Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Slime the Messenger

Interestingly enough, this was written by a very well respected reporter in his own right.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino yesterday cast aspersions on investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh and his anonymous sources -- but refused to respond to any of the specific claims Hersh made in this week's New Yorker about White House support for a new path to war with Iran.

All Perino would say was that President Bush is seeking a diplomatic solution -- precisely what the White House claimed as it set the Iraq war in motion in late 2002 and early 2003.

Hersh, who has a history of well-sourced, groundbreaking reporting (he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his uncovering of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam), writes that Bush is seriously considering limited strikes against Iran, ostensibly in defense of American troops in Iraq. The real attraction of such an approach, Hersh writes, is that Bush and Cheney believe it could be readily sold to the American people.

The point of this post is reporters, especially after years at the occupation, know who they can trust, even though they'll also corroborate.

Dan Froomkin, who wrote the story, and Seymour Hersh are particularly adept at getting to the truth. Bob Woodward was in that league, but since Watergate has decided to protect his access to the White House. Froomkin and Hersh don't give a shit about such access.

The people who know what is what and will tell about it are often downstream.

I asked my immediate supervisor how our company could have an ethics code stating we would never bribe officials and other companies' people, but we were selling in countries where bribes are a necessary component of doing business.

This was in a team meeting and he dismissed everyone. Afterward he took me aside and said he was sure the company bribed on a regular basis.

Is that proof bribes were being handed out? Hardly, but a good investigative reporter would dig deeper and verify it was or wasn't happening.

And that's why anyone with an ounce of integrity or self-respect wouldn't call the reporters liars. What Dana Perino did is fair game spinning to my mind. Plant a seed of doubt, but don't get specific or lie. "We seek a diplomatic solution" is boilerplate used by all politicians. That's just old time politics.

Via WaPo.

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