Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 10, 2007
POLITICS: Correction: Dubious Intelligence At The Washington Post
Walter Pincus' Mouth Is Moving, But Carl Levin's Voice Keeps Coming Out
If you read Friday morning's Washington Post, you were unlikely to miss a story on Page A1 (that's the front page) with the dramatic headline
The article, by Walter Pincus and R. Jeffrey Smith, purported to summarize the conclusions of a report by the Pentagon's inspector general, beginning with the news that
Intelligence provided by former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included 'reporting of dubious quality or reliability' that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community . . .
Of course, the Democrats, led by Michigan Senator Carl Levin, have been making this argument for some time. What was newsworthy, and certainly what was front-page-worthy, was that the Pentagon's own inspector general seemed to agree with Levin.
Apparently, though, this is more a case of Pincus and Smith agreeing with Levin and writing up an article that appears to have been itself so deceptive and misleading from the very outset that you wonder whether anyone read the thing before publishing it besides perhaps the people in Senator Levin's office who must have been dictating this to the dutiful scribes at the Post. Because take a look at the whopper of a correction the Post has posted, essentially recanting the entire thing:
There goes the entire beginning, theme, title, and newsworthiness of the article. All the Post has left to stand on is a "well, they sounded alike" defense:
Check this morning's Post front page for this correction. Though I will be much surprised if it gets that prominence. After all, unlike the story itself, the correction is actually newsworthy.