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The Washington Post On The Plame Case

Two weeks ago NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen wrote this:

Just one man's opinion, but now is a good time to say it: The New York Times is not any longer--in my mind--the greatest newspaper in the land. Nor is it the base line for the public narrative that it once was. Some time in the last year or so I moved the Washington Post into that position..

The Post, I believe, is our great national newspaper now; the Times is number two, with the Wall Street Journal close behind. Still a strong fleet. With a new ship in the lead perhaps it will sail to unexpected places.

I agree (as do others) that The Post is now the benchmark. Perhaps it's a geographic advantage that The Post holds - being ringside to Republican and Democratic administrations - that has (for the most part) depoliticized their pages. With a few exceptions*** you won't find rabid Bush Derangement Syndrome at The Post, something you're bound to find at the The Times even after they walled off online access to the likes of Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd. The Post is far from perfect, but while The Times has for several years made news for it's scandals, The Post has made news for it's innovations.

One of the "unexpected places" The Post has sailed is to some pretty darn good coverage of the Valerie Plame identity leak investigation. Yesterday The Post nailed the essence of the Plame case in this editorial (Rush to Judgment):

This affair began with a trip to Niger undertaken by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, which he said disproved one of the Bush administration's contentions about Saddam Hussein and nuclear weapons. Columnist Robert D. Novak reported that Mr. Wilson had been chosen in part because Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA; Mr. Wilson then charged that administration officials had deliberately blown his wife's undercover status to punish him for his truth-telling.

If so, they should be punished. Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald may have evidence that they did; there is a still a great deal that is not publicly known. But so far, in the accounts given by reporters about their conversations with administration officials, no such crime has been described. What has been depicted is an administration effort to refute the allegations of a critic (some of which did in fact prove to be untrue) and to undermine his credibility, including by suggesting that nepotism rather than qualifications led to his selection. If such conversations are deemed a crime, journalism and the public will be the losers.

Make sure you read the whole editorial, as Post editors do a better job of defending Judith Miller from the sniping criticism of colleagues than her own paper is doing.


*** Cataloged extensively at PostWatch


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Comments (25)

I agree (as do others) t... (Below threshold)

I agree (as do others) that The Post is now the benchmark. Perhaps it's a geographic advantage that The Post holds - being ringside to Republican and Democratic administrations - that has (for the most part) depoliticized their pages. With a few exceptions*** you won't find rabid Bush Derangement Syndrome at The Post, something you're bound to find at the The Times even after they walled off online access to the likes of Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd. The Post is far from perfect, but while The Times has for several years made news for it's scandals, The Post has made news for it's innovations.

Kevin, thanks very much for the link, I appreciate it.

I don't read the NYT enough to compare the two papers. But as a general proposition, I can't agree that the Post has "for the most part largely depoliticized its pages." It has the same generic problem as most MSM--a consistent cultural and political outlook that slants most of what they do to the left. That includes almost exclusively negative news on Iraq, ignorance or a lack of interest in left-wing machinations including a total lack of reporting on ANSWER's backing of the recent antiwar protest, a whitewash of Cindy Sheehan's far-left ravings, not a single word published in the newspaper about the Air America funding scandal, etc., etc. And when an insider complained about the liberal "our kind" of culture, executive editor Leonard Downie replied that her complaint showed they have a politically diverse staff.

IMHO, and again, thanks for the post. BTW, I agree that washingtonpost.com is completely blowing away the competition on the web.

The best that can be said o... (Below threshold)
Jake:

The best that can be said of The Washington Post is that occasionally common sense and truth-telling overcome their natural inclination for left-wing propaganda.

The New York Times NEVER allows anything to interfere with their left-wing propaganda.

Just watch you say around W... (Below threshold)

Just watch you say around WAPO bloggers, they get downright feisty if you accuse the press of liberal bias.

WaPo writers are baffled at... (Below threshold)

WaPo writers are baffled at the NYT's sacrifice of the First Amendment in order to get the prez. Remember who instigated the leak investigation: NYT
It was a jackassed position then and it is a jackassed position now
Remember which paper published the Pentagon papers while the other stood in court with its journalistic genitalia in hand
(Kinda hilarious to recall the PP publication then to the clutch-the-pearls they-outed-a-spy reaction today. The truth is the truth. WaPo has not forgotten that)

Make sure you read the ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Make sure you read the whole editorial, as Post editors do a better job of defending Judith Miller from the sniping criticism of colleagues than her own paper is doing.

