Dear press corps: You made your bed, you can lie in it.
Following a link from Atrios, we come to an amusing little article which describes how the Secret Service selectively restricted the freedom of reporters who sought to interview one specific set of (AIDS) demonstrators at a Bush rally. According to WaPo's Dana Milbank:
"One uniformed Secret Service agent complained to a colleague that 'the press is having a field day' with the disruption -- and the agents quickly clamped down. Journalists were told that if they sought to approach the demonstrators, they would not be allowed to return to the event site -- even though their colleagues were free to come and go."
"An agent, who did not give his name, told one journalist who was blocked from returning to the speech that this was punishment for approaching the demonstrators and that there was a 'different set of rules' for reporters who did not seek out the activists."
Apparently, we're all supposed to be livid at this clear violation of the press corps' First Amendment rights. To which I can only say -- who gives a damn? This is the same press corps that has rolled over and taken every conceivable abuse that this administration has dished out over the last three-plus years -- reliably presenting White House press releases as real news, endlessly covering the nonsense coming out of the Bush-backed Swift Boat Veterans for Truth [sic], savaging John Kerry for everything from his hair to his windsurfing, putting up with Scott McClellan press gaggles at which Scottie flat-out lies in their faces and pretty much giving George W. and his corrupt buddies a free ride on just about everything. And now, they want the freedom to do their jobs? Oh, puhleeze.
It's a bit late for that, boys and girls. You've been pretty much missing in action since 2000. You've done virtually nothing in the way of defending the allegedly-noble practise of journalism, and you've bent over and taken it from this administration every time. I can just imagine the howling good times they've had in the bowels of the White House over the last couple of years: "Man, I can't believe the kind of crap and abuse we can dump on those reporters. And, can you believe it, they still keep coming back and printing what we say? Is this awesome or what? Hey, Scott, here's a neat idea. Let's just flat out starting altering the official transcripts of the press gaggles and see if anyone even complains. Ha ha."
In an unintentional bit of hilarity, the article asks:
" ... we're outraged. Is anyone else?"
Sure I am. I'm outraged that these "journalists" still have their jobs, and that they think they somehow still have the moral ground to complain about this mistreatment. If you let the Bushies step all over you for three years, what makes you think you have any right to complain about it now?