, I know what you mean. I just absolutely HATE reading newspaper opinion pages, and seeing partisan hacks who just regurgitate the party line of the day.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 18, 2011 | 11:41 p.m.

Tim Trayle & Hank - It is late and my wife-well never mind, but, I'll give you the last five political scandals. Here, or wherever, tomorrow. Think about them yourselves.

(Report Comment)
Ed Ricciotti June 19, 2011 | 2:42 a.m.

Tim,

You are getting your naughty Republicans confused. It was Senator Vitter that was diapered by prostitutes. Ensign had an affair with his top aide's wife and when it came to light, Ensign's parents tried to buy her off and Ensign arranged the aide a job as a lobbyist to hush them up. It is always the cover-up that gets you. Ensign case has been bumped up to the DOJ for an investigation.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 19, 2011 | 6:53 a.m.

Frank C wrote: "...the last five political scandals."
....
No, no, no, Frank. Not "the last five." We need evidence concerning "the vast majority." You seemed to want to support Don in these with your mention of Goldberg's book--as if Goldberg (a) was conclusive proof of a strong "leftist" bias in the news, and (b) that "fact" gave evidence of the "vast majority" Don had claimed.
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Don't give us anecdotal cases, as that will simply result in a tit-for-tat response with an equivalent number of rightward malfeasants. Give us the data that proves the claim about the "vast majority."
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It's a simple request for evidence to support unsupported assertions.
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It'd be nice to hear from Don, of course. Heck, maybe he's off somewhere pulling together the data!

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 19, 2011 | 11:26 a.m.

Tim Trayle - Is not "the claim about the "vast majority.", made of "anecdotal cases"? As one who can only see humanity as the struggling masses who require governmental financial injections for their survival, I can understand your refusal to consider individual cases. Your, out of hand, rejection of Goldberg's experience indicates, that nothing would suit you in this instance, barring a declaration from your ruling "troika", (Obama, Pelosi, Reid).

Here are the scandals. None involve deviate behavior, only theft of money. Abscam - 7D's & J. Murtha, spared because he "squealed" on the rest. Wedtech - several D's convicted, E Meese absolved. Keating Five - 4 D's & J. McCain. McCain absolved, bu made to stand with others for censure by D' Senate Leader. House Bank and Post Office, created by D's as slush fund for D's. Exposed and shut down by "94 freshman R's. Rep. D' Dan Rostenkowski - Prison for fraud. D' Rep. Wm. Jefferson - Prison for corruption. D' IL Governor, Rod Blagojevich - Impeached, convicted, corruption. Is that more than 5? You will now want to prepare your "tit-for-tat response".

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 19, 2011 | 6:31 p.m.

Frank wrote: "As one who can only see humanity as the struggling masses who require governmental financial injections for their survival, I can understand your refusal to consider individual cases. Your, out of hand, rejection of Goldberg's experience indicates, that nothing would suit you in this instance, barring a declaration from your ruling "troika", (Obama, Pelosi, Reid)."
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"As one who can only see..." Um...you claim that's me?? Good grief, Frank. Where does this sort of stuff come from? Look at how you've claimed to know my mind, with this stuff about "struggling masses" and code words like "troika." Will you please review my posting history here, and tell me where you get the gumption to use this Marxist labeling?? It's just not a mature way to conduct an argument.
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(Just because I don't agree with you, doesn't mean you've got some sort of commie on your hands. I do wish you'd try to see that.)
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(And yes, I ignored the anecdotal evidence you offered. This is a big country, with lots of political offices. Don made a quantitative claim; you (seemed to have) supported it. Again, please provide evidence that will support the claim. Perhaps a political scientist or two have done such studies, and Don or you had read them. But let's do argue from evidence.)
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Thanks!

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 19, 2011 | 9:43 p.m.

T. Trayle - "Brian Wallstin June 17, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

Col. Miller: As I said, "I can't remember a single instance of you getting your shorts in a bunch over bad behavior by a Republican." This, is when the conversation turned to bias, not with any post of mine.

Seems Your imagination is running wild. Who, but you, has mentioned Marxist or commie? I used "troika" because there are three of them. What is a "Limbaugh-filter"? Tim, in my opinion, you are just another liberal oriented writer who can only produce liberal works, then, feels a need for immunity when confronted with the "label". They are as thick as fleas around here.

I believe there are and have been more corrupt Democrats, than corrupt Republicans in our Congress. If you disagree, You prove I am wrong.

