Sunday, July 02, 2006

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore

By Creature

Frank Rich, so dangerous to democracy that he must be kept at the undisclosed location known as TimesSelect, pulls back the wizard's curtain to reveal that the White House really wasn't all that angry at the treasonous NYT after all, go figure.
The history of that scapegoating begins on the Friday morning, June 23, that The Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal all published accounts of the Swift program first posted on the Web the night before. In his press briefing that morning, Tony Snow fielded many questions about the program's legality. But revealingly, for all his opportunities, he never attacked the news media.

Far from Swift-boating the Swift reportage, he offered tentative praise. "It's interesting," he said, "because I think there's a fair amount of balance in the story in that you do have concrete benefits and you do have the kind of abstract harms that were mentioned in there." He noted that there had been "no allegation of illegality" in the Times article.

This was accurate. The story was balanced, just as Mr. Snow said. And it was no cause for a national-security alarm for the simple reason that since 9/11, our government has repeatedly advertised that it is following the terrorists' money trail, a tactic enhanced by the broad new powers over financial institutions that Mr. Bush sought and received.

But given a little time, and a few good reasons to make political hay, eventually the White House and their blood-thirsty minions came out swinging.

By Monday, the president had entered the fray and Mr. Snow was accusing The Times of putting the "public's right to know" over "somebody's right to live." What had happened over the weekend to prompt this escalation of hysteria? The same stuff that always happens when the White House scapegoats the press (or anyone else): bad and embarrassing news that the White House wants to drown out.

Such bad and embarrassing news included: the Miami seven revealed for what they were, the barely wannabe seven; a cut-and-run general backing the Democratic position on troop withdrawal; hearings being held by the Democrats in Congress regarding prewar intelligence -- thanks for nothing Senator Roberts.

This cover-up list doesn't even take into consideration that a good ol' NYT bashing party serves as great political fodder as well. NYT + liberal + Democrats = traitors. The math is so simple, except it doesn't add up. The only people hampering the war on terror, are the people in charge of the war on terror. And that would be the shrill GOP. Remember, whoever screams the loudest, has the most to hide.

You gotta pay, but the rest of Frank Rich can be found here.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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