Saturday, December 11, 2004

Uneasy in Bed

The Times and the Washington Post both thought it was front-page news today that a deeply embedded reporter put a National Guardsman up to asking Rummy that embarrassing question. So once again, the blame for a bad gaffe by the Bush adminstration is p assed along to the so-called liberal media.

Alex Jones, the biographer of the Times family who is now a Harvard mentor on ethical standards of journalism, said it made him uneasy. Elizabeth Bumiller of the Times, who is notorious for her gushing about Bush, explained that it was intimidating to stand up at a news conference and ask pointed questions. After all, she said, he was the president of the United States, and this was going to be on the evening news. Others have noted that if one did, one might have a hard time being called on next time -- or even having one’s phone calls answered promptly at deadline time.

The Kissinger tapes have exposed how poohbahs of the media groveled before him -- and it doesn’t seem to have shamed them, or damaged their careers at all.

As for Rummy’s contemptuous response to the Guardsman -- Bush was asked about it at his next appearance. In his dyslectic way, he muttered something about Rummy’s winning ways. Nobody asked him to explain. But there’s been an increasing note of desperation among his defenders in the media. How’d you like to be on THEIR side these days?