Friday, December 09, 2005

Not Just Booby

Jay Rosen discusses the myth that is Woodward. Short version of one of his points is that Woodward doesn't even bother to talk to the dissenters. As Jane writes:

Plan of Attack, Woodward conducted 75 interviews, all of them anonymously sourced except for two -- Bush and Rumsfeld. Nowhere in the book is mention made of, say, Richard Clarke. How are we supposed to evaluate the veracity of this information? Obviously the opinions of dissenters were not cultivated. I can't imagine historians are going to look back on this and view it as the valuable piece of insight Woody imagines it to be -- more like a sadly deluded hagiography by a purveyor of celebrity journalism who couldn't see the abject corruption of the worst administration in US history for his close proximity to it.

But the reason Booby can get away with this is kind of thing has to do with the general culture of Beltway journalism in which Republican "senior administration officials" are privileged over all else. The motives of their critics are called into question much more than the officials themselves. The beltway media for the most part treated claims by people like DiIulio, O'Neill, Clarke, and even the gentle tepid claims by former media darling Whitman, with extreme prejudice. It's the journalism that is valued by the people who matter.