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Friday, May 28, 2004

If this is "War" I wonder what peace looks like?

While Bill O'Reilly has really been outdoing himself with the inanity this week, last night his "Talking Points Memo" (not to be confused with the very different weblog of the same name) was just amazing. It was entitled, "Have Two Liberal Newspapers Declared War on the Bush Administration?" Bill's answer is a definite yes. He's referring to the New York Times and the LA Times, and his only evidence for the "war" claim is that both have put Abu Ghraib on the front page many times while the NYT put yesterday's terror alert on page 16. Never mind actually engaging with the content of what the newspapers are reporting and digging into whether it's factual or not. I wonder if O'Reilly even reads the New York Times.

(And while I'm on this, why is a terrorism alert assumed to be good politically for George Bush? To me it reaffirms the dangers we face and the need for competent leadership.)

O'Reilly's idiotic charge is especially bemusing coming this week, a week in which the NYT has finally admitted to printing lies that helped to promote the Bush administration's plans to invade Iraq. I also read plenty of NYT criticism from the left on the blogs, and this week I've seen items ranging from the paper insisting that blacks weren't systematically disenfranchised in Florida in 2000 (see here and here on that) to the Times misleading readers about the claims made in campaign ads (see here and here). And if the New York Times is truly committed to removing Bush from office at all costs, why did it run a lead editorial last week on Kerry's gas prices politicking that said "he demeans the seriousness of his own candidacy" and that "some residue of shame has kept him from joining the other Democrats calling for the reserve to be raided"? That's not the hagiography of Kerry one would expect from a paper at war with Bush.