Cheerleading, Washington Post style

With the prospect of indictments looming in the Valerie Plame matter, this Washington Post piece by Peter Slevin and Carol Leonnig attempts to lionize special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. The subtitle of the piece is “A Tough Investigation Is Also Praised as Nonpartisan.” However, I couldn’t find any evidence in the article that anyone had praised the investigation in those terms. A federal judge termed it “exhaustive” and President Bush called it “dignified.” But the only person who called it “fair” was Walter Pincus, another Post reporter, and he did so only in the context of Fitzgerald’s deal with Pincus which enabled the latter not to name his source. If Fitzgerald treated Pincus fairly that’s commendable, but it’s not evidence that the overall investigation is fair or “nonpartisan.”

I’m not taking a position as to whether Fitzgerald’s investigation has been fair or nonpartisan. I’m just saying that the Post’s puff piece is worthless when it comes to helping one form an opinion on that question; that the laudatory subtitle is unsupported by the contents of the story; and that the Post appears to be engaging in cheerleading.

JOHN adds: A reader points out that the New York Times ran a similar puff piece over the weekend. Which shows, I guess, that the Post and the Times are expecting good news–indictments of Rove and Libby–from Fitzgerald. Whether they’re right or not remains to be seen; Red State has other ideas in “Fitzgerald Indicts Two in Plame Scandal”.


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