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Jim Brady
Executive Editor,

By Jim Brady |  April 6, 2006; 8:22 AM ET
Previous: Washington Post Radio Website | Next: New Look for Live Online


Please email us to report offensive comments.

So, not a single comment on Kurtz's smearing of Jill Carroll?

Put yourselves in Jill Carroll's shoes. There but for the grace of God you go. She had to make a propaganda video at the headquarters of the Islamist Party, which is linked to the insurgency, before she had had contact with anyone else. Instead of pointing out this fact and praising her amazing poise and guts, Kurtz questioned her loyalty and her sanity (taking his cues, as usual, from the extremist right-wing blogs who hate all reality-based media).

Once she was free, Jill Carroll issued a statement making clear for the feeble-brained like Kurtz what was obvious to everybody else. But, instead of apologizing, Kurtz says that written words don't count (how do you like that one, Post reporters?) Instead of recovering quietly with her family from the trauma, Kurtz insists that Carroll needs to put up a public show of loyalty. He insists that she should be doing a counter-propaganda video. Maybe he also wants to write the cue cards for Jill Carroll to read?

Kurtz's worldview seems to have more in common with that of the kidnappers than with that of decent people.

Just put yourselves in her shoes. Kurtz never will -- as a 'media reporter' he'll never leave the safety of his desk, and his moral compass is completely debased anyway. If you can't find sympathy for your colleague Jill Carroll and if, after what she's been through in the service of your profession, you cannot find the courage to raise your voice in outrage against Kurtz, you are just as worthy of contempt as he is.

Posted by: mike | April 6, 2006 10:42 AM

Just like lipstick on a pig. It's STILL a PIG. Brady still there? Pity.

Posted by: | April 6, 2006 11:05 AM

I wish Deborah Howell would use the new search feature to locate those "copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with his personal directions on which members were to receive what amounts" she claims The Post has.

Posted by: Philip | April 6, 2006 12:47 PM

It keeps getting stinkier and stinkier in here. Maybe it's Stoicism that keeps management from answering their customers, but I don't think so.

Note to It's not getting better and it's not going away (sounds like a skin condition). Make with some interaction. It'll do you good.

Posted by: smafdy | April 6, 2006 01:00 PM

It would also be nice if Fred Hiatt used the new search engine to search for a clue!

Posted by: Philip | April 6, 2006 01:07 PM

I've been searching for Jim Brady's response to comments made earlier on this blog. I still can't find them.

Posted by: Jimmy | April 6, 2006 02:38 PM

The search function is not the main thing that needs to be fixed at the Washington Perhaps Jim Brady could have his programmers create a way for him to answer some of the legitimate criticism made by commenters on this blog in regards to his hiring of Domenech.

Mr. Brady, we await your answers.

Posted by: Beth | April 6, 2006 02:43 PM

That's a good idea Beth. I'm sure they'll get around to doing that after they finish up their work on implementing network tools to "trace route" and "whois" query people who leave comments here.

Posted by: Philip | April 6, 2006 03:11 PM

Brady not banished yet? Shame.

Posted by: AJ | April 6, 2006 04:44 PM

I just tried the new search function. Interestingly enough it worked the first time I tried it.

I searched "evidence that abramoff directed clients to give to democrats".

Result? "No Results Found". Just as I suspected.

If Brady and Howell could be prodded to use this new tool, the quality of reporting couold improve immediately.

(On a less sarcastic note, it is mildly irritating that if you mouse over the buttons just above the search box, the drop-down menus prevent you from clicking into the search area.)

Posted by: space | April 6, 2006 06:32 PM

I see someone beat me to the joke. That's what I get for not reading all the previous comments.

Posted by: space | April 6, 2006 06:35 PM

Philip - Oh, hell let em trace all the ips. So what? They won't know what to do with em. They are clueless. Brady still there. Pity.

Posted by: | April 6, 2006 06:46 PM

Much better search functions! Thank you. They were quite poor before, and I had to resort to using some other search engine. Nice work!

Posted by: michael | April 6, 2006 11:03 PM

No matter how good your search engines get, they won't be able to find any evidence of editorial integrity on the part of Jim Brady.

Posted by: AJ | April 7, 2006 10:39 AM

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Posted by: slats | April 7, 2006 12:11 PM

I just read that the WaPo let 16 year old homeschooled Ben Domenech write an article in 1998 in the print edition. If you guys are still hiring, my 13 year old neice who hates illegal immigration and thinks the world is 6,000 years old is available and will work for cheap.

