Roger L. Simon

Local Yokels

You have to be amused at the LAT’s coverage of the ongoing crise at the CIA (see below). Under the headline “CIA Tumult Causes Worry in Congress” they go on to quote for five graphs Rep. Jane Harman of Venice, CA who is the ranking Democratic member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She spends most of her time dissing Porter Goss’ staff. (Goss, the new DCI, was formerly the chairman of that committee.)

Not until paragraph eight does the LAT’s loyal Lisa Getter arrive at the comments of Senator John McCain, who said on ABC’s “This Week” that Goss was doing the right thing at the CIA. He described it as a “dysfunctional agency, and in some ways a rogue agency.”

“This agency needs to be reformed,” McCain said, adding that Goss was “on the right track. He is being savaged by these people that want the status quo. And the status quo is not satisfactory.”

It seems satisfactory to Ms. Getter, however, who quickly gets back to the subject at hand – saving the jobs of failed bureacrats who just might be on the Democratic side – giving the last word (three more graphs, in which she blames, shockingly, Donald Rumsfeld) to the Congresswoman from Venice.

Nothing surprising here, of course. This is journalism as it is practiced by the LAT… and by this blog, for that matter, which would love to see the CIA seriously reformed, not cosmetically retouched (injected with Botox?). The difference is I state my position up front.