Monday, August 04, 2003

Balanced Reporting?

I actually have seen some evidence the past few days of some balanced reporting on the issue of intelligence and war justification. Today, for example, there is an article in FoxNews about how lawmakers are NOT reading the intelligence information that has been provided to them. That apparently is true on both sides of the aisle. And that lack of due diligence does not stop them from criticizing the administration.

Let me be perfectly clear about my own position on this. I think there are tons of issues that this administration should be critiqued on; but the pre-war intelligence, while potentially fair-game, has so far been nothing but a political issue. In fact, the more the Democrats have pushed on this, the more I discount them and tune them out. And it seems I am not the only one; recent polls last week indicate that most Americans, and even 50% of Democrats feel that the criticism reflect politics, not facts. Good. Very good!

And yesterday, on Meet the Press (have you ever seen a show more convinced of, while completely unconvincing in, its objectivity?) actually mentioned that many admin critics are now coming under some fire for the fact that they have had much of the same access to intelligence as the administration; so that their claims of being absolutely misled by the Bush is cause for great skepticism (one can't help but think of the scene from Casablanca where the police chief, Claude Rains, says that he is shocked that there is gambling going on at the club,.. just has he receives his winnings). Good to hear that.

But let's not get carried away. Diana Priest from the Washington Post on Meet the Press made it clear that the issue of pre-war intelligence will not go away, and that reporting will not be balanced (at least, that's how I see it) (emphasis added):
So I think the media, for certain, will not give this up yet, and it's going to continue to pick away at things like this and we'll see more exaggeration, we'll see more interpretation of intelligence that wasn't clear, the national intelligence estimate itself, the thing that the intelligence community came out on, its key judgments were that Saddam Hussein might or might not use chemical weapons and he didn't. So where are those? How faulty, really, was the intelligence on this?
Amazing... she knows there will be evidence of more exaggeration...she can't reveal it yet, but she knows it. And she is clear the media will not give up on this. So maybe it is not only a political issue raised by the Democrats...it is a political issue raised by the media. And I like her last innuendo.... intelligence wasn't faulty, just our leadership which lied. Here's the whole transcript.

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