That is exactly what I took away from the NY TImes/Miller article; the NY Times reporters and editorial staff are seemingly eating one of their own—much like when male lions kill male cubs. You'll also notice in the letters to the editor from around the country that people are referring to what stooges of the Bush Administration the Times and Miller have been. As one reader to the Seattle Times put it, "...The New York Times is complicit in morally and financially bankrupting a great nation." Other readers have decried that how could such a highly regarded reporter take such dubious notes (i.e., "Flame" not Plame") and not question her own notes. There was even one reader who suggested that the Times and Miller helped sell the connection of Iraq and 9/11.

My only response to this kind of silliness is: Exactly what NY Times have you been reading over the last few years?

And, given this story, Miller is clearly a target of a discrediting and distancing campaign by her peers. Why? My only guess is that they feel the Plame Affair is crumbling apart before their very eyes.

Oh, and more reason why the WaPost is superior to the NY Times: They don't charge you to read the columnists on their OpEd page! Like I would actually pay to read The Gang of Four (Krugman, Dowd, Hebert and Kristof)? Hmm, the Times as liberal capitalists? Oops, pardon the hypocrisy in my oxymoron.

Where "refute the allegatio... (Below threshold)

Where "refute the allegations" is spelled "engage in ad hominem attack on not even the person making the allegations, but his family". Indeed, the hallmark of Republican forensic technique. And TFB if someone's career is destroyed (or even if someone dies) in this vicious process....

Good thing these vicious thugs are looking at hard jail time. You folks are really going to enjoy the next couple of months, watching these rats try and bite each others' tails off in an attempt to save their own skin....

Cheers,

Good thing these vicious... (Below threshold)

Good thing these vicious thugs are looking at hard jail time.

And having the same reaction, no doubt, that I have when reading your comment: laughing out loud amid much rolling of the eyes.

And we'll see in a week or ... (Below threshold)

And we'll see in a week or so, eh?

BTW, I've seen pictures of the usual suspects (see, e.g., here and here and here), and they're looking none too upbeat nowadays. If they're ROFL, they're doing it in private....

Cheers,

Arne:You think a m... (Below threshold)
Mr. F.:

Arne:

You think a moment caught in time of someone's contorted face in a photograph is somehow indicative of guilt or of a person's present demeanor? What kind of absurd and juevenile conclusion to make is that?

Overall, yes, it will be interesting to see if if anycharges are brought up against Rove or Libby under the Intelligence Identities Proteciton Act (looking more and more doubtful) or the Espinoage Act (even more doubtful). But I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Mr. F.... indic... (Below threshold)

Mr. F.

... indicative of guilt ...

Where did I say that? I merely said they don't look all too happy....

Your spelling sux. Been drinking to dull the pain?

Yes, there's indictments coming. My guess is multiple indictments. Bet your last dollar on that. Worst. Administration. Ever.

Cheers,

Arne, guess you've forgotte... (Below threshold)
opine6:

Arne, guess you've forgotten the Kerry/Edwards attack on Cheney's daughter in the recent presidential campaign ("adhominem attacks...his family")?

The multiple indctments will be Joe Wilson and his wife for leaking CIA information. Maybe others at the CIA. Don't get too cocky.

Arne Langsetmo:<b... (Below threshold)
MB:

Arne Langsetmo:

Your spelling sux. Been drinking to dull the pain?
Yes, there's indictments coming.

Dont you mean:
Yes, there are indictments coming.

Your grammar sucks. Been huffing paint to reach enlightenment ?

- MB

opine6Glad to see ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

opine6

Glad to see someone's still hanging onto the whole "Wilson will be indicted" meme. Despite the fact that the White House is on pins and needles, and a member of Cheney's staff has reportedly already rolled, and Hadley is telling friends he expects to be indicted, it's nice to know somebody's still hanging in there. Keep up the good work.

And how exactly did the Kerry campaign "attack" Cheney's daughter? To many conservatives, the fact of being gay is so shameful, that even mentioning it is considered an attack. But mentioning that his daughter is gay in the context of Cheney's hypocrisy on gay issues is hardly an "attack."

Bwaahhhahhahhah!Buh-... (Below threshold)
Stinky:

Bwaahhhahhahhah!
Buh-bye all ya'll f-Tarded Wingnutters! Buh-bye. Keep rollin' yer eyes - denial ain't just a river...
Ohh man, you guys can't seem to get it. So F'it, the only way to talk to Neo-nutt is indeed with a patronizing, swaggering, "you poor poor deluded drinky oaf" attitude.

