Vs. Broderism. Eric Alterman in The Nation discusses David Broder’s reluctance to seek the truth about torture. Sadly, Broder is just one amongst many who view politics as some sort of game divorced from ethics, morality, and the rule of law:
Sadly, Broder’s decision to avert his eyes from the distasteful and potentially criminal actions of his government is not exceptional; it’s how he defines his job. Forty years ago he scolded those in the Democratic Party who challenged Lyndon Johnson’s lies about Vietnam as “degrading…to those involved.” Twenty years ago he attacked independent counsel Lawrence Walsh’s investigation into criminal wrongdoing in the Iran/Contra scandal. (Reagan had mused that he would likely be impeached should his extraconstitutional actions ever be discovered.) Broder supported Republican efforts to impeach Bill Clinton, whose behavior he deemed “worse” than Richard Nixon’s police-state tactics during Watergate because Nixon’s actions, “however neurotic and criminal, were motivated and connected to the exercise of presidential power.” There is a pattern here, obviously. When a president abuses his constitutional warmaking powers, he can depend on Broder not only to defend his crimes but to attack those who would hold him accountable. This, in the eyes of perhaps the most honored and admired journalist today, is the proper function of the press in a democracy.