Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Other GWOT: Newsweek edition

I've written before on how this White House is at least as interested in conducting a Global War on Transparency as it is a war on terror. It wants complete freedom of motion, and reining in an aggressive or institutionally oppositional free press is a central part of the program.

The vicious attack on Newsweek for apparently making a mistake on the story about the physical handling of the Koran in Gitmo is a case in point. Josh Marshall's got the goods on how the White House sees this story as a chance to decapitate another news organization, just as it succeeded with doing at CBS.

This isn't quite Putin-level stuff, to be sure, but even if the White House isn't actually responsible for planting the false story to begin with, this is definitely a case of the White House manipulating our mediatized "gotcha" legal culture to attack an independent and critical journalistic voice. And of course the Bushies are abetted in this by a rightwing media establishment and blogosphere that begins violently expectorating at the very prospect of taking out a member of the allegedly liberal MSM.

And even though it's obvious, it can't be pointed out often enough that these rightwing organizations and outlets that today are expressing such outrage over Newsweek's reporting mistake that may have indirectly resulted in dozens of deaths are the same ones that continue to give a free pass to the interrogation "mistakes" that have directly resulted in dozens of prisoners being tortured to death. The lack of moral proportion could hardly be starker.

Of course, moral proportion is not what the wingnuts stand for.

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