It seems that every morning when I pick up my LA Times, that paper leads with some story hostile to the Bush Administration or spins a benign story so that the headline suggests the failure of a Republican policy. In articles critical of the president — and indeed the Governor for that matter, this paper routinely relies on unnamed officials and, what seems to be, speculative reporting. All too frequently, its articles are lengthy opinion pieces masquerading as news.
Its reporting of the Plame leak investigation has been particularly biased. While it routinely reports the accusations that former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV leveled against the Bush Administration, accusing it of ignoring his report finding that Saddam Hussein’s government had not attempted to purchase uranium from the African nation of Niger, it consistently fails to mention that a Senate Intelligence Committee discredited that Administration critic (as I noted here and here).
In an article on the front page of this morning’s paper, the Times does it again. This time, the paper does mention the Senate Intelligence Committee, but only to say that none of the Administration’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s possession of chemical and biological weapons was “backed up by evidence.” The paper conveniently leaves out the fact that the committee found no evidence to suggest that the Administration twisted intelligence. The problem was the intelligence, not how the Administration used it.
And yet again, my local paper treats Wilson’s claims as if they were gospel–even though that very Intelligence panel (whose findings the Times only seems to cite when it can use them against the Administration) “found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts.” In a clever bit of journalism, LA Times reporter Richard B. Schmitt writes:
In a New York Times op-ed article published eight days before Novak’s column appeared, Wilson accused the administration of twisting intelligence about Iraq’s nuclear capabilities.
Yep, that sentence is true. Wilson did say that in a New York Times Op-Ed. It’s just that Wilson’s accusations have since been discredited.
With such clever wordsmithing, Schmitt can introduce Wilson’s claims and make them appear to be facts. Where he succeeds in verbal ingenuity, he fails in reporting. And once again shows his paper to be more interested in making the Bush Administration look back than in honestly presenting its record to readers.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
UPDATE: More on LA Times bias. Hugh notes how our local paper is promoting as “new” an old book by a writer who faults Tony Blair for misleading the British Parliament about Iraq while ignoring a book critical of Hussein’s tyranny.
UP-UPDATE: Patterico, who’s probably done better than any other blogger in uncovering bias at the LA Times, notes how our local paper ignores the ties of former President Clinton to Anthony J. Pellicano, recenlty indicated for “running a vast racketeering enterprise.”