Posted by: Arch Stanton | April 7, 2006 07:21 PM

Arch Stanton -- I thought you were joking. Surely, that would be too ridiculously over the top. But, just in case, I went and did a LexisNexis search. Result is below.

Unbelievable. This raises so many questions about the Post -- editorial integrity, cronyism, etc. -- that I don't even know where to begin.

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post
The Washington Post

April 19, 1998, Sunday, Final Edition


LENGTH: 1225 words

HEADLINE: Dobson's Choice; Why the Conservative Outsider's Agenda Worries GOP Leaders

BYLINE: Benjamin Domenech

There is an emerging force within the Republican Party, a man who, as he attempts to alter the party's entire focus, has managed to escape the attention of many inside the Beltway. His strength is drawn from social conservative activists. His cause is abortion. And his words these days -- about unkept promises -- are making Republican leaders in Congress extremely nervous.

The man is James Dobson.


Benjamin Domenech is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the American Conservative and Human Events.

Posted by: mz | April 8, 2006 03:01 AM

We have found the leaker:

My little way of sticking it to the man.

Posted by: getalife | April 8, 2006 10:16 AM

I propose that more Washington Post editors spend time outside the US. Then you'd see what a joke the world thing the Post has become. Really, your Ombudsman is writing columns about obits while you have yet to really explain your "journalism" when it comes to why the US is fighting in Iraq.

Shame, Washington Post, you can do better.

Posted by: Stop Hurting America | April 9, 2006 04:03 AM

better than most search engines. nice that the technology is improving. whoever designed that did a good job of thinking like a searcher.

now if only someone would work on the content. . . (thank god for achenbach and weingarten)

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 08:57 AM

Hmmmm, lets see,op-ed"a good leak",then the story"Concerted effort" to discredit.Have you all gone nuts?Can't recall the last time I've seen a paper shoot itself in the foot like that,,,oh yeah,"Red America" anyone?

Posted by: DMM | April 9, 2006 12:24 PM

I see that the "opinion" section of the Washington Post has issued another hit piece on Joe Wilson. In doing so, the writer failed to read the front page of the Washington Post, and outright fabricated a number of assertions.

I know, I know, post-dot-com and paper-post are different companies, a nifty little loophole in which each entity escapes responsibility to their readers for publishing truthful assertions. And, as we know, it is useless to contact the ombudsman because she "ombuds" for the staff and not for the readers.

But really, y'all, I can come to no other conclusion, based upon the editorial "A Good Leak" that the writer of tis hit piece is on the take.

Since when is it a "good leak" to publicly disclose the identity of an undercover CIA agent?

Will, at last, one of your White House reporters ask Scott McClellan how it "serves the public interest" to publicly disclose the name of an undercover CIA agent?

Until you show me a plausible answer, I consider the Washington Post a willing partner in the coverup of a federal crime.

Posted by: James | April 9, 2006 12:30 PM

The stunning intellectual dishonesty of "A Good Leak" boggles the mind. In the mind of the writer it would appear that Wilson's only task in Niger was to find out if Iraq had tried to buy uranium as the administration claimed. I guess he was just supposed to come back without asking if Iraq had succeeded.

But I guess Joe Wilson thought that, if American lives were going to be at stake, he should ask the appropriate follow-up question. Did Iraq succeed?

So he asked his contacts and he reported back that not only had Iraq tried to buy uranium (confirming the president's claim), but that they had failed to do so (in which opinion he was supported by reports from both General Carleton Fulford and Ambassadore Owens-Kirkpatrick). Thus undermining the president's case for war. Which is exactly what Joe Wilson said that his trip had done.

My guess is that Woodward wrote this piece of crap editorial.

Or this is a college prank where one of your interns (probably from Liberty University) bet another that he could sneak an editorial screed from the National Review or the Washington Times onto your editorial page. In fact this looks remarkably similar to a recent troll posting at a left-wing website.

Or this is the revenge of Ben Domenech. And it worked because, man, do you look like fools today. And that is going to become ever more apparent as this president moves toward his date with impeachment.

And I am not even going to comment on what kind of a lunatic (can you spell morally tone deaf?) would equate selective leaking of politically advantageous albeit debunked intelligence to the bureaucratic process of declassification in the interests of the public's right to know.

Perhaps your editorial writer should spend today reading your news pages.

Deborah Kachel

PS- And Jim Brady STILL needs to be fired for his egregious editorial errors in judgement.

