As long as the New York Times continues to report whoppers like the one about the proposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I suppose the Washington Post’s biases and distortions will continue to fly under the radar screen. But the Post is essentially a somewhat more careful version of the New York Times. Consider Rocket Man’s blog below about the poll on whether Saddam was involved in Sept. 11. The Post story states that most Americans believe that Saddam was involved “even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this.”
Now, no one can prove that some “Bush administration investigator” didn’t say he or she has no evidence of a connection. As I said, the Post is more careful than the New York Times. However, there is certainly evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11. For instance, Czech officials have said they saw the mastermind of 9/11 talking with Iraqi agents. This is evidence of a connection. Whether it is persuasive evidence is subject to debate. But the Post’s suggestion that the American people believe in a connection in the absence of any evidence is simply wrong.
Actually, the Post hit a trifecta of biased, pro-Democratic reporting this morning on its front-page. In addition to the dishonest story about the Iraq connection poll, my edition featured as its headline the statement that payroll jobs dropped in August. While this statement is true, it is also spin. The fact is that the unemployment rate declined in August. Rightly or wrongly, the unemployment rate has always been considered the primary piece of data released by the Labor Department with respect to the state of the labor market. But that changed when the unemployment rate began to drop under a Republican president. Why? Did the Post suddenly become more sophisticated about labor economics? Or is it spinning its headlines in order to make President Bush look bad?
In the unlikely event that you had difficulty answering this question, consider the another front-page headline in today’s edition — “Rumsfeld touts U.S. ‘success’ in Iraq”. Now whether the U.S. has been successful in post-war Iraq is an open question, and one would not expect any newspaper to write a headline that implied such success. But the Post could have conveyed its arguably justified skepticism through a headline such as “Rumsfeld claims U.S. success in Iraq.” Or, perhaps more appropriately given what Rumsfeld actually said, “Rumsfeld points to successes in Iraq.” Instead, the Post opted to ridicule Rumsfeld by using the word “touts” (as if he were some kind of carnival barkeror pitch man). Having done so, it then got to take a second free shot at the Administration by putting quotations marks around the word “success.”
My family has subscribed to the Washington Post since before I was born. And because I was born so long ago, I find it useful to have a hard copy of the Post around when I blog about Post stories. But the Post’s front page is one the first things I see in the morning. And I’m getting tired of starting my day pissed off.
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