WashPost Left Out How Webb Defended Fondling Incident in Novel As "Not a Sexual Act"

Appearing on Washington Post Radio on Friday, Senate hopeful James Webb (D-Va.) insisted an act which is arguably incest that he included in a novel of his is not in fact a "sexual act." Yet the Saturday Washington Post had no mention of either the act itself or Webb's defense thereof. As CNSNews.com reported on October 27:

Among the excerpts is a scene from the 2002 novel "Lost Soldiers," in which a man embraces his four-year-old son and places the boy's penis in his mouth.
Webb said the release of the excerpts was "a Karl Rove campaign tactic" and a "classic example of the way this campaign has worked. It's smear after smear."He defended his fiction as "illuminative.""It's not a sexual act," Webb told Plotkin regarding the "Lost Soldiers" excerpt. "I actually saw this happen in a slum in Bangkok when I was there as a journalist.""The duty of a writer is to illuminate the surroundings," he added.

Although Webb said that on their paper's radio station, Post staff writers Michael D. Shear and Tim Craig ignored Webb's troublesome line about "illuminative" acts like kissing a four-year old's penis.As close as they got was describing incest as an act written about in one of Webb's novels:

Allen campaign officials provided excerpts from the books -- some of them depicting acts of incest and graphic sexuality -- to the Drudge Report Web site Thursday night. Matt Drudge's Internet blog often breaks or promotes stories with sensational angles, most recently the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.). Allen's aides, who have been trying to get other news organizations to write about the excerpts for weeks, issued statements saying the fictional scenes in Webb's novels reflect poorly on Webb's character and fitness for office.

Regardless of what one thinks of Webb's literary stylings, it certainly is newsworthy to report that Webb, post-Foleygate nonetheless, was quick to defend arguable incest as "not a sexual act."Newsworthy, that is, except to the Post's reporters covering the controversy.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters