Sandbagging Pelosi Update

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Bush Administration, Congress, Middle East

There’s a must-see video at Crooks and Liars in which former ambassador Richard Holbrooke slammed guest-host David Gregory for peddling unfounded GOP talking points about Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Syria. And Think Progress has a video in which Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) in which he confirms that Pelosi told Bush of the trip to Syria a day before they left, and Bush did not object.

Update: See also Scott Lehigh in today’s Boston Globe.

Update2: See Dan Radmacher of The Roanoke Times:

Some reporters — especially those covering the nation’s capital — are egotistical, lazy, complacent and addicted to their access to those in power, however little they use that access to actually benefit the public.

Many reporters also believe they’ve done their job if they simply quote both sides of an issue — as if most issues only have two sides — with no further effort to get at the truth of the matter.

A good friend of mine, one of the best reporters I’ve ever known, calls that “bracketing the truth.” It’s depressingly common.

For instance, President Bush recently came out with some harsh criticisms of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi because of her trip to Syria to speak with President Bashir Assad.

“Photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they’re part of the mainstream of the international community when, in fact, they’re a state sponsor of terror,” Bush said, and the press dutifully reported.

Most then dutifully reported Pelosi’s responses. Her press secretary said, “The Iraq Study Group recommended a diplomatic effort that should include ‘every country that has an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq.’ This effort should certainly include Syria.”

Very few reports mentioned that at the same time Bush was complaining about Pelosi’s trip, a delegation of Republican members of Congress, including Virginia’s Rep. Frank Wolf, were in Damascus meeting with Assad. Bush not only didn’t criticize Republicans for their trip, an aide to one of the congressmen suggested the White House helped arrange the visit.

If not for bloggers like Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, that blatant hypocrisy would never have been exposed. It still went unmentioned far too often in newspaper and radio reports….

…The coverage of the new Democratic Congress is just as rife with lazy reporting that accepts far too many political proclamations at face value.

Along these lines, there’s an outstanding article in Salon by Gary Kamiy called “Iraq: Why the Media Failed.”

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2 Comments

  1. SPIIDERWEB™  •  Apr 10, 2007 @8:43 am

    This has been an unbelievable tempest in a teapot. Why is the right so fearful of this woman? They attack her much more than they attack HRC.

    Something about Pelosi really scares the GOP.

  2. maha  •  Apr 10, 2007 @9:27 am

    Well, y’know, they did something like that to Tom Daschle, and Daschle was a sock (as in, “spine as limp as a ____”.) The Right targeted Daschle from the very beginning of the Bush Administration; here’s an article from July 2001 called “The Secret War on Tom Daschle.“; see also related piece at Salon. Daschle’s every tepid little criticism of the Bush Administration would be inflated into treasonous ravings in the right-wing media. They were hysterical about Daschle, in other words, and he wasn’t all that effective. The GOP went all-out to run him out of the Senate, and I remember thinking at the time that they might be sorry, because the next Senate Democratic Party leader might actually have a spine. It still baffles me why they were so all-fired worked up about Daschle.



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