March 11, 2009

A RATHER INCOMPLETE ACCOUNT OF THE CHAS FREEMAN AFFAIR, from NBC:

The Washington Post and other news outlets have reported on the controversial appointment of Charles W. Freeman to lead the National Intelligence Council. The controversy — he has occasionally criticized Israel’s policies.

They might have mentioned his being under investigation for financial ties to the Chinese and Saudis, too. But that would spoil the narrative.

UPDATE: Oh, yeah, and his comments about the Tibetans, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre, too. NBC — or, more precisely, Mark Murray at FirstRead — might have mentioned those, instead of just parroting the “the Jews done it” line.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Walter Pincus cleans things up for Freeman. “Freeman’s parting shot combined falsehoods, misdirection, and anti-Semitism combined with imputations of dual loyalty (at best). It is not only newsworthy in itself, it also raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s judgment. In short, the Washington Post has expurgated this story in a most discreditable manner.”

Plus, at The New York Times: “Showing the same crack journalistic instincts that it did with the Eason Jordan scandal, the New York Times ‘breaks’ the story of Charles Freeman’s resignation … without ever having reported that Freeman’s appointment had generated controversy. If readers relied solely on the Gray Lady, they must have found themselves stunned to see the Obama administration appointment suddenly implode.”

When people tell us that the death of newspapers will mean the loss of hard-news reporting, stories like this make me ask — where is it now?

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