Posted by: AJ. | April 9, 2006 12:50 PM

I was happy to read about the further decline of the WaPo this morning. It highlights the fact that the people with the megaphone (editorialists) are neither particularly wise nor smart, just wordsmiths toying with verbs and the truth. No better than loud but eloquent drunken fools. Why are they given the megaphone ? Why should we care about their opinion when they can't be bothered to read the reporting of their own newspaper ?

Posted by: ch2 | April 9, 2006 01:02 PM

Now, now children. "A Good Leak" is one that Bob Woodward can put in his book and the WP can use to sell a war. "A Truthful Leak" is another matter entirely. We don't do that at the editorial board.

Posted by: fedup | April 9, 2006 01:18 PM

"A Good Leak," major props to Deborah Kachel above for this great line: "Perhaps your editorial writer should spend today reading your news pages."

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 01:27 PM

The "Good Leak" - did everything but call it an 'immaculate declassification.'

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 01:29 PM

What on earth was up with that "editorial" today? Wow! It couldn't have been any better if Dick Cheney had written it - of course he probably did!

They don't call the WaPo and especially Bob Woodward the White House stenographer for nothing, do they?

Truly remarkable the way you guys managed to twist the facts and the truth like a pretzel - you should be so proud!

Posted by: Yuck | April 9, 2006 01:32 PM

Time for me to make a correction (watch how easy this is Jim Brady).

The Post reported on 7-10-04 that Wilson had reported back from Niger that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium. There was a later correction (seen in the original article at the link below) which I did not see at the time of publication, in which the article is amended to say that Wilson's report referenced an attempt by IRAN not Iraq.

SOOOOOO -- if the administration (and the Post editorial writers) are going to try to assert yet again that Wilson's trip supported the administration's case for war because he confirmed that Iraq tried to buy uranium, they are going to need to do it in defiance of the facts and their own reporting of the facts.

Deborah Kachel

Posted by: AJ | April 9, 2006 01:37 PM

Dear WaPo,

Thanks for supporting the downfall of our democracy. It's now officially ok to lie to the American public in order to get them to support your failing policies.

I am beginning to see how easy it was for Adolf Hitler to come to power. How sad it is to see a once great newspaper fall to the level of Nazi propaganda.

Posted by: Mad | April 9, 2006 01:48 PM

What Mad 1:48 pm said. WaPo should be ashamed!

Posted by: WTF?!? | April 9, 2006 01:59 PM

Should I just assume that today's astonishingly dishonest editorial is simply the editorial board's loosening up its lying muscles for an upcoming policy of support for GWB goin' nukular in Iran?

Posted by: jayt | April 9, 2006 02:14 PM

Your pro leak, pro Administration editorial today is the most execrable offering you have served up. Yes, the President has declassification authority. No, he does not have the right to lie to the American people and the rest of the world in order to conduct an illegal war. This is shameful and your support of it is doubly shameful. The outing of Valerie Plame damaged our national security and was a vengeful act to quash any honest criticism. What next, Wapo, will you sell his nuclear strike against Iran? The Wapo has become a propagandist rag.

Posted by: angie | April 9, 2006 02:18 PM

the next Post Editorial will be "The Good Nukes" about how the Respected and Beloved Leader had to obliterate Iran in order to save it...

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 02:26 PM

Congratulations, Fonzie. You cleared the shark with a couple feet to spare. (Have someone on the news side explain this to you.)

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 02:42 PM

Sorry, Fonzie. Forgot to type in my name.

Posted by: Dave Latchaw | April 9, 2006 02:44 PM

Your editorial "A Good Leak" is replete with misinformation. You know better. Why do you insist on being a mouthpiece for George Bush? It is disgusting and appalling. You are doing a diservice to this country by printing this kind of trash. Your mother would be ashamed of you.

Posted by: powwow500 | April 9, 2006 03:13 PM

A Washington Post Editor Caught Brazenly Lying: When is this going to stop?

by eriposte

The Washington Post has a deeply fraudulent editorial defending Bush's involvement in the NIE leak. It's not just that they get the facts wrong, but by a fair accounting this editorial involves deliberate lying that also specifically excludes contradictory information, much like what George Bush did - and the editor who wrote this is clearly guilty of journalistic malpractice. I don't have time to go through every detail, so I'll just mention a couple of things. (All emphasis in quoted portions is mine). [Other bloggers have posted some rebuttals as well].

The WP editor who wrote this piece of garbage says:

PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.

