In the New York Times Sunday book review, Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter checks out "Truth and Duty," the apologia from Mary Mapes, the disgraced former CBS News producer of "Memogate" infamy, in which she blames right-wing bloggers and everyone but herself for how her "expose" of Bush's National Guard duty blew up in the face of her network.
The liberal Alter is highly critical of Mapes and CBS, but makes a rather paranoid and over-the-top claim about "Buckhead," the Atlanta attorney who originally questioned the fake documents used by CBS's "60 Minutes II" to attack President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service record.
"Buckhead"'s posting on the right-wing FreeRepublic website began the blogosphere's speedy evisceration of the forged memos, but Alter has this novel spin: "The blogger's anonymous assertion, within hours of the broadcast, that the proportional spacing and type font of the Killian memos did not exist in those days was only one of many falsehoods spread by political hit men."
Battling chilly temps and uncooperative winds, a Ukrainian group assembled outside New York Times headquarters in Manhattan Friday to protest the 1932 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Times reporter Walter Duranty for his pro-Stalin coverage of Russia.
The Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 (Ukrainians call it the Holodomor) was engineered by Russian dictator Josef Stalin -- and whitewashed from Duranty's reporting for the Times. Duranty, who covered the country for the Times from 1922 to 1941, ignored Stalin's atrocities, including the famine that killed seven to ten million Ukrainians.
Duranty, who is "credited" for coining the phrase (referring to Stalin’s purges) "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs," said of the famine accusations, which were reported at the time by left-wing journalists like Malcolm Muggeridge: "Any report of a famine in Russia today is an exaggeration or malignant propaganda."
Rep. John Murtha's anti-war pessimism leads Friday's New York Times, but criticizing the war isn't new for the "conservative" congressman.
"Fast Withdrawal Of G.I.'s Is Urged By Key Democrat" is the headline to Eric Schmitt's story:
"The partisan furor over the Iraq war ratcheted up sharply on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as an influential House Democrat on military matters called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops and Republicans escalated their attacks against the Bush administration's critics....'Our military has done everything that has been asked of them. It is time to bring them home,' Mr. Murtha said, at times choking back tears. Mr. Murtha's proposal, which goes well beyond the phased withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq that other moderate Democrats have proposed, stunned many Republicans who quickly held their own news conference to criticize the plan."
The White House is counterattacking anti-war critics charging that "Bush lied" us into Iraq, and Elisabeth Bumiller files a short piece showing the vice president has joined in ("Cheney Says Senate War Critics Make 'Reprehensible Charges'"). Cheney was speaking to a Frontiers of Freedom gathering in Washington when he said those accusing Bush of manipulating war intelligence were making "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."
The updated, online version of Bumiller's article claims:
"In his speech, Mr. Cheney echoed the argument of Mr. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the past week that Democrats had access to the same prewar intelligence that the White House did, and that they came to the same conclusion that Mr. Hussein was a threat. The administration, however, had access to far more extensive intelligence than Congress did. The administration also left unaddressed the question of how it had used that intelligence, which was full of caveats, subtleties and contradictions. Many Democrats now say they believe they had been misled by the administration in the way it presented the prewar intelligence."
A New York Sun editorial (subscription may be required) notes the New York Times and a couple of (surprise) Democratic liberal senators are "in a lather over Kenneth Tomlinson's just-ended chairmanship at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They're particularly incensed over a report released yesterday by CPB's inspector general, for which [Democratic Senators] Dingell and Obey pressed, that suggests Mr. Tomlinson 'broke the law' in the course of pursuing his attempt to restore some balance to public broadcasting."
Indeed, the Times' report today is written by Stephen Labaton, who has previously filed many pro-PBS stories on Tomlinson's quest to bring political balance to public broadcasting, some of them relaying bad information, and none admitting the obvious liberal slant of PBS programming (Labaton wouldn't even call PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers a liberal, though he readily labeled the Wall Street Journal editorial page "conservative.")
The Sun goes on to make a broader point -- why, in this golden age of media diversity, is the government still in the journalism biz?
Earlier today, TimesWatch made a run (with help from bloggers EU Rota and Cori Dauber) at a tendentious New York Times editorial claiming Bush "misled Americans" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and terrorist connections. Now the White House itself has gotten in on the act, dissecting Tuesday's lead editorial, "Decoding Mr. Bush's Denials," piece by piece.
