In yesterday's AJC (a paper product sold as news in Atlanta), Richard Cohen (syndicated from the Washington Post) opined that the Newsweek scandal was not the result of bias.
The emphasized last sentence is of course Cohen's theorem. It is utterly, blatantly, a lie. Cohen continues his article by trying to point out an occasional inconsistency in right wing blogs demand for accountability and perfection from Republican leaders and columnists (even going so far as to take a tongue in cheek comment from Ann Coulter and present it as "serious"). Of course, he commits the same sin, and pots and kettles clanged together into the night.
By Tuesday, the critical blogs had been joined by The Wall Street Journal. It opined that the error stemmed from the press' --- and Newsweek's --- basic "mistrust of the military that goes back to Vietnam." Here the Journal has a point, but it makes it sound as if that mistrust is unearned.
Yet the lies of Vietnam, beginning with the murky cause for the war, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, were legion and well-documented. Had reporters not taken a lesson from all this --- had we not learned something from the revelations of the Pentagon Papers and the later confessions of Robert McNamara --- then we would truly be unqualified to practice our profession. Skepticism is to journalists what faith is to the clergy.
Newsweek, and the majority of the lamestream media, are only skeptical when the facts do not support their agenda - make the war look lost and the Republikkkan President look bad. Might the military or a Presidential administration lie? Of course. Might those with adgenda's opposed to the military or a President lie as well? Of course. But accepting their stories is apparently what it means to be a skeptic. Skepticism only flows in one direction?
Where was this skepticism in the Memogate stories? Where was this skepticism in Newsweek's story? Is an anonymous, second hand source solid news only when it makes the U.S. government and military look bad? Of course, damnit! That is exactly when Newsweek has no need for skepticism. Get the story out and worry about skepticism on the corrections page next week.
In a related story, the AJC headline reads: LB Johnson kicked off team, will transfer. Did he become a Republican?