November 25, 2003

HOWARD KURTZ WONDERS why journalists have suddenly gotten so fussy about leaked stories. It’s basically a roundup of commentary on why the Stephen Hayes story on Saddam / Al Qaeda connections has been ignored.

UPDATE: Reader James V. Somers emails:

Seems to me that Shafer’s observation, quoted in Kurtz’ column this morning, is dead on as to why the link has not been reported:

“One possible explanation is that the mainstream press is too invested in its consensus finding that Saddam and Osama never teamed up and its almost theological view that Saddam and Osama couldn’t possibly have ever hooked up because of secular/sacred differences.”

Saying that Saddam and Osama would never team up because of secular/sacred differences is an oh-so-smart thing to say. It’s the sort of thing you say as you sip your expensive latte and nibble at a raisin scone over a carefully-folded copy of the New York Times. Saying such things reveals nuanced understanding, an appreciation of the political, religious and cultural subtleties in the Islamic world – things that could never be understood by knuckle-dragging conservatives who don’t see shades of grey, and who don’t understand other cultures.

Yeah, too bad it’s, you know, wrong.