To the paper's charge that foreign intelligence services did not suupport U.S. intelligence, the White House rebuts:
"But Even Foreign Governments That Opposed The Removal Of Saddam Hussein Judged That Iraq Had Weapons Of Mass Destruction."
News Flash: Scandal-plagued left-wing radio network pitches the New York Times and obtains hoped-for "good press."
Radio host Brian Maloney, who broke many of the stories this summer on the financial scandal at Air America, wonders "was Sunday's upbeat New York Times piece on Air America hosts Rachel Maddow and Randi Rhodes at least partly the result of a 'pitch' by the liberal radio network's public relations department?....After receiving a document-backed inside tip, the Radio Equalizer is investigating whether Air America's Jaime Horn convinced New York Times reporter Susan Brenna to write a self-serving piece on Air America's female hosts."
Maloney obtained an email allegedly from Horn to some fellow Air America Radio staffers, subject line: "Good press is on the way...I hope!" Horn certainly wasn't wrong about that, as the paper lauded the "rising stars" of Maddow and Rhodes.
For more bias from the New York Times, visit TimesWatch.
As financial scandal was breaking at the left-wing radio network Air America (in the blogosphere at least) this summer, the Times could spare just one weak Metro-section story on the network "borrowing" $875,000 from a Bronx Boys and Girls Club, despite the easily exploitable hypocrisy angle (liberals taking money from poor kids!).
Times Public Editor Barney Calame even made the unusual step (online, anyway) of actually chiding his paper for being slow on the uptake.
Well, at last the Times has another Air America story -- but it's a puff piece on the network's female "rising star" hosts Randi Rhodes and Rachel Maddow.
Susan Brenna's story for Sunday's Arts & Leisure is headlined: "They Look Nothing Like Rush Limbaugh -- As women and lefties, Air America's rising stars are rarities in talk radio. But perhaps not for long."
The Times' top book critic again denies that there's liberal bias in the media.
This morning, Michiko Kakutani hails the anti-Bush book "Attack the Messenger" by Craig Crawford, a columnist for Congressional Quarterly, under the headline "Bushes' War Against Media."
Notice the plural "Bushes." Apparently, only Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. went to war on the media, not Bill Clinton. Then again, given that 89% of the White House press corps voted for Clinton in 1992, perhaps didn't have as much reason to attack the press.
Do the votes in New Jersey and Virginia signal a "Republican unraveling," as the Times suggests, or is the paper just promoting wishful Democratic thinking?
Thursday's "House Shelves Plans for Alaska Drilling" by Carl Hulse is ostensibly about the issue raised in the headline, but much of it harps on the Republican losses in Tuesday's elections (even though the party didn't actually lose any seats). The text box argues: "A concession adds sting to Republican election losses."
Actually, if current returns hold up, Republicans actually made gains in the two contested states by unseating Virginia's Democratic Lt. Governor and narrowly retaining the Attorney General slot.
New Jersey and Virginia's tradition of odd-year elections for governor give the media ample fodder for speculation on how Democrats and Republicans will perform in future congressional and presidential elections. But for the New York Times, the Democratic successes of 2005 seem to have far more significance than did the Republican successes of 1993 and 1997.
In 1997, New Jersey's Republican governor Christine Whitman won a close race for re-election, while Republican James Gilmore won in Virginia. The Republican successes in Bill Clinton's second term, when he wasn't up for reelection, were downplayed by the Times two days afterward in a headline: "With Big Issues Absent, The Little Things Count." Reporter Richard Berke didn't see any political significance at all: "Forget the post-mortems about ideological shifts, Republican revivals or which candidate had the most money. The legacy of the off, off-year elections on Tuesday may simply be this: Think small."
When it comes to conveying the gritty facts of the Paris rioting, the burning cars and shattered shop windows, the mainstream media have typically downplayed the rioters' identity as Muslims. But when it's time to suggest liberal solutions, Muslims are singled out prominently as victims of French racial discrimination, lack of assimilation, and lack of jobs (yet the media are strangely muted about the high taxes and burdensome regulations that keep unemployment in France so high).
One tic particular to the Times is putting the onus for the rioting on France's interior minister and anti-crime advocate, Nicholas Sarkozy.
