Missing Bush Documents: Another Jack Cafferty-Endorsed Conspiracy Theory
In 1998, CNN was convinced that congressional oversight of the Clinton administration was a problem, and congressman Dan Burton was a harsh zealot with an unglued personality. Fast forward to 2007, and Jack Cafferty finds the president is the zealot, and the investigating congressmen and journalists are heroes.
On Friday’s Situation Room, CNN commentator Cafferty was doing publicity for the Bush-hating site Salon.com, reciting some of the many quotes blogger Glenn Greenwald collected from a variety of liberal media sources, such as the New York Times, Newsweek, NPR, and the Associated Press. These quotes from news articles "tend to suggest a pattern," as Cafferty put it, of missing documents and e-mails with the Bush administration. Among the circumstances which Greenwald pulled up quotes for are the Abu Ghraib controversy, the case of suspected terrorist Jose Padilla (pronounced "Patilla" by Cafferty), the supposed gaps in President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard record, and Hurricane Katrina. After presenting many of Greenwald’s collected quotes, Cafferty asked viewers if they think there’s a pattern, and compared it to a "compost heap... the more stuff you pile on it, the greater the odor that emanates from it."
While Greenwald and his spokesman-in-all-but-name Cafferty hint that there is a supposed pattern of documents that go missing in these various instances, there is a real common thread among them. Congressional Democrats have played all of them up, and called for a full disclosure of documents from the administration, as a possible precursor to hearings and investigations. The Democrats have framed this pursuit as part of their power of "oversight." These calls have only increased since they regained power in Congress.
By suggesting there might be a pattern, CNN’s Jack Cafferty is lending support to the congressional Democrats, and is encouraging them to continue their efforts. In comparison, when Rep. Dan Burton went after the Clinton White House for audiotapes as part of an investigation, CNN did its best to give a little covering fire for the Democratic adminstration.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that CNN thinks its all right for the liberal Democrats to pursue politically-motivated investigations against Republicans. Meanwhile, it’s quick to attack Republicans for "partisan hardball."