Transcribing Cheney

Balk scratches his head after reading Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen:

Now, I’m no professional journalist or anything. I didn’t go to J-school, I don’t spell “lead” the right way, and I hate talking to people on the phone, but even with all those qualifications I’ve got to think this would be the time where you, I dunno, asked a follow-up? “Cheney was asked if he thinks the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq. ‘I basically don’t,’ he replied without elaborating.

Increasingly, these journos see themselves as conduits for politicians, not as independent actors determined to get at the truth and hold the powerful accountable. There are no follow-ups any more; and when you see how Palin was insulated from real questioning in the campaign and book tour, you realize how corrupted the MSM has become.

Mike Allen has done this before - giving Cheney or Rove a platform as well as anonymity - with no pushback or skepticism. What matters is the "get" and the pageviews, not the substance. These people are not checks on power; they are increasingly its willing accomplices.