Sarkozy, who is angling to replace French President Jacques Chirac, got in trouble with Chirac (and the Times) for classifying the rioting thugs as, uh, "thugs."
Some follow-up on the story of Cpl. Jeffrey Starr, a Marine killed in Iraq on Memorial Day, whose last letter home the New York Times excerpted in an October 26 story marking the 2000th fatality in Iraq.
Sunday's New York Post has the reaction of Starr's girlfriend to the paper's dishonestly selective quotation of his last letter to her: "The reason I chose to share that letter was the paragraph about why he was doing this, not the part about him expecting to die. It hurt, it really hurt,"
As summarized by TimesWatch and others last week, reporter James Dao's story printed a portion of the letter that fit into the paper's agenda of emphasizing the "grim mark" of the 2000th death, thus reducing Starr to a man just waiting to die: "Sifting through Cpl. Starr's laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the Marine's girlfriend. 'I kind of predicted this,' Cpl. Starr wrote of his own death. 'A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances.'"
But here's the full context of that quote, as Michelle Malkin first revealed, showing how Starr felt about his death in the context of the fight for freedom in Iraq (portion left out by the NYT in bold):
"Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."
NYT Political Reporter Todd Purdum ignores Joe Wilson's whoppers and repeats his paper's pre-election conspiracy-mongering in a hodge-podge of a piece for the Sunday Week in Review. "The Message Mongers Rule Us, but Time Rules Them" is (mostly) about handing scandal and brings up the obligatory Libby-Wilson imbroglio, then segues not so smoothly into the paper's pre-electionconspiracy-mongering:
"The message-control impulse is as strong today as it ever was, though it can take different forms. Few may know whether the Bush administration's decision to elevate the terror alert level for financial institutions in New York and Washington the weekend after the 2004 Democratic National Convention was pure coincidence, political plot or some mixture of the two. At best, it turned out to be based on intelligence that was not particularly fresh, and it prompted more than a little skepticism."
Outcry continues over the Times' omission of quotes from the last letter of Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Starr. As recounted yesterday on TimesWatch, a Times story by James Dao last week marking the death of 2,000 U.S troops in Iraq printed one part of a letter from Cpl. Starr, to be delivered to his girlfriend in case of Starr's death. That portion of the letter showed the Marine foreseeing his own death.
But as Michelle Malkin first revealed, after receiving a letter from Cpl. Starr's uncle, the Times left out the very next part, which explained what Starr considered the greater meaning of his sacrifice in Iraq. In doing so, the Times left readers with a diminished, one-dimensional portrait of a doomed Marine, instead of one who saw his sacrifice in the context of something greater and worthwhile.
A bit of a stunner from this morning's Washington Times: "Former President Jimmy Carter yesterday condemned all abortions and chastised his party for its intolerance of candidates and nominees who oppose abortion. 'I never have felt that any abortion should be committed -- I think each abortion is the result of a series of errors,' he told reporters over breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, while across town Senate Democrats deliberated whether to filibuster the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. because he may share President Bush and Mr. Carter's abhorrence of abortion. 'These things impact other issues on which [Mr. Bush] and I basically agree,' the Georgia Democrat said. 'I've never been convinced, if you let me inject my Christianity into it, that Jesus Christ would approve abortion.'"
It will be curious to see if the CBS Evening News, which on September 21 relayed a post-Katrina criticism from Carter of Bush for stripping FEMA of its independence, finds the ex-president's provocative comments on the "hot-button" issues of abortion and religion equally newsworthy.
Columnist Michelle Malkin hits New York Times reporter James Dao for leaving off a vital part of a quote of a Marine killed in Iraq, a portion that showed how committed the Marine was to the cause of freedom there.
As Malkin describes in a column in the New York Post:
"Last Wednesday, the Times published a 4,624-word opus on American casualties of war in Iraq. '2,000 Dead: As Iraq Tours Stretch On, a Grim Mark,' read the headline. The macabre, Vietnam-evoking piece appeared prominently on page A2. Among those profiled were Marines from the First Battalion of the Fifth Marine Regiment, including Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr."
In this morning's New York Times, reporter Monica Davey issues a dubious roll call of "dignitaries" that attended Rosa Parks' funeral in Detroit: "Outside the Greater Grace Temple, thousands of people who had taken the day off from work waited to see a horse-drawn carriage carry Mrs. Parks's coffin toward a cemetery. In downtown offices, others brought televisions to watch more than six hours of remembrances and a call to action from a long line of dignitaries: the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, former President Bill Clinton and on and on."
