Saturday , May 18 2024
Bob Woodward replaces Judy Miller as the subject of media scorn.

Woodward = Latest Media Scandal

To: Mainstream news media

From: A former reporter/ News junkie

Re: Woodward replaces Miller as subject of media scorn

After writing Monday about Judith Miller I decided I was tired of writing about her and the New York Times and her departure from that newspaper.

And then the other shoe dropped today and another big media figure I criticized, Bob Woodward, entered the fray.

Until this year my main complaint about Woodward was that he relies way too much on anonymous sources and his sourcing is especially sloppy in his books.

Back after Deep Throat’s identity was revealed and Woodward got a huge book contract I lay into him here, starting my rant this way:

Woodward sells out?

Bob Woodward, phone call on line 1. It's your conscience calling.
It's urgent.
Woodward, you have some explaining to do.
I'll put them at the end of this piece.

Now comes the news that Woodward has withheld important information about the Valerie Plame case for two years

And as W. Post columnist Don Froomkin writes, this news means that Woodward now appears to be the first journalist to whom CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name was leaked.

Woodward said he told Washington Post reporter Pincus some information but Pincus disputes that recollection, according to Wonkette.

Woodward has apologized but is that enough? And how much does it suck to be Walter Pincus right now?

Now, let me say I think Malkin’s blog is being just silly when it suggests a Washington Post employee should be indicted for having conflicting stories.

But as with much of the developments this seems to spark more questions than answers.

However, I’m still not sure how many people outside of media circles even care about this.

But am I alone in finding it ironic that Woodward played a role in bringing down Nixon while apparently having some role in Bush’s propaganda campaign?

Now, some – myself included – are going to compare this controversy to the one about Miller. The Post executive editor says the Woodward case is totally different than the Miller case.

And I’ll say this for the W. Post – they were quick to report on their own scandal, posting the story about Woodward’s apology online tonite, less than 24 hours after the original story broke.

But Woodward’s credibility has just taken another shot and it doesn’t exactly make the Post look good.

That is quite a contrast to the Times, where they kept getting scooped on stories about their own reporter.

However, doesn’t this Washingtonian piece about Woodward getting special treatment at the Post sound a lot like the descriptions about Miller at the Times?

I think this headline from a good Slate piece by Jack Shafer sums it all up:It’s not a cover-up, but what the hell is it?

Your constant reader, Scott Butki

p.s. Poor Pincus. Not only does all this happen today but he also gets found in contempt of court for the Wen Ho Lee case, according to an AP story. All this while Pincus is also under fire for his story about the secret prisons. Talk about having a bad day!

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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