Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Partisanship first?: Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a man whose dishonesty on Fox News Sunday a couple of years back provided this site with its best traffic day ever, was on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday and proved that times may change, but his dishonesty remains the same. From The Wall Street Journal editorial page [link for subscribers only]:
We journalists are bound to make mistakes from time to time, and there's nothing dishonorable about acknowledging it. So we find it a little puzzling that more than 10 days after the bipartisan Robb-Silberman Commission debunked a major piece of the media's Iraq war narrative -- that Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress played a major role in the bad intelligence on Saddam's WMDs -- almost none of the outlets that sold the story have seen fit to correct the record or explain their reporting.
An honorable exception is NBC's Tim Russert, who in any case appears to have been guilty of nothing more that believing what he read in places like the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. On Sunday's edition of "Meet the Press," Mr. Russert acknowledged having repeated the story and confronted Jay Rockefeller with the Commission's (and the CIA's) finding of no evidence linking a lying Iraqi defector code named "Curveball" to the INC:
Mr. Russert: "But, in fact, for the record, there's no evidence that Mr. Chalabi was associated with Curveball."
Senator Rockefeller: "Chalabi's footprints are all over virtually everything. I mean, where you have defectors, where you have, as Curveball was called, a fabricator, you're likely to find somewhere Chalabi's footprint."
Mr. Russert: "But the report says there was no direct involvement with Curveball or linkage to ..."
Senator Rockefeller: "So what does "direct involvement" mean?" (In fact, the Robb-Silberman report says Curveball was presented to the CIA through a foreign intelligence service that we have since learned was Germany's.)
At least journalists know what they're going to get when they interview Rockefeller -- so why bother doing fresh interviews?