Perhaps not the biggest news of the day -- unless you really, really hate Bill O'Reilly -- but it's always worth noting on NewsBusters when Al Franken is proven wrong (hat tip: Robert Cox).
Newsday reports on Franken's book-tour visit to Long Island: "Sure, he has a book to sell and a radio show to promote, but Al Franken had more urgent reasons to bring his live broadcast to the Book Revue in Huntington Friday.Namely: investigating where on Long Island arch-nemesis Bill O'Reilly grew up. Were O'Reilly's roots in blue-collar Levittown as the Fox television star insists? Or was he a product of the comparatively ritzy Westbury? 'What is this hall of mirrors known as O'Reilly's childhood?' Franken purred into his microphone, beginning his radio program before a crowd of 200 listeners."
The Times plays up Judge Samuel Alito's conservativism -- but ignored Ruth Bader Ginsberg's liberalism in 1993.
Tuesday's lead New York Times story on Bush's Supreme Court pick (by Elisabeth Bumiller and Carl Hulse) plays up Alito's ideology from the start, nothing the federal appeals court judge has a "conservative record on abortion." Later they note he is "solidly conservative" and has "bona fide conservative credentials" and the paper's front-page subhead emphasizes that he's "Hailed By Right."
By contrast, when President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, Richard Berke's lead story in the June 15, 1993 edition didn't describe Ginsburg, a feminist and former ACLU lawyer, as liberal. Berke even let Clinton get away with saying (without rebuttal from Republicans or anyone else): "Ruth Bader Ginsburg cannot be called a liberal or conservative. She has proved herself too thoughtful for such labels."
The Times' personal profile of Bush's pick by Neil Lewis and Scott Shane takes a similar tone. The headline to the jump page notes Alito's "Clear Conservative Record" and the text describes him as "solidly conservative."
In another contrast, on June 15, 1993, the Times' profile of Ginsburg took Clinton's lead in positioning Ginsburg as a centrist: "Despite her long record as a champion of women's rights, Judge Ginsburg has occasionally disappointed some of her former allies in the liberal advocacy groups. In her 13 years on the appeals court, she has often gone out of her way to mediate between the court's warring liberal and conservative factions."
(On June 27 of that year, the paper ludicrously termed Ginsburg, a former director of the Women's Rights Project of the ACLU, as a centrist: "Balanced Jurist at Home in the Middle.")
Saturday's big front-page feature story on the indictment of I. Lewis Libby comes from political reporter Todd Purdum, and his take on prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is typically positive (and just in time for Halloween): "It was as if Mr. Fitzgerald had suddenly morphed from the ominous star of a long-running silent movie into a sympathetic echo of Kevin Costner in 'The Untouchables.'"
In the same edition, television-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley reviews prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's Friday press conference and makes the very same comparison: "In any turmoil, television seeks a hero. Stepping above the political wrangling, Mr. Fitzgerald presented himself to viewers as a righteous, homespun voice of reason, using baseball metaphors to explain his investigation and the flag to defend it….Back in the United States attorney's office in Chicago, the relentless prosecutor is known as Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree. Standing at a lectern at the Justice Department, wearing a blue shirt and red tie, a film of sweat on his forehead, Mr. Fitzgerald looked more like a Jimmy Stewart character: Mr. Fitzgerald goes to Washington."
A Nexis search indicates the Times never compared Ken Starr to Eliot Ness. However, on March 24, 2002, then-Washington bureau chief (now managing editor) Jill Abramson did pass along comparisons of Starr to another historical figure, albeit one with not quite as good a reputation: "But by the time he stepped down in October 1999, relentless attacks by Democrats and Clinton allies had created a powerful caricature of him as a prude and a Torquemada leading a partisan inquisition."
In Saturday's lead editorial, "The Case Against Scooter Libby," the New York Times tries to tie the complicated Joseph Wilson-Valerie Plame-Niger-uranium affair up with a bright-red conspiratorial bow by making out that columnist Bob Novak was out to get diplomat turned (discredited) anti-war activist Joseph Wilson.
