Salon Responds to NewsBusters: ‘Am I in Bed With MoveOn?’

Tennis lovers saddened by the conclusion of the U.S. Open Sunday should take heart, for a great match is being waged in the blogosphere between editors at Salon and NewsBusters.

Initially at issue was whether or not "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric has become a shill for the Bush administration and the war in Iraq as avowed by Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh on Sunday.

As set two got under way, the point of contention was whether or not Walsh was in bed with MoveOn?

Not surprisingly, Walsh doesn't think so (emphasis added throughout):

Editor Noel Sheppard swept aside my criticism of MoveOn; instead he takes me to task for highlighting a video compilation the group did of Katie Couric's (not so) greatest hits from her Iraq trip. It was a terrific video, the kind of fact-based critique the group is known for, and I said so. (I also said I didn't think the Petraeus name-calling was up to its standards. Twice.)

Criticism of MoveOn? Is this what Walsh thinks is criticism (emphasis added):

MoveOn did a great video summary of Couric's Iraq trip, with close attention to detail, which also distinguished its ad in the New York Times (although it was marred, in my opinion, by the right-baiting play on Petraeus as "Betray us").

I don't know, Joan. Words like "great," "close attention to detail," and "distinguished" aren't what I normally consider criticisms. Do you?

Sure, there's that little bit in there about "Betray us" marring things a tad, but doesn't that read as somewhat of an afterthought subsequent to three superlatives?

Furthermore, in your posting later on Tuesday, you wrote (emphasis added):

MoveOn's Nita Chaudhary also compared Petraeus with Powell in defending the group's tough language about the general in the Monday ad. "Some Democrats were uncomfortable with such strong language, and Republicans attacked MoveOn," Chaudhary wrote in a letter to members Tuesday morning. "We're sure if we'd run an ad debunking Colin Powell's testimony in 2003, they would have done the same thing -- but sometimes it's important to set the facts straight." I'm on record as someone who wasn't crazy about the schoolyard play on Petraeus' name, but Chaudhary's right about the larger point. Overall, the deference to Petraeus and ambassador Ryan Crocker has been vexing.

Forgive me, Joan, but though you again pointed out how you weren't "crazy about the schoolyard play on Petraeus' name," you're still using a MoveOn representative's words to support both it and your views. In fact, you even stated "but Chaudhary's right about the larger point."

Once again, this was hardly a criticism.

As such, your apparent disagreement with "Betray Us" by no means mitigates your continued use of MoveOn to buttress your position. Though you might not like the breath emanating from the person snoring next to you, he still appears to be your bedmate despite Wednesday's following claim:

That means I'm "in bed with MoveOn." Really? All of them? There's a lot of them. And why me? Newsbusters criticized Frank Rich for criticizing Couric (whom they used to hate until she did her Petraeus-eye view). Somehow male Couric critics and male MoveOn fans -- lefty blogosphere skeptic Matt Bai loves MoveOn -- aren't "in bed" with the group. Try to find some new ways to say I'm too nice to MoveOn, OK, Noel? My daughter's kind of alarmed.

Sorry to cause your daughter alarm, Joan, but how do you think Gen. Petraeus's family feels about the way he's been dragged through the mud just for having the audacity to serve his country all his adult life?

Regardless, give her a kiss for me, and tell her that all appears fair in love and war.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.