A Small Protest On The Washington Post Pickup of the Murtha-Medal Story
I'd like to add a word or two on the Washington Post's pickup today of the CNSNews.com story on John Murtha's medals. First, kudos to the Post for not ignoring the story, which it certainly could have done. (We all remember ABC going about three weeks with its fingers in its ears during the Swift Boat vets fight in 2004.) But the headline? "Web Site Attacks Critic of War." That's reasonably bland. But is that the way they see investigative journalism when they do it? "Post Attacks Tom DeLay"? Did they cover the CBS Memogate story as "CBS Attacks George W. Bush"? Or is there simply a story there to be told?
The story by Howard Kurtz and Shailagh Murray recounts the Murtha story well enough, and reasonably explains what CNSNews.com is all about. I think it's a little gratuitous to add that the site "averages 110,000 readers, mainly conservative, and provides material for other Web sites such as GOPUSA." Would Kurtz say the Post "averages a million readers, mainly liberals"? Would it go through the list of publications that buy Post articles through the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service or the Washington Post Writers Group for clues as to how liberal the newspaper is? (This was quickly used by lefty bloggers to tie CNS to "Jeff Gannon," the White House reporter they destroyed, although there's no real professional tie other than the Internet location.)
Do they really believe that with a set of TV networks that have highly visible hosts like Bill Clinton's primary spin controller (Stephanopoulos) and former Mario Cuomo aides (Tim Russert) can be so quick to drag out the other side's Republican associations as a way to pour a bowl of salt on the story?