By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
A newspaper editor for whom I worked for many years in the early part of my journalism career had a term I want to invoke here.
He called them “last-minute dumps,” which were letters to the editor submitted by those who wanted to inflict damage on politicians at the end of an election campaign. My boss would refuse to run them in the paper, saying they weren’t fair to the politician upon whom the writer was dumping.
The rules of fairness in journalism don’t usually apply in politics, so I am wondering at this moment whether Donald Trump is going to demand that Attorney General William Barr provide a last-minute dump on Joe Biden.
You see, he wants Barr to release information at the last minute of a losing campaign that will harm Biden’s chances of defeating him.
Were this early in Barr’s tenure as AG, I might be inclined to suggest that Barr wouldn’t stand still for this kind of overt political pressure. I had faith that Barr, who served as AG at the end of President George Bush 41’s term, would act honorably. That was then. Now … I am not so sure.
Barr has said he wouldn’t be pressured by anyone, and that includes the president. He has acted time and again more like Donald Trump’s “boy” than the chief law enforcement officer of the nation.
The race is staggering toward the finish line. Biden and Trump are set to meet again tonight in another televised joint appearance. Only the Almighty knows how Trump will behave.
As for the last-minute dump that might reveal itself between now and Election Day, an AG with honor and respect for the oath he took would resign on the spot rather than do the bidding of an individual who possesses neither “honor” or “respect” for the oath he took.