As for Ms. Howell we can begin with Jane Hamsher at FDL with this being perhaps the meat of the matter,
The attempt by the Administration to smear Joe Wilson was a pure Rovian effort to distract from the fact that he was right. Any attempt to pass off those smears three years later is an utterly dishonest and reprehensible journalism practice. It’s isn’t journalism at all, it’s thuggery. People often ask why I don’t get into debunking the claim of "Wilson’s wife sent him to Africa." Know why? Because suddenly I’m arguing about Pat Roberts and what a hopeless hack and Bush Administration tool he is and I’m off the main point, the only point — Joe Wilson was right. There is no getting around it and any other discussion trivializes and distracts from the greater truth about the thousands of people who lay dead because a nation was lied into war. There were no attempts to buy Uranium from Niger, and everything else — to paraphrase a great man — is just an attempt to throw sand in the Umpire’s eyes.Marty Kaplan at HuffPo also weighs in by writing,
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.R. J. Escow at HuffPo then compares how the WaPo does not engage any of Ms. O'Connor's arguments yet merely patronizes her and then proceeds to paint her and a few of her readers as loonies yet Fred Hiatt hires a right wing racist plagiarizer named Ben Domenech to blog for the WaPo!
As for the Finkel article, Glenn Greenwald in part rightly states, "The tactics in the article are as intellectually lazy and empty as they are transparently deceitful and trite." Glenn also correctly points out extreme right wingers like "Crazy as a Run Over Dog" Ann Coulter, Mad Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, ... that are regularly accepted by the mainstream media. The one and only blogger that Mr. Finkel interviewed or apparently had even visited namely Mary Scott O'Connor has posted on the process and person involved in the reporting.
What Liberal Media? Peace ... or War!