Most of the time I think Maureen Down’s column varies between vacuous and an insult to our collective intelligence. But I have to admit that about twice a year she hits one out of the park. Sunday’s paper has one one of those power slams: Quid Pro Quack, about Justice Scalia's apologia pro anas:
“If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined,” the justice scoffs.
That's for sure.
Justice Scalia says, “The people must have confidence in the integrity of the justices, and that cannot exist in a system that assumes them to be corruptible by the slightest friendship or favor, in an atmosphere where the press will be eager to find foot-faults.” He observes that it would be nonsensical for him to recuse himself simply because the press has the effrontery to point out when someone has done something wrong.
We, the press, are supposed to be the handmaidens and the manservants of our rulers. If we fulfilled our duties properly, our reports would go something like this:
In an admirable spirit of uncommon objectivity, in the pursuit of truth, justice and the American way, Associate Justice Scalia made time to poke around in the marshes of Louisiana with the equally scrupulous Dick Cheney, and then, refreshed by a well-deserved plane trip at our expense, he continued to transmit his enlightenment to a grateful nation.