Gonzales: The Sequel

The Democrats and their allies in the media have been beating up on Alberto Gonzales for a long time. Their assault continued today, as Judge Michael Mukasey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The real target of the attack, of course, isn’t Gonzales, it’s President Bush. Here is how the Washington Post led its story:

Attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey pledged today to adhere to the law and protect the civil liberties of Americans if he is confirmed as the head of the Justice Department, subtly signaling a fresh start after the tumultuous tenure of Alberto R. Gonzales.

That’s subtle, all right: until now, the Bush administration hasn’t “adhered to the law” or “protected the civil liberties of Americans.” Actually, though, the administration’s terror-related policies have generally fared very well in court. Bad as the Post’s lead is, it isn’t as laughable as this Associated Press account, which is headlined: “Mukasey Would End White House Meddling.” How’s that for objective news judgment? The AP begins:

Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey told senators Wednesday he will reject White House political meddling and overstepping its authority in terrorism cases if approved to run the Justice Department. He said he would resign if his legal or ethical doubts about administration policy are ignored.
Mukasey’s plans for the scandal-scarred Justice Department starkly contrast with how it operated under the man who would be his immediate predecessor

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