Clearly, the editor hasn't read his own paper and should be fired. After all, I pointed out the moment Fitzgerald's filing became public that Libby, and by extension Cheney and Bush, were deliberately misrepresenting the portion of the NIE that Libby leaked:

What we've learnt today is that Libby, Cheney and Bush appear to have been trying to mislead reporters by claiming that what was really in the BODY of the NIE (and which was rebutted in the ANNEX and which was NOT part of the NIE's key judgments), was somehow part of the key judgments.

If Libby had actually passed on the key judgments of the NIE to Miller, Miller would have discovered that it had NO mention of the uranium claim. So, it appears that Libby, Bush and Cheney tried to deliberately misrepresent the NIE to reporters by claiming that the uranium claim was part of the NIE's key judgments (even though it was not) and then tried to leak the contents from the body of the NIE (minus the annex) to make it appear as if the NIE made a strong case against Joseph Wilson's claims.

Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer reported this in the WP subsequently:

At Cheney's instruction, Libby testified, he told Miller that the uranium story was a "key judgment" of the intelligence estimate, a term of art indicating there was consensus on a question of central importance.

In fact, the alleged effort to buy uranium was not among the estimate's key judgments, which were identified by a headline and bold type and set out in bullet form in the first five pages of the 96-page document.

Obviously, if the the WP editor who wrote this piece of garbage is in favor of Libby's and Bush's action, then the only reason to support that action would be to inherently support crookedness and dishonesty. After all, the editor could have asked why Bush did not authorize leaking the part of the NIE that claimed that the uranium claim was "highly dubious". The fact that the editor did not ask that shows that the person was simply a partisan and dishonest hack who is unfit to be editor of a premier newspaper.

In fact Gellman and Linzer themselves reported that:

Unknown to the reporters, the uranium claim lay deeper inside the estimate, where it said a fresh supply of uranium ore would "shorten the time Baghdad needs to produce nuclear weapons." But it also said U.S. intelligence did not know the status of Iraq's procurement efforts, "cannot confirm" any success and had "inconclusive" evidence about Iraq's domestic uranium operations.

Iraq's alleged uranium shopping had been strongly disputed in the intelligence community from the start. In a closed Senate hearing in late September 2002, shortly before the October NIE was completed, then-director of central intelligence George J. Tenet and his top weapons analyst, Robert Walpole, expressed strong doubts about the uranium story, which had recently been unveiled publicly by the British government. The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, likewise, called the claim "highly dubious." For those reasons, the uranium story was relegated to a brief inside passage in the October estimate.

The WP editor who wrote this piece of garbage also says:

The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Obviously, what Bush ordered declassified did not prove that the uranium claim was credible. If it was that credible and really established the validity of the claim, then why did the White House withdraw it? Moreover, this editor with a partisan vendetta against Joseph Wilson, a vendetta that clearly wants to sidestep the real facts associated with Wilson's trip as opposed to fake GOP talking points, wants readers to remain ignorant about George Tenet's statement from 7/11/03:

Because [the Wilson] report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution...

In other words, according to then-DCI George Tenet's own spin, the Wilson report did not "support the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium." Tenet also pointed out in the same statement that:

... Also in the fall of 2002, our British colleagues told us they were planning to publish an unclassified dossier that mentioned reports of Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa. Because we viewed the reporting on such acquisition attempts to be inconclusive, we expressed reservations about its inclusion...

In September and October 2002 before Senate Committees, senior intelligence officials in response to questions told members of Congress that we differed with the British dossier on the reliability of the uranium reporting.

In October, the Intelligence Community (IC) produced a classified, 90 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq's WMD programs. There is a lengthy section in which most agencies of the Intelligence Community judged that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Let me emphasize, the NIE's Key Judgments cited six reasons for this assessment; the African uranium issue was not one of them.

But in the interest of completeness, the report contained three paragraphs that discuss Iraq's significant 550-metric ton uranium stockpile and how it could be diverted while under IAEA safeguard. These paragraphs also cited reports that Iraq began "vigorously trying to procure" more uranium from Niger and two other African countries......Much later in the NIE text, in presenting an alternate view on another matter, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research included a sentence that states: "Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious."

An unclassified CIA White Paper in October made no mention of the issue, again because it was not fundamental to the judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, and because we had questions about some of the reporting. For the same reasons, the subject was not included in many public speeches, Congressional testimony and the Secretary of State's United Nations presentation in early 2003.

One thing becomes clear about the WP editor who wrote this piece of garbage. This editor is obviously fine with the dishonest and fraudulent policy that was used on pre-war intelligence. A policy that involved deliberately suppressing accurate intelligence from the public - by classifying it - in order to allow the White House to misrepresent the facts in public by "cherry-picking" and declassifying the unreliable "raw data" or "intel" that met their approval. Readers can contact the WP and tell the Post if they believe this person deserves the post of editor.