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Tim Trayle June 20, 2011 | 7:25 a.m.

Nope Frank--bait-and-switch doesn't work, and that's a weak response. Me? I would *never* make a claim that corrupt Republicans outnumber corrupt Democrats because (a) I *know* offering conclusive evidence to support *either* position would be difficult, and, given that, (b) I don't think making unfounded wild claims like that really has a place in mature argumentation. So I really don't have a need to make the case; the onus was on those (Don and yourself) to offer conclusive evidence, unless you were merely offering the claim as unsupported opinion.
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Since you've decided to give Don and you a "pass" with regard to offering real evidence for his claim about the "vast majority," we'll let the matter remain purely as his and your unsupported opinion. You have every right to it!
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Have a lovely day!
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PS: If you don't feel "troika"--as you used it--is a commie code word, fine. Many would disagree: in these kinds of political "arguments," when one side trots out words habitually used to refer to Soviet ruling administrators, there's usually some rhetorical intent. But heck!--but I accept your denial of an intended implication behind its use: "troika" is merely a neutral noun, okay. [Perhaps Frank C. has a Russian background, and when stuck for a word, simply--innocently, unconsciously--reaches into his bag of Russian colloquialisms?] Oh, and this: I have very little time for Pelosi or Reid, and Obama isn't a particular favorite either.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop June 20, 2011 | 6:41 p.m.

When you think of voter fraud, which party comes to mind?
Which party gets caught trying to get mentally retarded people to vote? Which party gets caught giving cigarettes and drugs to people to get them to vote. Which party gets caught on tape telling illegals to vote? Which party in 2000 got caught with the voting machine in their car? Which party has had voters in precincts vote in alphabetical order? Which party do dead people usually vote for? Which party do ineligible former felons vote for? Which party did ACORN support, and which party supported ACORN? The left thrives on corruption.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle June 20, 2011 | 7:32 p.m.

Don, that's *exactly* the kind of thing I told Frank would happen if someone who hadn't actually looked at the issue of political corruption from a real evidence-based perspective, instead just went with his gut. Consider all the types of malfeasance that goes under political corruption (illegal scrubbing of voter rolls, for example, or destruction of Democratic registration forms by RNC linked registration outfits), and you'll see that a list of scattershot questions isn't a rational approach. Folks would be here all night, with tit-for-tat accusations, etc.
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(And what happens if we move to the level of state and local gov't? See how the necessary data would expand exponentially? Have *you* got a handle on it? I sure don't.)
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I had assumed that since you made a claim about the overwhelming majority of corruption being from the left, that you could possibly supply good conclusive evidence. But maybe you just wanted to represent that claim as a gut feeling, or opinion, rather than fact. That's fine, but we should avoid representing opinion as fact--and when we do and are called on it, we ought to be able to support the claim with conclusive evidence. Otherwise, we do no good to whatever "side" we're claim to be on.
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You're more than welcome to your opinion--in fact (and here's the thing) you *may* even be right! But without the evidence, it remains an opinion, and many folks would think you should recognize that.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 20, 2011 | 7:37 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Joy Mayer June 20, 2011 | 8:04 p.m.

Mr. Allaire, your "send them to Iraq" comments appear on many of our stories here. The one on this particular story took on a tone of cruelty that has caused me to choose to unpublish it.

If you have a more detailed commentary on Iraq that you'd like to share with us, we'd love to hear it. news@ColumbiaMissourian.com.

— Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 20, 2011 | 8:33 p.m.

Why, I was merely attempting to say the most irreverent thing possible while expending the least amount of creative effort. Surely I deserve some sort of points for that! You think it's easy for us, trying to get the retarded to vote, buying people cigarettes and drugs, learning Spanish...

Well it's NOT!!! And to top that you have to go and pull my comments. Who will ever send people to Iraq now? What happens when all the people I already sent over there get lonely and wander off? What will happen if we quit sending people to IRAQ??? HOW IN GOD'S NAME DO YOU EXPECT THOSE PEOPLE TO CONTINUE TO EXIST WITHOUT THE CONTRIBUTIONS I HAVE MADE?

I don't think you ever thought about that!!! You're just trying to sound like one of those overtly sensitive politically correct types. Possibly you're a "compassionate conservative". And I'm going to argue with you three times harder now because I HATE conservatives!!!

Just more proof that the media is biased to the right!!!

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