What kind of people are we? Is nothing sacred anymore? Are there no limits on how far the media can go in digging into the personal lives of candidates?
It’s beginning to look like the answer is a resounding “No!” A brand new form of child abuse is the media’s pursuit of the children of political candidates in an effort to trap them into taking pot shots at their parents.
Case in point: the media’s attempt to exploit a split between Rudy Giuliani’s son and daughter by his previous marriage.
Anybody familiar with the former New York mayor’s marital problems knows that his divorce from Donna Hanover was, to say the very least, bitter. What was not known publicly was that it appears to have resulted in the estrangement from their father of the two children of the marriage.
That’s a personal matter, one would think. Thanks to The New York Times, however, it’s now very public.
Having no national security secrets to expose to al Qaeda and other enemies of the United States at the moment, the Times found time to go digging in their mud pit and drag Giuliani’s two children into the mire.
Under photo caption “Noticeably Absent From the Giuliani Campaign: His Children,” the Times reported that Giuliani’s son Andrew Giuliani says he and his father are estranged and allowed as to how he would not be campaigning for his dad. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Times that Andrew, who has his own life to live, might just have things to do other than campaigning for his dad.
As NewsBusters commented, “The only way for the rest of the country to become aware that Rudy’s children are ‘noticeably absent’ is for someone to go out of their way to make it a point to inform them about it.”
“Here we have the bastion of leftism trying to get at a candidate through his children in stark contrast to the tsk, tsking that the left indulged in during the Clinton years,” NewsBusters wrote.
It appears that the Times, which railed at conservatives for allegedly picking on Chelsea Clinton, now considers candidates’ children fair game … if they are Republicans, that is.
The Times case, however, is far from the worst case of the exploitation of children. It now appears that a pedophile Web site in Panama has posted photos of Barack Obama’s two daughters – a criminal act over which the Senator has no control, since it is located in Panama.
During my Dad’s campaigns, my sister Patti and my brother Ron didn’t campaign for our father, but nobody tried to use their failure to hit the road for him as a way to attack Ronald Reagan by implying that this was a sign he wasn’t a good man superbly equipped to be president of the United States.
It was understood they had other things to do.
What the public wants to know about Rudy Giuliani is if he wins the presidency is will he do something about taxes, is he going to be a strong proponent of our national defense and is he for the things I’m for.
I couldn’t care less about his relationship with his children. I don’t care if his kids are not going to vote for him. That’s his business and it’s theirs, not mine.
One of the tragedies of our times is the fact that a man can no longer run for office alone – his whole family is dragged into the race. And that’s enough to stop some very good men from even thinking about running. They just won’t expose their families to the slime fests that campaigns have become, and to the media’s lust for even a hint of scandal in their personal lives.
©2007 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley email Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561.