Todayís news: "It ainít necessarily so."
A sure sign of a political candidateís rising effectiveness is when the MSM allege sexual misconduct. Almost invariably, the MSM do so without a named source and/or any documentary evidence. It is almost always "an informed source." Or, "someone close to the candidate." The "leak" becomes the judge, jury, and executioner in the Court of Public Opinion.
Gone are the days when responsible editors subjected titillating stories to reasonable standards of proof. But it did not used to be that way. There was a time, especially during the FDR Administration, when the media bent over backwards to spike stories about the private lives of favored public figures.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin won a Pulitzer Prize for telling the truth in her 1994 book: No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.
But rather than be suspected of political partisanship (I happen to think FDR was a great wartime President and Eleanor was a great First Lady), readers can delve into Kearnsí well-documented evidence of serial womanizing and lesbian relationships that would make the Clinton White House blush.
The White House reportersí ethos of the time was not to report on the internal "relationships" of the First Family. Nor did they report that Polio or, perhaps, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), rendered FDRís legs useless.
FDR could only be photographed sitting at his desk or seated in his touring car and, sometimes, supported by one of his sons walking painfully in steel leg braces. Few knew that, out of the public eye, burly Secret Service agents were moving FDR around like a sack of coal.
While the public was kept in the dark, a small group of amputees learned the truth when FDR asked the Secret Service to wheel him into a hospital ward of servicemen who lost legs and/or arms. At each bedside, their Commander-in-Chief offered words of consolation and encouragement.
Even this act of kindness was kept from the American public. But Hitler knew about FDRís useless legs and joked about it with his inner circle. Stalin probably knew because Alger Hiss accompanied FDR to Yalta and then went with Stalin to Moscow to work out the details for Stalinís post-war domination of Eastern Europe.
But now, the news pendulum swings too far the other way. If a rising political figure is seen having lunch in public with someone of the opposite sex, the social media/tabloid tongues begin to wag that they are having an "affair."
One of the great all-time political jokes is about the political candidate and a very attractive woman (not his wife) that were seen leaving a hotel room together at 3:00 a.m. When asked what was going on, the candidate replied, "We were having a campaign committee meeting. Unfortunately, it was poorly attended."
So, when someone you might like to see on your political partyís ticket gets slathered in media slime, be skeptical. As in the musical Porgy and Bess, "It ainít necessarily so."
NB: In 1921, when FDR was diagnosed with Polio, few doctors knew about Guilliam-Barre syndrome (GBS) which is caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system.
©2023. William Hamilton.