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Saturday, January 14, 2006

This Is How It's Done -- Pt. 3

The Washington Post prove themselves the willing bitches of BushCo. this morning as they play a big part in spreading the pernicious lies salted by Brent Bozell's Cybercast News Service hit piece yesterday.

Murray Waas asks a few questions they obediently didn't. I'm reprinting the whole thing because it needs to be heard, hope Murray won't mind:
The Washington Post gives major play this morning to an attack of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) on the website of the (until now) obscure Cybercast News Service. It accuses Murtha-- who won a Silver Starr and three Bronze Stars in Vietnam-- of purportedly saying that he had not deserved to win two Purple Hearts also awarded him for his service during the Vietnam war.

The Post story, by reporters Howard Kurtz and Shallagh Murray, quotes extensively David Thibault, the editor in chief of the (who ever heard of them before the Washington Post decided to give them such prominence?) Cybercast News Service, as saying that Murtha's medals from 1967 are relevant now "because the congressman has really put himself in the forefront of the antiwar movement."

But the article tells us very little about Thibault himself. Had the reporters done a simple Internet search, they would have discovered this biography of Thibault posted online which describes him as a "senior producer for a televised news magazine" broadcast and sponsored by the Republican National Committee. I dunno, but I for one, would have wanted to know that.

Thibault's background, it seems to me, and those engaging in the Swiftboating of Murtha would be relevant to any news story on this issue, I would think.

And so would some independent examination by the Post as to whether there is even any veracity to the charges.

The New York Times takes a day or two, or longer, before doing stories like this, as do other papers. They tend to examine the motives and backgrounds of those making such charges, and whether or not they have any basis in fact. That's how the Times handled the allegations that swirled around John Kerry's war service.

The Post's news ethic tends more towards that simply because an allegation is made it should be reported. To do otherwise, some editors of the newspaper argue, would mean putting aside one's objectivity. But simply giving prominent play to allegations that might or might not turn out to be true at some later day seems to me to be subjectivity by some other name.
It starts in some quote-unquote "news source" run by a GOP operative like "Talon News," which then leaks over into the sheeplike mainstream media where people like Howard Kurtz run with it.

But rather than point out that this is an obvious GOP shop, Howie facilitates a pre-emptive defense against any such assertion. He refers to them as a "conservative website" (much like WaPo Editor John WATB Harris referred to the website of GOP operative Patrick Ruffini) and asks no probing questions about a story which even a monkey could see is conceived, bought and paid for by the GOP.

And now we have to spend our time beating it into the ground, because nobody in the "traditional media" is certainly going to do it.

Update: Murtha will be on 60 Minutes tomorrow

Update II: Murray adds this: "In my original post, I mistakenly reported that Rep. Murtha won a Silver Star and two Bronze stars. Instead, he won a Bronze Star; a Distinguished Service Medal of the United States Marine Corps, and six other military awards for his 37 years of service with the Marine Corp."

This Is How It's Done -- Pt. 1
This Is How It's Done -- Pt. 2