Judith Miller Redux: Has The New York Times Learned Nothing?

I can’t say this much better than Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher, so…

“Saturday’s New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the “deadliest weapon aimed at American troops” in Iraq. The author notes, “Any assertion of an Iranian contribution to attacks on Americans in Iraq is both politically and diplomatically volatile.”

Reporters like Gordon insist on doing their jobs with prejudice and willful distortion.

What is the source of this volatile information? Nothing less than “civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies.”

Sound pretty convincing? Well, almost all the sources in the story are unnamed. It also may be worth noting that the author is Michael R. Gordon, the same Times reporter who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion. “

In one of Gordon’s badly misleading and downright inaccurate articles, he said this about Colin Powell’s discredited presentation at the United Nations:

“it will be difficult for skeptics to argue that Washington’s case against Iraq is based on groundless suspicions and not intelligence information.”

The only reason for the difficulty is that reporters, no, stenographers like Gordon refuse to do their jobs. Or worse, they insist on doing them with prejudice and willful distortion, merely posing as mouthpieces for anonymous administration flacks. And it isn’t just the NYT. The Washington Post has joined in with its own secret sources:

“The allegations against Iran marked the farthest that coalition forces have gone to make the case that Iran is working to attack U.S. and Iraqi troops. The revelations threaten to further enflame tensions between America and Iran.”

Notice how the author fails to identify the “coalition forces.” Details of the “case” they are said to have made were sketchy and uncorroberated. The mystery analysts would not even allow reporters to record or videotape the meeting. Notice also that these stories are the products of two newspapers considered by some to be the foundation of the so-called liberal media.

Somehow we are, again, expected to accept the assurances of many of the same prevaricators that misled us into Iraq. And our representatives in the fourth estate are repeating the atrocious journalistic performance of 2002-3. It’s obvious that the administration still feels it is able to lie with impunity The press still feels that their only job is to regurgitate the unsubstantiated allegations of known liars. So it is really up to the public to demonstrate whether we have learned anything.

Have we?

Update: [2/12/07] As if there was any need to pile on, The Los Angeles Times as jumped on BushCo’s bandwagon with an article this morning titled:

“U.S. makes case that Iran arms flow into Iraq.”

That’s not “tried” to make the case, or “presses” the case, but the Times states flatly that the case was “made.” The body of the story was much less declaratory, in fact, it introduced a fair amount of skepticism from both independent and government sources. Too bad the headline was so misleading.


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