Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 7: Lack of grace by Walters and McGovern

By Sylvia Gurinsky

A television newswoman had an affair with a married senator more than 30 years ago. Any revelation of this at the time would, she says, have cost them both their careers. She reveals it now for no apparent reason other than to sell a book. There are gasps for the tabloid item, but no real questions from those in a position to ask about her journalism ethics during those six years. Why?

The newswoman, of course, is Barbara Walters, who has written in her autobiography about an affair she had with former Sen. Edward Brooke, R-Mass., while she was the co-host of NBC's "Today Show."

If a relationship is public, as Walters' later relationship with Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia was, there are checks and balances. A reporter does not cover a person with whom there is a personal, romantic relationship. Period. Full disclosure.

Here's Scott D. Pierce's take on it in the Deseret News:


So what happened during those years? Brooke had to make major decisions on the important issues of the day, including the Vietnam War and civil rights, while Walters covered those issues. Did the two intersect? Did Brooke and Walters cheat the public interest?

I agree with Pierce; it's time for Walters to show some grace for once, and walk away.

*Not backing Hillary 1,000 percent

Speaking of a lack of grace, there's former Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota, who has a pretty bad history of changing his mind. In 1972, after backing his running mate, Sen. Thomas Eagleton, "1,000 percent," Democratic presidential nominee McGovern then ditched Eagleton, who had undergone shock treatments for depression.

Now, McGovern, who had endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, has flipped his endorsement to Sen. Barack Obama and called for Clinton to leave the race.

Loyalty evidently isn't a big thing with McGovern. Of course, in 1972, voters proved they weren't terribly loyal to him, either, even in his home state.

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