By the Times' tendentious reading, the "conservative hawk" Novak went after Wilson for contradicting the White House on Saddam Hussein seeking uranium in Niger: "Mr. Novak reported that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the C.I.A. and had suggested Mr. Wilson for the mission. In the eyes of Mr. Novak and other conservative hawks, that made the trip suspect because they saw the C.I.A. as an adversary. The office where Mrs. Wilson worked was not toeing the line on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."
Harriet Miers was the victim of conservative "attacks," according to the lead story and its two headlines in Friday's New York Times, and another story advances a theme of vicious and unfair attacks against Miers.
"Bush's Court Choice Ends Bid After Attack By Conservatives -- Too Many Doubts," is from Elisabeth Bumiller and Carl Hulse. The headline on the jump page is similar: "Bush's Nominee for Supreme Court Ends Bid After Persistent Attacks by Conservatives."
Reporters Bumiller and Hulse first go to left-wing Sen. Ted Kennedy for a quote lambasting the "extreme right wing": "'The issue of whether the documents were the make-or-break issue is really a red herring,' said Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. 'The extreme right wing of the Republican Party have effectively undermined this nomination. They have a litmus test, and Harriet Miers didn't pass that test.'"
The Times lets the Democratic minority leader join the fun: "Democrats, who had remained largely silent as the conservative opposition to Ms. Miers grew, braced for the prospect of a highly conservative replacement choice as the administration seeks a candidate who can better unify Republicans. They said the failure of the nomination illustrated how captive Mr. Bush was to the right wing of his party. 'The only voices heard in this process were the far right,' said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, who had initially suggested Ms. Miers to Mr. Bush as a potential justice."
Yesterday's Washington Post takes a stroll through Kim Jong Il's Pyongyang Potemkin Village and finds happy peasants, dazzled visitors, and "public support" (hat-tip MediaCrity).
In "North Korea Sends a 'Message to the World'-- Secretive State Welcomes Visitors for Month-Long Celebration of Patriotism, Talent," Post reporters JooHee Cho and (from Tokyo) Anthony Faiola write: "North Korea has creaked open its doors for Arirang, a festival that celebrates national pride and, this year, commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Stalinist state's ruling Workers' Party. Performers, who numbered almost as many as the spectators, won furious applause for their coordinated displays of rhythmic gymnastics, flying acrobatics, traditional dancing and military taekwondo routines -- all synchronized to a massive video and laser light show....North Korea has rolled out the red carpet this month in exceptional style. Tour operators, diplomats and analysts describe the gathering of foreigners as the largest since Kim inherited the leadership on the death of his father and North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, in 1994."
New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley celebrates a self-congratulatory documentary about Hurricane Katrina that features NBC anchor Brian Williams.
The liberal Stanley particularly appreciates "In His Own Words: Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina" (airing tonight on the Sundance Channel) for showing Bush and the federal government in a poor light:
"It's never too soon to replay the blame game. 'In His Own Words: Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina' on the Sundance Channel serves as a study aid for those who wish to re-examine the government's neglect of the poorest victims of that terrible storm. News programs may have moved on to the damage wrought by Hurricane Wilma, but the devastation along the Gulf Coast was a seminal moment in President Bush's faltering second term."
Professor Cori Dauber interrupts the hagiography to point out that anchor Williams has apparently "forgotten his pledge to 'commute' to the Gulf in order to ensure he stayed completely on top of the story."
For more on the Times' liberal bias, visit TimesWatch.
The New York Times again portrays the far-left anti-war outfit IraqBodyCount as an objective source of casualty counts for civilians in Iraq.
Wednesday's story from Baghdad-based Sabrina Tavernise, "Rising Civilian Toll Is the Iraq War's Silent, Sinister Pulse," is clearly intended as a bookend to the paper's front-page story on the 2000th fatality among U.S. troops in Iraq. Iraq Body Count apparently has not issued a new report, so Tavernise is merely referencing the web site's death clock, based on this database of newspaper clippings.
"The war here has claimed about 2,000 American service members, but in the cold calculus of the killing, far more Iraqis have been left dead. The figures vary widely, with Iraqi and American officials reluctant to release even the most incomplete of tallies….In one count, compiled by Iraq Body Count, a United States-based nonprofit group that tracks the civilian deaths using news media reports, the total of Iraqi dead since the American-led invasion is 26,690 to 30,051."
Tavernise never clarifies how many of the dead are being killed by terrorists killing Iraqi civilians, and ignores the far-left nature of the group doing the tally.
