Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gray Lady Bitch Slaps WaPo Editorial Board

The New York Times explains why The Washington Post got it so wrong in their recent "A Good Leak" editorial. WaPo Ombudsman Little Debbie tried to explain this disaster of an editorial with "Two Views of the Libby Leak Case" by writing that it left readers confused and then somewhat showing her own confusions and/or contortions. "A Bad Leak" explains

President Bush says he declassified portions of the prewar intelligence assessment on Iraq because he "wanted people to see the truth" about Iraq's weapons programs and to understand why he kept accusing Saddam Hussein of stockpiling weapons that turned out not to exist. This would be a noble sentiment if it actually bore any relationship to Mr. Bush's actions in this case, or his overall record.

Mr. Bush did not declassify the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq — in any accepted sense of that word — when he authorized I. Lewis Libby Jr., through Vice President Dick Cheney, to talk about it with reporters. He permitted a leak of cherry-picked portions of the report. The declassification came later.

And this president has never shown the slightest interest in disclosure, except when it suits his political purposes. He has run one of the most secretive administrations in American history, consistently withholding information and vital documents not just from the public, but also from Congress.

Simple enough and far more responsible than how the Post "opined". The Gray Lady is hardly doing everything it can to restore their reputation but this is how they can begin.

Nobody expects perfection from the press yet democracy requires some measure of basic reporting of complex issues. Marty Kaplan at HuffPo, in examining the dreadful reporting on the My Left Wing blog by the WaPo, writes
It's a reminder that the press loves to cover politics the way it covers religion: it's all dogma, darlings. We report; you decide. And if not as religion, then as psychodrama: since, insanely, it's taboo to assess the validity of the claims being made, the media tell us everything about the motives behind the claims, and nothing about their merits.

We need some examination of the merits. This is especially so for busy and less sophisticated citizens that might not be able to dive into a subject. The Right has been working the refs for thirty years now and this what we've reaped. Add in corporate media's profit concerns and this is what we've got. Peace ... or War!

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