By Arthur Alpert
My last post here noted the Albuquerque Journal didn’t carry a story on last week’s surprising drop in unemployment. On Friday, Dec. 11, the Journal ignored a story that raises new questions about the Bush Administration’s conduct of its war on Iraq.
From the NYT story:
“Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the CIA’s most sensitive activities — clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees, according to former company employees and intelligence officials,” reported James Risen and Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times. This happened between 2004 and 2006 in the George W. Bush administration.”
The Times led with this story. The Washington Post highlighted it. But the Journal ignored it.
The Journal did find space on its front page Friday for what we old-timers would call a “dope” story or, less generously, an editorial. Headlined “House OKs $1.1 Trillion in Spending,” it came from Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press’s Washington Bureau.
Here’s Taylor’s first paragraph:
“Democrats are muscling through a deficit-swelling spending bill, giving domestic programs their third major boost this year and awarding lawmakers with more than 5,000 home state projects.”
The legislation, he explains, contains operating budgets and federal benefit programs including Medicare and Medicaid. And in paragraph five, Mr. Taylor explains that “third major boost” phrase – it follows the stimulus bill and a $410 billion measure in March that also “bestowed” budget increases well above inflation.
Credit Mr. Taylor with making it clear where he stands via “muscling” and “deficit-swelling” and “bestowed.” Also, judging from the “home state projects,” he disapproves of earmarks, too.
Perhaps it is coincidence that these are current Republican Party talking points.
News judgment is by no means a science, of course; honest editors may differ on what their readers should know. Still, it’s noteworthy that:
• The Journal omitted a jobless story that was good news for the Obama Administration as well as the nation.
• It carried nary a line on a revelation raising new questions on the Bush Administration’s conduct of its war on Iraq.
• But there was room on page one for a tendentious take on federal spending.
I’m afraid I’m beginning to detect a pattern here.