Monday, September 12, 2005


Howie addresses the WaPo's role in carrying water for the Bush administration by allowing an administration official to falsely claim that Blanco waited too long to declare a state of emergency. I thought this line was fascinating:

Spencer Hsu, the article's co-author, says he "tried to make clear that the source came from the administration, and that he was blaming the locals, which I believe our story made clear and broke ground in explaining by uncovering the National Guard dispute."

Should the paper identify the source who provided bad information? "We don't blow sources, period, especially if we don't have reason to believe the source in this case actually lied deliberately," Hsu says.

Perhaps Hsu didn't mean to say that, but taking his statement at face value he's saying that even if he knew for certain that an administration official had lied to him, he still wouldn't burn the source.

The only possible punishment for lying to the press is that they tell the public that, indeed, you lied to them. Hsu says this is off the table. So, our press feels that it's ok to let public officials lie to the public, under the cover of anonymity, with complete and total impunity provided by the information launderers at the Washington Post.