February 25, 2005

$10,000 Reward Offered for Proof Helen Thomas Slept With Eleanor Roosevelt: A counter-factual analysis

No, not really. But now that the left-wing-it's-not-about-gay-sex-blogosphere has offered a $10,000 reward for any physical evidence that would prove Jeff Gannon / James Guckert slept with adminstration officials I just thought we'd play a little hard ball too.

Too low-brow you say?

Ok. Since women obviously don't produce the kind of DNA evidence the left is searching for we'll have to settle for a good old fashion counter-factual analysis.

Counter-factual analysis?

Sorry. Forgot to take off my methodology hat.

Counter-factual analysis is when we compare what actually happened to what would have happened if one variable was changed.

For instance, had Hitler (no, not Bush-Hitler, the real one) decided not to order the Luftwaffe to stop bombing the port at Dunkirk we might imagine that England would have been forced to capitulate soon after the Battle of Brittain was launched.

That is counter-factual analysis.

The Soros funded Media Matters blogosphere crowd keeps making this counter-factual claim, or something like it: Had Jeff Gannon been a Democratic partisan during the Clinton administration you know this would have turned into a major scandal.

Maybe or maybe not. Just as in the same way we cannot know that if the Nazis had cut off the retreating British at Dunkirk what the final outcome of the war would have been, we cannot really know what the reaction would have been if had the Jeff Gannon affair happened during the Clinton administration.

But what the left is missing here is that the Jeff Gannon affair, or something quite like it, may have already happened and it may have happened during the Clinton Administration. In fact, how do we know that it did not? The only reason that we know so much about Jeff Gannon is that the left blogosphere has placed his life under a microscope.

Have they bothered to put Helen Thomas's life under that same microscope?

John Hawkins does a bang-up job in this post of comparing Helen Thomas's 'thoughtful, provocative, and non-partisan' questions to Jeff Gannon's alleged soft-balls.

Read all of the Helen Thomas quotes. If this is how the objective non-partisan media acts, then give me the partisan media any day. At least with the partisan media you know where they are coming from. There is no illusion of neutrality.

Hawkins ends the comparison with this bit of advice that I reprint for you. Willis, Atrios, and Kos would do well to heed it:

Of course, Thomas hasn't been accused of any sexual misconduct, but how would anyone know unless Helen Thomas' sex life is given the same exacting scrutiny that Jeff Gannon's was? Is it possible that Thomas might be a lesbian? Could she have worked for an escort service on the side? Has she ever had an affair with a married man? Most conservatives, myself included, don't think those are relevant questions to ask of reporters, but since the left doesn't seem to share our opinion, perhaps there's an intrepid liberal blogger out there who wants to dig into Helen Thomas' sex life? Just look at the traffic that has been generated on the left by dragging Gannon's sex life through the mud -- who's to say it would be any different with Thomas?

Let me close with a warning that bloggers on the left should take to heart: the precedent you are setting by dragging a minor media figure's sex life (and even rumors about his sex life) into the public domain may come back and bite you. After all, if it becomes accepted that Jeff Gannon's sex life is fair game, then why wouldn't the sex life of major media figures or even big name bloggers be fair game as well? Let's hope that the left side of the blogosphere -- in a desperate attempt to keep a small, insignificant scandal alive -- has not created a "Gannon Standard" that will be used to justify this sort of public sliming for years to come. [READ THE WHOLE THING]

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:14 PM | Comments |