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April 26, 2006

Molegate Update: Press Is Damned Sure McCarthy's Big Donations To Democrats Aren't "Relevant"

Whitewash from the LAT.

They have their story and they're sticking to it -- she was a pure-as-snow Warrior of Conscience who acted only to uphold the Constitution. And any facts that might undermine this storyline must be embargoed from the public.

The public can't be allowed to be "confused" about the correct interpretation of the facts... and if that means withholding certain facts, well, that's necessary, because the public isn't qualified to interpret facts without media hand-holding.

Meanwhile, the WaPo's Dafna Lizner was asked in an on-line chat why the WaPo has completely embargoed McCarthy's Democratic donations and connections. Her answer is jaw-dropping:

. I disagree with Howie [Kurtz] on this one. I think in his chat he said her campaign contributions go to motive but I don't know yet what she's done so I'm not sure how to assign motive here. Intelligence officers do not check their citizenship at the gates of Langley and like all government employees they are free to vote and make contributions - all of which is very much apart from their commitment to government service and to fulfilling the policies of any president.

But we are living in partisan times and people want a partisan, political motive and explanation for everything. I don't think that's reasonable. Should we publish the campaign contributions of every person who testifies before Congress, every person who briefs a president, every person who writes a policy paper or plays any role in government whatsoever or who is ever quoted in a story? We could, the information is public. But I don't want to confuse readers or issues by throwing that into the mix unless I understand its relevance. We have reported that she worked in Clinton's NSC and whom she has worked with and will continue to write about it.

She.

Doesn't.

Want.

To.

"Confuse."

Readers.

With.

Facts.

Presumably that they're not able to "correctly interpret."

Facts used to be kind of important to reporters, didn't they? Now, not so much. They're subordinate to "narrative."

The Media Blog has itself a nice little giggle over the Washington Post's lack of any aversion to note the political connections of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.

They were pretty sure those connections and donations were relevant as to motive, weren't they?

I find this disgustingly arrogant. The bias is now really shocking, and I don't mean that in an ironic way. I am absolutely shocked that they WITHHOLD FACTS from the public until they are sure of the "relevance" of those facts, at least when it comes to people/causes they favor.

It's one thing for the Post to mention the facts, and then argue against the relevance of those facts. They could, for example, mention McCarthy's donations, and then get her good friend, always-ready-to-defend-her-with-a-quote Rand Beers to say those donations don't mean anything at all.

That's the sort of bias we've come to expect -- the grudging admission of a fact that undermines their storyline, but with the liberal go-to-quote-provider getting the last word and dismissing the relevance of that fact.

They're now going quite beyond that. No longer will facts be grudgingly admitted and then dismissed by a liberal (usually unidentified as such, of course).

Now the facts will simply be omitted entirely, obviating the need for the "but this really doesn't matter anyway" quote. Just cutting out the middle-man, I guess they figure.

Most of the American public thinks this is relevant, or possibly relevant. (Or they would, if any MSM organization lowered itself to actually inform them.)

But the Keepers of the Sacred Journalistic "Storytelling" Narrative disagree, and they simply have decided they will not let mere facts undermine their chosen "frame" for the story.

"Narrative" and "context" first, last, and always; facts are permitted only to the extent they advance the agreed upon "narrative" and "context."


More... Great bit from the WSJ:

The press is also inventing a preposterous double standard that is supposed to help us all distinguish between bad leaks (the Plame name) and virtuous leaks (whatever Ms. McCarthy might have done). Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie has put himself on record as saying Ms. McCarthy should not "come to harm" for helping citizens hold their government accountable. Of the Plame affair, by contrast, the Post's editorial page said her exposure may have been an "egregious abuse of the public trust."

It would appear that the only relevant difference here is whose political ox is being gored, and whether a liberal or conservative journalist was the beneficiary of the leak. That the press sought to hound Robert Novak out of polite society for the Plame disclosure and then rewards Ms. Priest and Mr. Risen with Pulitzers proves the worst that any critic has ever said about media bias.

The deepest damage from these leak frenzies may yet be to the press itself, both in credibility and its ability to do its job. It was the press that unleashed anti-leak search missions aimed at the White House that have seen Judith Miller jailed and may find Ms. Priest and Mr. Risen facing subpoenas. ....

We've been clear all along that we don't like leak prosecutions, especially when they involve harassing reporters who are just trying to do their job. But then that's part of the reason we didn't join Joe Wilson and the New York Times in demanding Karl Rove's head over the Plame disclosure. As for some of our media colleagues, when they stop being honest chroniclers of events and start getting into bed with bureaucrats looking to take down elected political leaders, they shouldn't be surprised if those leaders treat them like the partisans they have become.

Yup.

Thanks to Instapundit.


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posted by Ace at 03:06 PM

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