Bush = worst. Most Bungled. Tragic. presidency. Ever.
Cheney = liar.
Rice = Liar.
Bolton = idiot.
Chertoff = crony
Miers = crony
Libby = Treason, indicted
Rove = Treason, indicted
Frist = Martha Stewart
Delay = Buh Bye! Buh Bye! In Jail, Buh Bye!
Hahahahahaha! Bye Bye DIpsh*ts, bye bye.

Stinky = self-deluded fool<... (Below threshold)

Stinky = self-deluded fool

It would be great if Rove a... (Below threshold)
moseby:

It would be great if Rove and Libby got off easy. Even if they outed that life support system for a vag, plame. By the way, she's hot and I'd put the boots to her.

Hmmm.Frankly I wis... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Frankly I wish this whole thing was over so we could get onto the next Democrat-generated scandal. I don't mind the artificial scandals, I do rather mind that they're really boring the hell out of me.

Seriously. Does anyone, on the left or right, really give a rat's a** what Joe Wilson says?

Arne:It's called w... (Below threshold)
Mr. F.:

Arne:

It's called www.m-w.com. They have this thing called a dictionary there where one can look up things called words. One of those words, indicative, is spelled, well, as you see here. And as I spelled it above. You might try looking it at before popping off only to have it backfire on you like a know-it-all ass.

Oh, I'm well aware you didn't say "indicative of guilt", you don't have to. Your thinly veiled implication of "they don't look to happy" certainly suggests as much. And before you pop off again, also be aware that I know you'll use the weak and sorry defense of 'I never suggested or implied any such thing when I said (fill in the blank)'. It's a tired meme used by liberals when they "gets busted on der shit". And anyone with two cents for common sense and a brain knows exactly what you were implying. So, pffft, on your defense.

And when no indictments come down, at least for Rove and Libby, where would you like your crow served? Next to the Downing Street Memo crow? The '16 words' crow? The Bush Draft Memo crow? Or should we just get you a fresh, clean plate to eat off?

Sit down, shut up and let the big people play now.

ed:No.... (Below threshold)
Mr. F.:

ed:

No.

I see Joe Wilson is out on ... (Below threshold)
George:

I see Joe Wilson is out on speaking tours actually
saying that he hopes the Iraqi constitution fails.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/portlet/article/html/fragments/print_article.jsp?article=3132020

I see Joe Wilson is out on ... (Below threshold)
George:

I see Joe Wilson is out on speaking tours actually
saying that he hopes the Iraqi constitution fails.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/portlet/article/html/fragments/print_article.jsp?article=3132020

Arne, guess you've forgo... (Below threshold)

Arne, guess you've forgotten the Kerry/Edwards attack on Cheney's daughter in the recent presidential campaign...

Ummm, guess I just missed it. Hate to say it, but it's the rabid right that thinks that being gay is some icky-icky thing..... Care to tell me how Kerry "attack[ed] ... Cheney's daughter"? Could it be that they accurately mentioned that the Coors Beer liason to the gay community, which the Cheney parents have themselves acknowledged is gay, is ... hold you breath ... gay?

My, that was quite an "attack", wasn't it? Perhaps you thought that mentioning this well known fact might lead the Fred Phelpses of the Republican party to burn Mary Cheney at the stake, and that this was the intended result of Kerry. If so, you need a brain transplant (and lessons in English comprehension).

Cheers,

It's called www.m-w.com.... (Below threshold)

It's called www.m-w.com. They have this thing called a dictionary there where one can look up things called words. One of those words, indicative, is spelled, well, as you see here.

That wasn't the word (actually, words) I was talking about.

And when no indictments come down, at least for Rove and Libby, where would you like your crow served?

Here would be fine. I'd do one of the biggest mea culpas you've ever seen ... if it rolls that way. Will you do the same if and when the dozen indictments come down next week?

Have a nice Fitzday!

Cheers,

[..]Fred Phelpses... (Below threshold)
rayabacus:
[..]Fred Phelpses of the Republican party to burn Mary Cheney at the stake,[..]

Er...Phelps is a Democrat...your side gets to claim him.

<a href="http://www.godhate... (Below threshold)

Fred Phelps is a Democrat??? Kind of like Lyndon LaRouche being a "Democrat".

I guess that Dubya going to Bob Jones University was just outreach to the opposition party, eh?

More on Mr. "Gawd Hates Fags"

Hate to say it, but by his words and actions, Phelps is kith and kin to the most virulent of the CRW part of the Republican Party.

Cheers,




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