The liberal media have been having a feeding frenzy this past week at the expense of the hapless and strange Democrat from New York, Eric Massa. Mr. Massa, who has resigned his congressional seat, has admitted to participating in "tickle fights" with his assistants, as well as other behaviors most of us might consider somewhat unusual for a fifty year old husband and father. He's also been accused of making unwelcome sexual advances on male subordinates both in Congress and while serving as an officer in the Navy.
So much for the sad story of Eric Massa. What I'd like to focus on is the peculiar response to this episode by the liberal media which has been relishing and abetting the spectacle of this poor man humiliating and debasing himself in nationally televised interviews. They can't seem to get enough of the sordid details. My question for the media progressives, then, is what, exactly, do they consider Mr. Massa's offenses to be that he so richly merits their derision and contempt?
Are they scandalized by his alleged unwelcome gropings and advances? If so, where were they when Paula Jones, Kathleen Willy and Juanita Broaddrick were making the same, or worse, sorts of allegations against President Clinton? Back then the media couldn't do enough to discredit the women who were making the charges and to protect the President from their "slanders." In what significant way is Mr. Massa's behavior any different from President Clinton's? Indeed, it could be argued that it was not nearly as bad. Juanita Broadderick, after all, accused Mr. Clinton of having raped her and Kathleen Willey accused him of having molested her in the Oval Office. All of these women were subsequently subjected to smears, aspersions, and intimidation, and the liberal media happily piled on. Rather like Mr. Massa's friends were said to pile on him to celebrate his fiftieth birthday.
Perhaps, then, it's the homosexual nature of Mr. Massa's advances the media finds so titillating. But haven't they been instructing us for a generation now that gay sex should be looked upon in the same way we view "straight" sex? To ridicule Massa because his frolics were homo- rather than heterosexual is to violate one of the major tenets of 21st century liberal sexual orthodoxy. Why would enlightened liberals be snickering at Mr. Massa's conduct as though it were a degrading perversion, unless, of course, they're hypocrites?
Well, we don't want to think that so maybe the media are amused simply by the fact that this pathetic man is making a public fool of himself. But, again, if that's what has set them all to chortling why aren't they rolling on the floor in laughter over Nancy Pelosi's steady flow of inanities? This woman makes a fool of herself almost every time she opens her mouth. The other day she told us that Congress had to pass the health care reform (HCR) bill so that we could know what was in it. No sooner did we get done scratching our heads over that one than she followed it up with soothing assurances that if the measure is passed those of us who wish to be artists or writers won't have to worry about having to keep a job to pay for our insurance since our neighbors will be required to pay for it for us. Isn't that swell? If you decide to leave your job to go splatter paint on a canvas can you expect your neighbor to buy you your food and gas, and pay your mortgage, too?
Anyway, the liberal media's treatment of Massa is not about his sexual gropings. If it were they would've been outraged by Bill Clinton. Nor is it about the fact that his romps were homoerotic because liberals profess to see nothing wrong with that. Nor is it about his embarrassingly ridiculous attempts to justify his behavior in televised interviews for if it were they'd be scoffing merrily at Nancy Pelosi's vacuous attempts to justify HCR.
No. Under the pretense of illuminating Mr. Massa's ethical and moral transgressions the media is trying to destroy him because, despite being one of the most progressive members in the House of Representatives, he was a "no" vote on HCR. If he'd been a "yes" they would've had scarcely a word to say about his ethical problems, just as they've been loath to say much about Chris Dodd's or Charles Rangel's problems or those of the late Jack Murtha.
Perhaps the best explanation for the liberal media's conduct in this case - other than that, like bullies, they take pleasure in kicking people who are down (vide their delight in exposing every sleazy and harmful detail of Tiger Woods' personal life) - is that, perhaps unconsciously, they want to make Massa look as weird as possible so that the public will come to associate opposition to HCR with total weirdness.RLC