virus: The menace continues...

From: Mermaid . (
Date: Thu Aug 22 2002 - 09:00:24 MDT

Ok. So now Brian Whitaker from Guardian, a British publication, has less
than honourable intentions?

Washington Post(American publication), Howard Kurtz. Although this is a less
than obvious dig because this is not an op-ed piece and its not spelled out.
This is plain old reporting. So, it requires a little more effort(and
willingness to employ certain faculties)to grasp the import of the words.

It's the same pack. Same folks that feed fears of 'axis of evil' and 'kernel
of evil'. This, my friends, is how media is exploited and manipulated.

Times Takes Flak on Iraq
Conservatives Call Coverage of Bush Policy Slanted

By Howard Kurtz

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 21, 2002; Page C01

Conservatives have declared war on the war coverage of the New York Times.

The charge is being led by the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal
editorial page and columnist Charles Krauthammer, who argue that the Times
is using its front page to mobilize opposition to a U.S. attack on Iraq. And
some on the right have put Executive Editor Howell Raines in the bull's-eye,
saying that the former head of the paper's liberal editorial page is behind
the slanted coverage.

"If you're going to have subtle opinionizing, I thought the place for that
was the editorial page," says Paul Gigot, the Journal's editorial page

Through a spokesman, Raines declined to comment yesterday, and staffers in
the paper's Washington bureau say any comment would have to come from

Some of the criticism is clearly ideological, and some reflects a
conspiratorial view of how newspapers work. But after weeks of grumbling by
online commentators, the complaints seem to have peaked over a front-page
story Fridaythat declared: "Leading Republicans from Congress, the State
Department and past administrations have begun to break ranks with President
Bush over his administration's high-profile planning for war with Iraq."

The chief beef is that the Times story prominently included Henry Kissinger
among the GOP critics. The problem is that the former secretary of state had
argued in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece that there is "an imperative
for preemptive action" against Iraq.

The Times highlighted some of the caveats in the Kissinger argument, such as
that "military intervention should be attempted only if we are willing to
sustain such an effort for however long it is needed." The paper did note
that Kissinger was "far from ruling out military intervention."

Still, the conservative floodgates burst open. "The question of the New York
Times is now in play," says Standard Editor Bill Kristol. "The degree to
which they seem in their news columns to be leading the charge against the
war has struck everyone, including people like me, who are not big
complainers about the news media."

Although some conservatives have long portrayed the Times as anti-Bush,
critics from National Review to U.S. News & World Report columnist Michael
Barone have joined the chorus of criticism on Iraq coverage.

Columnist George Will, on ABC's "This Week": "The New York Times has decided
to be what newspapers were 220 years ago, which is a journal of a faction,
and has been, I think, exaggerating the Republican differences."

Krauthammer, in his Washington Post column: "Not since William Randolph
Hearst famously cabled his correspondent in Cuba, 'You furnish the pictures
and I'll furnish the war,' has a newspaper so blatantly devoted its front
pages to editorializing about a coming American war as has Howell Raines's
New York Times. . . . That's partisan journalism, and that's what Raines's
Times does for a living. It's another thing to include Henry Kissinger in
your crusade. That's just stupid."

The Weekly Standard: "There's nothing subtle about the opposition of the New
York Times to President Bush's plan to depose Saddam Hussein in Iraq. This
bias colors not just editorials but practically every news story on the

The Journal editorial page objected not just to the way the Times story
treated Kissinger but also to the way it pounced on a Journal op-ed piece by
Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser to Bush's father when he
was president. Although Scowcroft clearly opposes an administration attack
on Hussein, the Journal says the Times was "trumpeting our story to advance
a tendentious theme."

"We're not running a campaign against the Times coverage of Iraq," Gigot
says. "But when they take something we do and spin it into some big deal
that seems untrue, you're obliged to say something in response." (The Times
also cited statements of concern about Iraq policy by House Majority Leader
Dick Armey [R-Tex.], Sen. Chuck Hagel [R-Neb.] and former secretary of state
Lawrence Eagleburger.)

Liberal columnist Joshua Micah Marshall, who writes the Web site, says that "conservatives have always seen the New
York Times as a bete noire." But he says the "echo chamber" on the right is
"just wrong" about Kissinger's stance, because "if you look at what he said,
it was not in favor of the administration's position."

Critics cite a spate of other stories in arguing that the Times is beating
the antiwar drums:

On July 30, a front-page Times story said a war against Iraq "could
profoundly affect the American economy."

On Aug. 1, the Times headline on a Senate hearing declared: "Experts Warn of
High Risk for American Invasion of Iraq."

On Aug. 3, a series of man-on-the-street interviews was headlined: "Backing
Bush All the Way, Up to but Not Into Iraq."

On Friday, the same day as the "Top Republicans Break With Bush on Iraq
Strategy" piece, the Times editorial page also cited GOP dissenters in
arguing that a war on Iraq "carries great potential to produce unintended
and injurious consequences if handled rashly by Mr. Bush." The news pages
that day did not mention Condoleezza Rice's attack on Hussein as "evil,"
although the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post carried front-page
stories on the national security adviser's remarks.

On Saturday, the Times reported: "President Notes Dissent on Iraq, Vowing to

Dissent, of course, is part of the story. Marshall, who describes himself as
"pretty hawkish on Iraq," says the Times is "running articles that point out
the downside" of a U.S. invasion. But, he says, "it seems appropriate
because this is a mass investment of money and lives on the country's part.
They're pretty much doing what a newspaper should be doing."
<end article>

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