Steve Rendell points out that not everyone in the media was wrong about Iraq.
Charles J. Hanley has had his hand in some big stories...As Hanley reported, when inspectors returned to Iraq, they visited the Al Tuwaitha site and found no evidence to support Bush’s claim. “Since December 4 inspectors from [Mohamed] ElBaradei’s International Atomic Energy Agency have scrutinized that vast complex almost a dozen times, and reported no violations.” The same was true of site after site, as Hanley reported:
In almost two months of surprise visits across Iraq, U.N. arms monitors have inspected 13 sites identified by U.S. and British intelligence agencies as major “facilities of concern,” and reported no signs of revived weapons building, an Associated Press analysis shows.
Hanley’s story should have been one of the most important of the pre-war period. By debunking the very claims that had been advanced as proof of an Iraqi threat, Hanley’s analysis ought to have cast severe doubt on the White House’s entire evaluation of the Iraqi threat.
Ellen Goodman blasts the bloggers who couldn't wait to shoot off their mouths about Jill Carrol before they had any facts.
In 2004, they proved the power of the Internet as a great equalizer when they confronted the house of CBS and Dan Rather over Bush's military records.[..]Two years later, we have -- ready, fire, aim -- the Jill Carroll affair. These attacks raise the question of what bloggery is going to be when it grows up. An Internet op-ed page? Or a polarized, talk-radio food fight?
Power must be used wisely. I recall being blasted by Jim Geraghty on the NRO website when the bloggers were piling on Eason Jordan. Jim Geraghty had written about my comment:
“Those who are hot on Eason’s trail are only those who wish to inflict some political damage on the few in the mainstream media who still possess extreme courage of conviction.”
You know, I try (and sometimes fail) to refrain from speculating about others’ motives. I would appreciate it if others extended the same courtesy to me. Everybody, Ms Camwell? Mickey Kaus? Jay Rosen? Glenn Reynolds? They’re all trying to attack “the few in the mainstream media who still possess extreme courage of conviction”? Come on.
I tend to be blunt, but I also consider myself to be a principled and conscientious human being. I can see what is directly in front of my eyes, and what I saw was a concerted effort to ruin a professional journalist's integrity for speaking out on behalf of fellow professionals. I am a "little" blogger with a voice that was big enough to cause Jim Geraghty to feel that he had to defend himself. Why? Because I hit a sensitive spot. I can never assign motives to one person, but I could clearly see the overt motives of the blogmob. I don't get on my blog with the fierce determination to "gun" for Brit Hume's professional integrity. (He does a good job of ruining it all by himself by simply opening his mouth on Fox News each day).
Those who live by this kind of determination risk to be called on it when they succeed. While they may think they have good reason to join in the attack, they cannot distance themselves from it later on and try to look removed and innocent. They succeeded with Dan Rather. They succeeded with Eason Jordan. They succeeded with Trent Lott. Make no mistake, these were blog campaigns and they were witchhunts. Trent Lott didn't deserve what happened to him. Neither did Dan Rather and Eason Jordan.
"This was a guy caught up in the tension of the moment. He deserves the benefit of the doubt."
David Gergen, referring to Eason Jordan who had just returned from Baghdad and was still "deeply distraught" over the journalists who'd died in Iraq. [WaPo 2-8-05]
Act like white supremacist meatheads by promoting a public policy that looks like pre-Civil Rights America.
Speaking of marches that drew hundreds of thousands and created coalitions across the lines of Hispanic national identity, Juan Williams writes:
People from disparate Hispanic nations coalesced around the debate on illegal immigration. It took a radical step by the House -- giving serious thought to dragnet arrests of all illegal immigrants and charging them with a felony -- to achieve this. To some, the level of hatred and racism against immigrants seemed to match that once directed against blacks in this country.
Well done, Tancredo and Company. Bush got over 40% of the Hispanic vote in the last election. I'll wager you won't see that same enthusiasm for Republicans in future elections.
Responding to former Senator John Edward's comments regarding President Bush declassifying the NIE for political reasons, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Anne Marie Hauser said the information was declassified "for the purpose of educating the American people about the war on terror."
And what an education we had. We got big lies in the press from then-NY Times journalist Judith Miller, who naively swallowed dirty spoon-fed Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame-attacks at the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, who preferred to have more faith in the lying weasel Ahmad Chalabi then our own CIA. We got "a degree" in how to lead a nation to unnecessary war based on the word of well-orchestrated liars and conspirators. With the blessing of the man in the Oval Office, apparently.
American spirits are crushed by the collective efforts of the Executive administration to "educate" us with lie after lie.