L.A. Times, Washington Post Embrace Baker-Hamilton 'Pearls of Wisdom'
Editors at the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post each used the reverential term "wisdom" to define the findings of the Baker-Hamilton commission -- suggesting that the current drift of Bush policy is the opposite, foolishness.
In Wednesday's press conference with James Baker and Lee Hamilton, MRC's Mike Rule noticed Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times, asked the commissioners: "All of you have considerable experience in helping presidents change course when they find themselves in a blind alley. What do you intend to do from now on to help President Bush embrace the wisdom of all of your recommendations?" McManus noted Bush had "already expressed discomfort with several of them, including engaging Syria and Iran," and threatening the Iraqi government with troop withdrawals.
In Thursday's Post, if a reader was unsure the Post thought the Baker-Hamilton Iraq report was a big deal, they should have noticed that it ate up the entire right half of the front page, two entire ad-free pages inside, plus a Dana Milbank column on A-2 and the majority of the op-ed page. The front-page analysis headline seemed to carry the Post summation: "The Realists' Repudiation Of Policies for a War, Region."
On the front page of the Style section was an article by writer David Montgomery on the Washington rituals of delivering the Iraq report. Inside, on C-4, there was this gooey headline aping the MasterCard commercials: "Rituals That Surround Pearls of Wisdom: Priceless."
The Montgomery story itself is more restrained, although it did breezily describe the commission members as the "Wise Ones." It included a quote from Bill Kristol on FNC denouncing the "deeply irresponsible" report, and the supportive goo came from Tim Russert, quoted from MSNBC: "This was such a sobering report! [Punctuation is the Post's.] Powerful, passionate, bipartisan, unanimous -- I think it's not only a wake-up call for the Bush White House, but I think for the whole country."
Does Russert really think that the liberal media and the Democratic establishment haven't been screaming a "wake-up call" at America to get out of Iraq for at least two years now?
Montgomery also noted the liberal media was especially agitated to get their hands on all the small number of early copies from Random House, as the manager of the Kramerbooks store a mile or so north of the White House explained that he only received 24 books, which were snapped up by "BBC, al-Jazeera, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post...so we don't have any to sell to citizens."