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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Thursday, January 13, 2005

All the President's Newsmen

A day or so ago, I lamented to myself that the Dept of Education would be saddled with the entire responsibility for Payolagate, and BushCo would (once again) get off with nary a scratch.

So maybe. But maybe not. In today's NYT, Frank Rich writes: ... the Jan. 7 edition of CNN's signature show can stand as an exceptionally ripe paradigm of what is happening to the free flow of information in a country in which a timid news media, the fierce (and often covert) Bush administration propaganda machine, lax and sometimes corrupt journalistic practices, and a celebrity culture all combine to keep the public at many more than six degrees of separation from anything that might resemble the truth.

[...]

we should pause a moment to analyze this "Crossfire" co-host's disingenuous use of the term "full disclosure."

Last year Mr. Novak had failed to fully disclose - until others in the press called him on it - that his son is the director of marketing for Regnery, the company that published "Unfit for Command," the Swift boat veterans' anti-Kerry screed that Mr. Novak flogged relentlessly on CNN and elsewhere throughout the campaign. Nor had he fully disclosed, as Mary Jacoby of Salon reported, that Regnery's owner also publishes his subscription newsletter ($297 a year). Nor has Mr. Novak fully disclosed why he has so far eluded any censure in the federal investigation of his outing of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Plame, while two other reporters, Judith Miller of The Times and Matt Cooper of Time, are facing possible prison terms in the same case. In this context, Mr. Novak's "full disclosure" of his friendship with Mr. Williams is so anomalous that it raised many more questions than it answers.


[...]

the White House is saying that the whole affair is, in the words of the press secretary, Scott McClellan, "a contracting matter" and "a decision by the Department of Education." In other words, the buck stops (or started) with Rod Paige, the elusive outgoing education secretary who often appeared with Mr. Williams in his pay-for-play propaganda.

But we now know that there have been at least three other cases in which federal agencies have succeeded in placing fake news reports on television during the Bush presidency.


[...]

is Mr. Williams merely the first one of his ilk to be exposed? /end quote

Dear Thunder Beings and Forest Sprites and Gods of Ice Creams and Other Desserts: Please let this be just the opening shot.

Rich's OpEd here.




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