Time To Just Say “Sorry”

The MSM at the time of Watergate invented the pithy doctrine “the cover-up is worse than the crime”. Thirty years on, it’s unwilling to apply that to its own transgressions.

Take the Plame affair, which started when the Washington Post identified Wilson’s wife as a CIA operative. Three years later, the Post finally agrees this was not a Rovian plot (my ellipsis!):

…the primary source of the (Washington Post’s!) newspaper column in which Ms. Plame’s cover as an agent was purportedly blown in 2003 was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage…

…it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials.

He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as (the Washington Post’s!) Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people (including the Washington Post!) took him seriously.

“People” took Wilson seriously because the Washington Post and its reporter didn’t identify their source as Armitage. But rather than apologize, this crew claims it did the right thing:

That’s not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless. As prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has reported, when Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame’s role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium.

But the Washington Post admits Wilson libeled these men, so there’s nothing “blameworthy” about them finding out who he was. In a last desperate sally, the Post argues:

Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame’s identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald’s account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.

But the Post just told us it was Armitage who leaked Plame’s job to its reporter, so Libby is off the hook. And the ever-creative Fitzgerald hasn’t claimed Plame was a covert agent – if she were, he’d have charged Libby under Federal Security laws – so her identity was not “classified”.

Bottom line: the Washington Post has grievously hurt an innocent man and won’t apologize.

The MSM is similarly in denial about its forgeries, staging and dishonesty in the Lebanese war.

For example the Australian newspaper insists a Red Cross van really was hit by an Israeli missile that left a circular hole fitted with a flange conveniently drilled for a ventilator. Damn clever these, er, Israelis.

To back up its claim, the Australian has run not one but two news pieces, that crisply give all the essential facts:

* The “first ambulance”, no. 782, was speeding in a convoy AND stationary;

* The six people on board the convoy were all severely injured except Shalin the driver AND only two were severely injured;

* Shalin was protected by the driver’s canopy AND by the vehicle’s rear ramp;

* The ambulance/convoy was struck by a rocket/s AND missile/s fired by an Apache helicopter that was also a drone;

* The missile pierced the centre of the red cross on ambulance 782 AND “an explosion thundered” into the ambulance;

* Shalin “remembers nothing” after the flash-bang-crunch of the crash AND he remembers that “then there was a battle for the next hour” and “we hid in a building convinced we were going to die”.

I guess the MSM will, like Nixon, now end its career in ignominy. Sob.

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