You'll be forgiven if you missed the tempest in Pat McCrory's teacup today, a swirl of non-news stirred to frothing by Mark Binker of WRAL-TV. It's a silly little story, made even sillier by the fact that it was reported at all.
As you no doubt know, Pat McCrory and his minions in the Republican Party are a secretive bunch of bullies. McCrory, in particular, has refused to disclose his work history, the sources of his income, and his lobbying activities. Based on available facts, it appears he is being paid to run for governor by a fancy law firm called Moore and Van Allen. It's hard to know for sure, because no one is talking.
Having been called out by Progress NC, among others, for his secrecy, McCrory struck back today in the finest tradition of Art Pope bullying, challenging those calling for him to disclose his business dealings.
As Binker reported:
And conservatives backing McCrory have quietly suggested that more should be known about Progress NC, a 501(c)3, and Progress Action, a 501(c)4.
Quietly suggested? What the hell does that mean? Is it the same kind of "quiet suggestion" the McCrory machine used to harrass progressive non-profits in North Carolina? After more than a decade of questionable political activities by the likes of Civitas, Americans for Prosperity, and the John Locke Foundation, these right-wing extremists are all of a sudden defenders of partisan propriety?
Which brings us to the issue of false equivalency.
Pat McCrory is running for governor in the most secretive of campaigns possible, funded by big lawyers who want nothing less than their own personal keys to the governor's mansion. Progress NC has demanded an accounting of his actions. Progress NC is not on the ballot in any precinct in any district in any county of North Carolina. To write a news story that paints the two situations with the same brush is absurd.
And before you say it, I can already hear journalist friends claiming, "We're being criticized by both sides, so we must be doing something right."
That's a bunch of crap.
Being criticized by liars for not reporting their deceptions should be viewed as a badge of courage. In this instance, the reporter should have called bullshit on his "quiet suggestion" at the moment it was made.