Reliving History

CAROUSEL - India's government has unveiled the prototype of a $35 tablet computer that looks like an iPad and is 1/14th the cost. It hopes to bring the device into production by 2011.
AP Photo
This column was written by Michael Tomasky
Though the event took place more than a week ago, it's worth taking a moment to remark upon the May 27 acquittal of David Rosen, the fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign who'd been charged in a New Orleans federal court with hiding about $800,000 worth of costs for a gala Los Angeles event thrown for the then-first lady during her campaign.

Why is it worth remarking upon? For two reasons. First, in the weeks leading up to the jury's decision, one could hear the galloping accelerando of wing-nut anticipation: FOX News, for example, did more than a dozen segments devoted mostly or partly to Rosen's fate in the three months leading up to the acquittal.

Walking point on this matter, of course, was Dick Morris. He wrote in his New York Post column nine days before the acquittal that the case against Rosen was "getting stronger, increasing the odds the aide will start cooperating with the government"; about a week earlier, he had appeared on a Hannity & Colmes segment -- titled "Are Hillary's Presidential Chances Over?" -- outright accusing Clinton of having known about the under-reporting of the event's costs. I'd love to see the memos that were going around FOX during the trial planning the on-air party in the event of conviction.

But ho! The party was canceled, and thus, the second reason for pointing out Rosen's acquittal: It's not exactly as if everyone has. FOX, after all the buildup, has mentioned Rosen's acquittal just twice, and both times as quickly and grudgingly as if being forced to report that global warming really did exist. MSNBC, which discussed Rosen five times in the months leading up to the acquittal, has not mentioned him since (most of those five were on Chris Matthews' Hardball; gosh, do you think Matthews would have been silent on the matter if the jury had found the other way?). In addition, the viewers of NBC News and the listeners of National Public Radio, if each group relied only on that source for its view of world, would not know of Rosen's acquittal, according to databases. And Matt Drudge, according to his archives, did not mention the acquittal.