Gray Lady Gets a Coat of Whitewash
So, I saw this headline for an article in the New York Times: The Defendant Isn't the Only Player With a Personal Stake in the Libby Verdict.
"Whoopee!," I thought to myself.
Finally, the establishment media is going to write about how directly and inseparably involved it is in the Libby case. From the Times alone, we've had Judy Miller, David Sanger and Jill Abramson testify before the jury. But now, I imagined, they've let Neil Lewis write about some of the media's personal agendas and reputations on the line in the trial, starting with the Gray Lady herself, perhaps. This is a line I've taken a bit in posts like this, this, this and this.
The article wanders through a discussion of the lead lawyers in the case, especially Ted Wells for the defense and Patrick Fitzgerald for the government. So, they have a bit at stake in this case, eh? There's a revelatory "ah ha!" moment for you.
But that's not the only coat of whitewash being applied to the sins of the press in today's New York Times. In this front page piece about the vast right wing conspiracy's newfound love, or at least, ambivalence about Democratic presidential primary hopeful Hillary Clinton, we find this nugget (emphasis added):
Mr. Scaife, reclusive heir to the Mellon banking fortune, spent more than $2 million investigating and publicizing accusations about the supposed involvement of Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in corrupt land deals, sexual affairs, drug running and murder.
Um, excuse me, but may I just ask, are you fucking kidding me?
I bet if you ran a LexisNexis search on the "New York Times" and "Whitewater" you'd get more hits than Cobb and Rose combined. Joe Lelyveld presented a long and tortured defense of the paper's coverage in the New York Review of Books when selected to review (ahem!) Sidney Blumenthal's book The Clinton Wars. Now, suddenly, the New York Times tells us that the Clintons' involvement in Whitewater and other fevered right wing delusions was "supposed"?
Not so fast, Granny.
How many column inches will the New York Times devote to examining the role of the press in propelling right wing falsehoods and power grabbing propaganda? Somehow I don't think the next Sunday Times Magazine piece about the press will cover this. Anyone want to take me up on that wager?
The Gray Lady, like the Washington Post, is trying to pretend she's not in it way past her tits in propelling right wing propaganda, not just about the selling of the Iraq invasion, not just surrounding the Libby criminal trial, but about a whole bucketload of additional history. I wonder, does whitewash stick to sewage?
Joe Conason has a book coming out called It Can Happen Here. If "it" does happen here, it will be because the press willingly became well tended veal to grace the tables of the right wing authoritarian cultists.
UPDATE: Digby has much more.