At the Weekly Standard yesterday Eric Felten blasted the New York Times’s depiction of Bruce Ohr as “a midlevel government worker” and “little-known career Justice Department official.”
Indeed, according to one of the Times’s classic triple-byline stories (concluding with credit to two more reporters), Ohr was a faceless bureaucrat deposited “deep into the government bureaucracy.” In case you missed the Times’s point, the team of three plus two reporters also puts it this way: Ohr is “[a] largely anonymous part of the 113,000-person Justice Department work force.”
Sometimes it takes five Times reporters to obscure the critical facts. The Times’s treatment of Bruce Ohr — the apparent conduit for Christopher Steele to the FBI after the FBI was compelled to terminate its relationship with Steele, as Felten also explains — presents a valuable case study. “Anyone familiar with Washington could be forgiven for assuming that means Ohr is a GS-14, or maybe at most a GS-15,” wrote Felten, “the typical job scale for a midlevel federal careerist. You’d never think from reading the New York Times article that until recently Ohr was one of the most senior officials at Justice Department—associate deputy attorney general.”
Tucker Carlson invited Felten to discuss his column on Fox News last night. Felten commented: “What’s funny is they keep referring to Bruce Ohr as ‘little-known.’ And he is ‘little-known’ if you read the New York Times or the Washington Post, where they don’t tell you about Bruce Ohr.” Exactly.
UPDATE: I was unable to find a video of Eric’s segment when I originally posted these comments. The brief segment is worth watching in its entirety. Here it is.