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gerryhatrick

'The Washington Post': At War With Itself

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(April 09, 2006) -- It’s no secret that the Washington Post’s editorial position and its news reporting often are not on the same page--in more ways than one. But rarely has that gulf seemed wider than in the Post’s Sunday edition this week.

The editorial page, a co-producer and then staunch defender of the war in Iraq, declared in a headline on Sunday that the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) info “Scooter” Libby gave to reporters in 2003 was in reality “A Good Leak.” The White House was not out to punish Ambassador Joe Wilson for raising doubts about pre-war intelligence; in fact, Wilson is the bad guy in this story for making false claims. Bush, in a sense, is the hero, for instantly declassifying the key NIE document--he was only out to inform the public.

snip

Then, getting right to the point, the two reporters debunk their own paper's “public service” defense by observing “that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before." Libby, allegedly at Cheney’s direction, "sought out at least three reporters to bolster the discredited uranium allegation.” In other words: Far from serving our citizens, the White House was misleading and manipulating them.

snip

CLAIM: There is no evidence of a White House effort to punish Wilson.

FACT: “Moreover, given that there is evidence that other White House officials with whom defendant (Libby) spoke prior to July 14, 2003 discussed Wilson’s wife’s employment with the press both prior to, and after, July 14, 2003... it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to ‘punish’ Wilson.” [Prosecutor Fitzgerald filing, pg. 29-30]

CLAIM: There was nothing “particularly” unusual about the leak.

FACT: “Defendant (Libby) testified that this July 8th meeting was the only time he recalled in his government experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of the President’s authorization that it be declassified.” [Prosecutor Fitzgerald filing, pg. 23]

http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/columns/pre...t_id=1002314409

Bush will always have his defenders. This situation is pretty funny though, an editorial written by person(s) who seemingly weren't aware of the news emerging. Or just ignored it.

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After catching up on the Plame thread I saw this one. I hate to be repetitive, but it does bear repeating that editorials are not the same as objective news reporting. Just because an editorial or opinion piece makes a claim, it does not make it true. During the war, the Wall Street Journal was overflowing with editorials about all of Iraq's WMDs and how we were on the verge of finding the stockpiles of smallpox, anthrax, nerve agents, etc. Did all those lines and lines of editorializing reflect the truth?

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After catching up on the Plame thread I saw this one. I hate to be repetitive, but it does bear repeating that editorials are not the same as objective news reporting. Just because an editorial or opinion piece makes a claim, it does not make it true.

You are correct, and the point is quite obvious from looking at this WP example.

What editorials often WILL reflect is a partisan bias, and in the case of the WP it seems to be a definite pro-Bush administration bias.

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Gerryhatrick:

This situation is pretty funny though, an editorial written by person(s) who seemingly weren't aware of the news emerging. Or just ignored it.

It appears that your source is sleeping and is unaware the editorial is correct, and Joe Wilson is a big liar, since the WaPo reported this a long time ago, way back on July 10, 2004, buried on page A9.

Indeed, just 2 days ago, Dafna Linzer and Barton Gellman were taken to task for lying to their WaPo readers with their front page fallacy:

Dafna Linzer and Barton Gellman of the Washington Post should be grateful no legal jeopardy is attached to lying to their readers. In their story Sunday they said: "the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before."

The opposite is true. In July of 2004, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded unanimously that it was Mr. Wilson who was lying. He had been sent to Niger by his wife, and he told the CIA officers who debriefed him that Iraqi officials had approached Nigerien officials about buying "yellowcake."

Also that month, a parliamentary panel which investigated British claims about Iraqi WMD, the Butler Commission, concluded that the statements that Saddam had tried to buy uranium in Africa were "well founded." Perhaps Ms. Linzner and Mr. Gellman slept through that month.

Perhaps Gerry and his source also slept through that month. :)

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