The paper also ignored the leftist politics of IBC when it covered the group's July report marking "25,000" civilian deaths. That report referred to the terrorists who kill Iraqi civilians with car bombs as "unknown agents," innocuously defined as "those who do not attack obvious military/strategic or occupation-related targets." The Times didn't mention that.
IBC is also cited in today's front-page James Dao feature on the 2000th U.S. troop fatality in Iraq. As if to underscore that for some journalists everything is Vietnam, over an otherwise moving spread of small photographs and biographies of soldiers killed in Iraq, a subhead reads in part: "The dead come from all branches of the armed services and represent the highest toll since the Vietnam War."
Of course, an average of over 6,000 soldiers died each year during the bloodiest years of the Vietnam War, compared to 2,000 in two-and-a-half-years in Iraq.
Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus surprised yesterday with a slightly negative piece on Joseph Wilson, the U.S. diplomat turned discredited anti-war actvist whose wife Valerie Plame is the center of Patrick Fitzgerald's rinvestigation that has Democrats salivating and Republicans bracing over possible indictments.
But before the Post notes that in retrospect, it wasn't the best idea for Joseph Wilson and wife Valerie to pose for Vanity Fair, or for him to sign up for the Kerry campaign or (as the Post gently put its) "misstating some aspects of the Niger affair," they credit him for making a Bush claim invalid (emphasis added): "Wilson's central assertion -- disputing President Bush's 2003 State of the Union claim that Iraq was seeking nuclear material in Niger -- has been validated by postwar weapons inspections. And his charge that the administration exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq has proved potent."
Sigh. Back on October 12, 2003, then-Post ombudsman Michael Getler wrote:
"On Oct. 4, The Post made an obvious mistake on the front page, reporting that chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay had found 'no evidence for another one of Bush's key claims--that Iraq sought uranium in Niger.' Bush referred to Africa, not Niger, in the now famous 16 words in his State of the Union speech."
From avoiding Joseph Wilson's credibility collapse to misreading columnist Robert Novak, the New York Times just can't seem to get the facts of the Plame "scandal" straight.
Tuesday's lead scoop by David Johnston, Richard Stevenson and Douglas Jehl puts Vice President Cheney in the middle of Plame-gate ("Cheney Told Aide Of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report").
The aide in question is Cheney's chief-of-staff, I. Lewis Libby, who is being investigated by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the matter of who leaked the name of C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame.
The paper describes its revelation this way: "Lawyers involved in the case, who described the notes to The New York Times, said they showed that Mr. Cheney knew that Ms. Wilson [Plame] worked at the C.I.A. more than a month before her identity was made public and her undercover status was disclosed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003."
Times columnist Maureen Dowd (TimesSelect $ required) strikes the first inside blow against Judy Miller in her Saturday column, "Woman Of Mass Destruction," which opens with this piece of poisoned candy: "I've always liked Judy Miller. I have often wondered what Waugh or Thackeray would have made of the Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp. The traits she has that drive many reporters at The Times crazy -- her tropism toward powerful men, her frantic intensity and her peculiar mixture of hard work and hauteur -- have never bothered me. I enjoy operatic types."
Then she puts the knife in: "She never knew when to quit. That was her talent and her flaw. Sorely in need of a tight editorial leash, she was kept on no leash at all, and that has hurt this paper and its trust with readers. She more than earned her sobriquet 'Miss Run Amok.' Judy's stories about W.M.D. fit too perfectly with the White House's case for war."
NYT movie critic Manohla Dargis has mostly praise for the new movie "North Country," starring an un-prettified Charlize Theron, though Dargis admits it's an "old-fashioned liberal weepie" (albeit one "with heart") based on a true story of a class-action sexual harasment suit at a Minnesota mining company.
"For every woman who has been grabbed and groped against her wishes, hounded and worse, told to shut up and smile, told to shut up and take it like a man, told to shut up if you know what's good for you, the new film 'North Country' will induce a shiver of recognition and maybe a blast of rage. A wobbly fiction about a real pioneering sex-discrimination case, the film is an unabashed vehicle for its modestly de-glammed star, Charlize Theron, but, much like George Clooney's 'Good Night, and Good Luck,' it's also a star vehicle with heart -- an old-fashioned liberal weepie about truth and justice."