Burying a Scandal...Media Style

Imagine if you will, Condoleezza Rice, the United States National Security Advisor to President Bush, is getting ready to testify before the 9-11 commission. She will be asked about many top secret issues and programs, and have lots of evidence about her handlings (or mishandlings) presented to the public. Secret documents, official White House memos, audio recordings…all of these things are dug up from the National Archives building and used to confront Ms. Rice.

Now imagine that a couple of days before she testifies before the Commission, Condoleezza Rice goes into the National Archives building in Washington D.C. and begins to steal documents from the archives. She begins showing secret papers inside her coat, down her pants, in her shoes, and she even hides some underneath a trailer outside, so she can recover them later. There are witnesses to all of these actions, and eventually Ms. Rice confesses to the whole thing.

How long do you think it would be before the Media crucified her on every news cast known to man? How long do you think it would be before they started a band new channel specifically devoted to the “National Archives Scandal?” The media would demand answers, and her head on a silver platter. This story would be in every single headline in every single newspaper for a year.

Well, this has happened. But, I’m sure that you haven’t heard about it. Because, it wasn’t Condoleezza Rice who did it. It was Sandy Berger, the United States National Security Advisor to President Clinton.

Yes, just a few days before the former advisor was to testify before the Commission, Berger went into the National Archives building and stole secret Government documents. And, yes…He even stuffed some of them down his pants.

This story broke in 2004 across the blogosphere. Mainstream media outlets refused to touch the story. After all, they couldn’t shine a bad light on Clinton’s legacy. They were too busy forging documents about Bush’s National Guard service.

The few times that the media did mention the story (only briefly, mind you), how did they present it?

“This was triggered by a carefully orchestrated leak about Berger, and the timing of it appears to be no coincidence.”
- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News

“Democrats claim the story was leaked just in time to distract from the 9/11 report.”
- Andrea Mitchell, NBC Nightly News

But, Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge and went on his way, with hardly a word from the press.

Now it is two years later, and facts about his caper are still coming out. In a new report issued to the Associated Press on Wednesday of this week, it has been discovered that Berger hid some documents underneath a trailer so he could recover them later. He recovered them, and the documents are still missing.

There are still documents missing! We have no idea what might be in them. Berger certainly thought they were important enough to risk jail time to smuggle out. And, he never turned them over per his plea agreement. They are still out there, and Berger knows where they are!

With this new damning evidence, what did the media have to say? Let’s take a look at the subject matter from Thursday night’s primetime news for ABC, CBS, and NBC:

1. Winter snow? Check.
2. Haditha? Check. Check. Check.
3. Teen drug use? Check.
4. Some story about a long-extinct dinosaur? Check.
5. Burning off calories from Gingerbread cookies? Check.

Nope, not one mention of Sandy “Pants” Berger. But, at least the morning shows had something to say about it. CNN’s "American Morning" dedicated a total of 24 seconds to the story, while ABC’s "Good Morning America" coverage totaled 23 seconds. The CBS and NBC morning shows completely ignored it.

You think I’m making that up, don’t you? Read this.

[7:08 AM]

Kate Snow: "There are new cloak-and-dagger details about the theft of classified documents by a Clinton administration official. A government report now says former national security advisor Sandy Berger took the documents from the National Archives in 2003, hid them under a construction trailer and later destroyed some of them. Berger pleaded guilty and paid a $50,000 fine, but he never served any jail time."

[6:08 AM]

Soledad O’Brien: "In Washington, D.C., new details from a national archives watchdog group on how Sandy Berger stole classified documents back in 2003. He was supposed to get a report about U.S. terror threats during the Clinton administration to the 9/11 Commission. Instead, they say, he stuffed copies in his suit pockets and hit him at a construction site and then went back for more. Sandy Berger's already paid a fine and served public service for the theft."

The coverage ends there. No investigations. No questions about the content of the missing papers. No questions about Clinton’s culpability in fraudulently protecting his own legacy. Just the Left-Wing media at its finest.

I wonder. Would Ms. Rice get the same treatment?


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