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Monday, August 27, 2007

Alberto Gonzalez resigns: comments on horrible newspaper reporting.

Alberto Gonzalez, Attorney General and chief fox in charge of the henhouse, resigned today. A man firmly committed to prevarication, destruction of the bill of rights, and the general diminution of the stature of the United States.

Comments regarding newspaper reporting.

The Washington Post (online, 2007/08/27) has a picture with this caption:
"Gonzales's resignation marks loss of Bush loyalist at a time when president's support is lagging."
Gee, is that what is important? Washington Post article on the firing, the end of the fourth paragraph:
Although Bush consistently expressed confidence in Gonzales, arguing that his longtime Texas ally was being targeted by Democrats for political reasons, the attorney general's support in Congress had withered after a series of run-ins.
Gee, Bush's claim gets earlier print before some of the actual statements describing his actual behavior:
His testimony on issues such as a federal wiretap program required follow-up explanations and was contradicted by documents or the statements of other federal officials. At hearings on the U.S. attorney firings, Gonzales frequently said he could not remember details about key events -- frustrating members of Congress who felt he was trying to minimize his role in what they regarded as politically motivated dismissals. Some suggested that the nation's top law enforcement official had committed perjury.
Documents contradicted his testimony? Don't go out on a limb and actually declare that he lied. No. This is the problem with newspaper reporting. No reporting of facts. Bush's rebuttal (solely opinion, no facts there) gets earlier press than the facts. And the facts are reported as equivalent or even subjugate to opinions. Even in this paragraph, requiring follow-up explanations, gets earlier play than that he lied.

Newspapers are part of the problem, not part of the solution at this point in time. This inability to report straight facts caused many of the problems of the last 8 years. Probably it even contributed to us getting into the Iraq war. The claims of liberal bias in the news industry sure ring hollow deconstructing this online (2007/08/27) article from the Washington Post.

In contrast, the New York Post online (2007/08/27) (I couldn't load the Washington Times for some reason), had a relatively less loaded and more accurate article on the resignation:
August 27, 2007 -- Alberto Gonzales, the nation's first Hispanic attorney general, announced his resignation Monday -- ending a nasty, monthslong standoff over his honesty and competence at the helm of the Justice Department.

Republicans and Democrats alike had demanded his resignation over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, but President Bush had defiantly stood by his Texas friend until accepting his resignation Friday.

The NY Post uses words like `nasty', `botched', `defiantly'. Sure are loaded, but seem loaded in a more accurate description of the situation.

The NY Times online (2007/08/27) had this opening phrase:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by accusations of perjury before Congress
Poor Alberto, his tenure was marred. Hope the people doing that marring did not use indelible ink. The NY Times, only in the 6th-7th paragraphs reports

Mr. Bush repeatedly stood by Mr. Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as Mr. Gonzales faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department over issues including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

Earlier this month, at a news conference, Mr. Bush dismissed accusations that Mr. Gonzales had stonewalled or misled a congressional inquiry. “We’re watching a political exercise,” Mr. Bush said. “I mean, this is a man who has testified, he’s sent thousands of papers up there. There’s no proof of wrong.”

More text and higher placement presenting Mr. Bush's defense. No hint that `increased scrutiny' and `whether he testified truthfully' might be for cause. But `We're watching a political exercise.' presented clearly in plain text to denigrate any negative reaction to Gonzalez's behavior.

Liberal press? I think not.