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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Clarke part XXXV
dmn I CNNot believe tht they r this dishonest.

Blitzer vs Blitzer

Over at Atrios I see that CNN has disgraced itself on two separate issues in one day. First they seem to have bought and broadcast two different lies about a trivial issue, whether a kid fell asleep at a Bush speach. Second, and much more importantly, Wolf Blitzer clearly lied on the air when attempting to defend himself from paul Krugman's criticism. The second case is a bit buried in the howler.

From Atrios and the Howler very very briefly

"BLITZER (3/30/04): ... I was not referring to anything charged by so-called unnamed White House officials as alleged today by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. I was simply seeking to flesh out what Bush National Security Council spokesman Jim Wilkinson had said on this program two days earlier."

"BLITZER (question to King, Wednesday, 3/24/04): What administration officials have been saying since the weekend, basically that Richard Clarke from their vantage point was a disgruntled former government official, angry because he didn't get a certain promotion. He's got a hot new book out now that he wants to promote. He wants to make a few bucks, and that his own personal life, they're also suggesting that there are some weird aspects in his life as well"

The "so called" unnamed White House officials are quoted as unnamed administration officials by the so called journalist Wolf Blitzer. He is nailed on video.

Also note that the shred of consistency in Blitzer's denial, the change from "administration" to "White House" does not imoly even a tiny error by Krugman who simply refered to "unnamed officials" .

Amazingly I think that Atrios went easy on Blitzer (never expected to type that) since he says that it is possible that on 4/23 Blitzer really was referring to Wilkinson. Clearly he wasn't. Wilkinson is duplicitous, but he is also singular.

Also it is an elementary rule of journalistic ethics that one should not quote vague insinuations by unnamed sources. Blitzer would have to be completely indifferent to journalistic ethics to have done so when he could have referred to a statement made on video in an interview with him. Of course this is not, by itself, proof, since Blitzer would have to be completely indifferent to journalistic ethics to lie on the air or. We can, at least be sure that Blitzer is completely indifferent to journalistic ethics.

As icing on the cake, Blitzer rebroadcasted Wilkinson's absurd smear (I agee with Josh Marshall that it takes the hotly contested prize for most absurd thing said by the Bush administration in the past 10 days). Blitzer should have called Wilkinson on it immediately. Given time to check the book and find that Wilkinson is lying about what Clarke wrote, he really must point out the inconsistency whenever he re broadcasts the video.

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