Henry Paulson Says That the Democratic Legislators Are Class Acts
Econ 115 Lecture Notes: September 3, 2009: Stagnant Incomes and the Poverty of the Globe, 1800-1870

Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking Watch

Apropos of Washington Post reporters Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate, Ben Smith is disturbed. He writes:

Post story bolsters Cheney: August 29, 2009: The Washington Post leads today with an extraordinary story cutting against the conclusions of a series of recent government and media reports to cast as straight news — with a few hedges and qualifications —  that waterboarding and sleep deprivation worked like a charm to turn Kalid Sheik Mohammed from an enemy into an "asset." The story — which... comes just before Dick Cheney's appearance, taped Friday, on Fox News Sunday — bears all the marks of some complicated internal discussions over at the Post.... A sign of the internal focus on the piece: The story — appearing as the paper's top story on an off day, a Saturday — has three major bylines and just a tagline from national security reporter Walter Pincus...

Little birds wonder: the remarks of the "former U.S. officials with detailed knowledge"--not former intelligence officials, mind--are suspiciously like those of Marc Thiessen, who is writing a book for wingnut publishing house Regnery and who claims that he:

saw the war on terror up close – from the planning rooms of the Pentagon to the major battlefronts of the Middle East – and helped explain the challenges of a new and unprecedented war to the American people...

And if it is indeed the case that the Washington Post is recycling the public views of ideologues, hacks, and torture-tourists like Marc Thiessen as inside scoops, then Finn, Warrick, and Tate granted anonymity to their sources because naming them would by itself discredit the story. There is a place for anonymous quotes in journalism, but this is not it.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

Comments