WASHINGTON – The media gatekeepers of the Senate Press Gallery have credentialed some 300 news organizations – among them Chinese spies, Marxist propagandists, Arab terrorist sympathizers, deadbeats, one-man shops, fly-by-nights, journalism students, rehash artists, glorified stenographers, nonprofits, state-controlled toadies, unreconstructed hippies, suck-ups, duds, nuts and hacks.
In doing so, they’ve judged them “bona fide correspondents of repute in their profession,” and certified that none of them lobby on behalf of governments or special interests, or spread propaganda.
According to these gatekeepers, however, a fiercely independent, for-profit newssite – the world’s largest and most popular, which has broken national stories picked up by the Washington Post, AP and others in the Old Media – does not meet the same standards. They’ve denied WorldNetDaily.com Inc. a permanent press pass to freely cover Congress based on bogus reasons that smack of pure politics.
Let’s take a closer look at the competition.
Of the 300 or so newsies credentialed by Senate Press Gallery officials, dozens are in fact unqualified or underqualified by Senate rules for accreditation. Here are the 10 worst cases, counting them down to No. 1:
No. 10: McClendon News Service.
In fact, it’s no news service at all. It’s a 90-year-old woman who writes (from a small, cluttered D.C. apartment) a weekly column which next to no newspaper runs.
Her name is Sarah McClendon, noted for her inane questions at presidential press conferences. You probably remember this classic lobbed in 1999 to President Clinton at his first formal press conference since being impeached:
“Sir, will you tell us why you think people have been so mean to you?”
Despite her pro-Democrat, pro-big-government bias, McClendon has been described by reporters at ABC News, the Washington Post and other old establishment media as a “nut,” “an old fool” and a “pathetic hack.”
No. 9: Medill News Service.
It’s run by Northwestern University’s journalism school. In other words, the credentialed reporters are students. Repeat, students.
No. 8: Gestion.
A reporter describes his Lima-based paper as “Peru’s Wall Street Journal.”
Arizona has a bigger economy.
No. 7: Kuwait News Agency.
No. 6: Saudi Press Agency.
Official voice of the House of Saud, which has financed anti-American terrorist groups.
No. 5: Al-Madinah Newspaper.
Another Saudi rag. This one’s calling for the U.S. to be sued for supplying weapons to Israel to defend itself against terrorists.
No. 4: Al-Ahram.
Owned and controlled by Cairo, the newspaper has brimmed with anti-American and anti-Israeli bile since Sept. 11.
No. 3: PlanetGov.com.
Owned by a federal government contractor, it lasted one year. Its reporter had been the Washington Post’s “Federal Diary” columnist for 30 years, which explains a lot.
No. 2: China Youth Daily.
The newspaper of choice among Red Army soldiers.
No. 1: Xinhua News Agency.
The official propaganda organ of the Chinese Communist Party, on par with the former Soviet Union’s TASS.
Its reporters double as spies, assisting the Ministry of State Security, comparable to the old KGB, and the People’s Liberation Army Second Department in gathering intelligence on Beijing’s enemies, top among them America, according to the CIA and Pentagon.
“For many years, the upper floors of the Xinhua building has been the MSS station in Hong Kong,” said William C. Triplett II, longtime Senate foreign-policy adviser and co-author of “Red Dragon Rising” and “Year of the Rat.”
In 2000, moreover, Xinhua (pronounced: SHEEN-hwa) tried to move its Washington bureau closer to the Pentagon by buying a seven-story apartment building with a view of the outer corridor of the Pentagon, where top military brass have their offices.
After the Washington Times broke the story, the State Department blocked the move.
Dishonorable mentions go to: Vietnam News Agency and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Vietnam News Agency is the official voice of the communist government in Hanoi. It was listed as a member of the Senate Press Gallery last year, but it’s been removed since WorldNetDaily called attention to it.
Center for Investigative Reporting, run by what one media critic called a bunch of “left-wing San Francisco hippies,” had press credentials up until the Clinton presidency. Then it closed shop here, investigating not a hair on Beelzebubba’s head.
Must have been worn out from all the hits it did on President Reagan regarding the Contras.
The center, a nonprofit whose principal income is donations from leftist groups, is the feedstock of anti-gun, anti-nuke, anti-tobacco “news” for CBS’ “60 Minutes” and PBS’ “Frontline.”
Surely there’s room among this motley crew for an independent newssite that reports the truth without regard for who it hurts or who it helps in Washington.
Ah, but perhaps that’s the Old Media gatekeepers’ real objection to WorldNetDaily.