Roger L. Simon

Dept. of "Who's a Reactionary?"

Francis Turner, an Englishman who lives on the Cote d’Azur and blogs under the rubric L’Ombre de l’Olivier [Don’t be jealous.-ed. Moi?], shares the same concerns I do over MSM reportage of the recent terror alerts. He cites articles from MSNBC and the always “impartial” Reuters that lend credence to the idea that MSM (mostly New York Times in this case) drumming on the administration about “politicized” terror alerts forced the administration to reveal the true nature of their information early -thus compromising possible further intelligence.

Makes sense to me. It certainly goes with the MSM narrative — homicidal Islamists bad, Bush worse. Am I being extreme in this analysis? Well, as Nixon said, watch what I do, not what I say. And virtually every decision these people at the MSM make seems to follow that principle. Take a look at the lead graph of this morning’s top-of-the-fold NYT article Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms.

American intelligence officials and outside nuclear experts have concluded that the Bush administration’s diplomatic efforts with European and Asian allies have barely slowed the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea over the past year, and that both have made significant progress.

In a tacit acknowledgment that the diplomatic initiatives with European and Asian allies have failed to curtail the programs, senior administration and intelligence officials say they are seeking ways to step up unspecified covert actions intended, in the words of one official, “to disrupt or delay as long as we can” Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

This makes it sound as if the Bush Administration has failed. Yet those have been following the situation in Iran know it is far more complex and that the Europeans frequently obstruct administration efforts to isolate the mullahs diplomatically. This, however, does not fit with the Times’ narrative in which more consultation with our European allies is seen as “progressive,” even if the Europeans (alas the British, too, in this case) arguably have been bought and paid for by the mullahs with decades of cheap oil. This is not to say the Bush Administration has done everything it should on Iran. But in a certain way I think they have been boxed in by the same MSM that was so eager to say “gotcha” over last week’s terror alert.