Contact information:

Main Phone:


Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15 St. NW
Washington, DC 20071

and by e-mail at:

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 03:27 PM

Joe Wilson Responds to Washington Post Editorial
by SusanG
Sun Apr 09, 2006 at 08:48:28 AM PDT

The world awakened this morning to a puzzle of ridiculousness: a Washington Post op/ed that can only be described as a hit piece on Joseph Wilson's "absurdly over-examined visit" (the editorial's words, certainly not mine) to Niger, in which the editorial staff claims there was no effort at the White House to discredit Mr. Wilson ... while its news pages headlined an investigative piece on the front page entitled "A `Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic."

The ironic juxtaposition of the two articles was not lost on Mr. Wilson, who in a private communication to me this morning (sorry, no link) made the following statement:

Sunday's Washington Post lead editorial once again misrepresents the facts as the paper's own reporting in the Barton/Linzer article in the same edition makes clear. While I respect the separation of news and editorial function it might be helpful to the Post's readers if the editorial board would at least read the news before offering its judgments. One of the reasons my trip to Niger has been overanalyzed, as the Post editorial says, is because people like those who wrote the editorial continue to misconstrue the facts and the conclusions."

Indeed. Let's follow the absurdity, shall we (all emphasis mine)? The editorial states:

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge.
The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Then on Page 1, we find the news report:

A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic

Prosecutor Describes Cheney, Libby as Key Voices Pitching Iraq-Niger Story

By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, April 9, 2006; A01

As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

Bluntly and repeatedly, Fitzgerald placed Cheney at the center of that campaign. Citing grand jury testimony from the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Fitzgerald fingered Cheney as the first to voice a line of attack that at least three White House officials would soon deploy against former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Cheney, in a conversation with Libby in early July 2003, was said to describe Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger the previous year -- in which the envoy found no support for charges that Iraq tried to buy uranium there -- as "a junket set up by Mr. Wilson's wife," CIA case officer Valerie Plame.

Here we have a two-fer in terms of self-debunking: (1) There was indeed total validation of Mr. Wilson's charges of persecution, despite what the editorial says; and (2) The news story confirms that there was "no support for charges that Iraq tried to buy uranium there" - in direct contradiction to the editorial's claim that Wilson's report supported the purchase effort.

Seriously, it should be apparent to anyone following the Washington Post that ever since Bob Woodward made clear that protecting his Bushie sources and his books profit margins were more important than informing readers, the Post has been a dying newspaper. Let's have some "regime change" at the top of the Post - get a good start with Len Downie and Fred Hiatt - or readers will have to assume the newspaper is simply a thinly disguised propaganda arm of an administration that took us to war under false pretenses and is undermining our entire democracy.

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 03:29 PM

I truly do not understand today's paper.

Do I believe the facts reported on your news pages, or listen to the opinion reported on your editorial page? One would think the two sets of pages would not contradict each other, and if they do, that the editorial page would address the discrepancy.

Instead we have the news page saying there was "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic" while your editorial page says "Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him ... After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge."

And we have your news page saying "the envoy found no support for charges that Iraq tried to buy uranium there" and your editorial page saying "his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium".

Who do I believe? How can I trust both the accuracy in your reporting as well as the honesty of your editorials?

What conclusion should I draw from the fact that your news article details the authors' names while your editorial is unsigned?

Posted by: jerry | April 9, 2006 03:39 PM

Editorial pages are for opinion. But legitimate opinion journalism is constrained by facts, as nearly as we can know as we put pen to paper. And by that measure, the Washington Post's editorial page has has skidded outside the boundaries of journalistic legitimacy on any number of issues by most glaringly on our involvement in the Middle East. Today's editorial on the Bush-Cheney-Libby leak of classified portions of the Iraq National Intelligence Estimate is a case in point.

One might simply say that presidents play hardball; and they play politics. And President Bush or his untethered vice president played hardball against a prominent critic by releasing information the law allowed them to release. And get over it. Politics, like life, isn't fair. And if you swipe at the president, expect to get hit back.

You may not agree with that. But it's an opinion. And it contains an uncomfortably large element of fact.

But the authors of this editorial don't appear to read the news pages of their own paper or their best competitors. The clock has simply run out on any attempt to claim the president and his key advisors weren't acting in bad faith with their constant advocacy of an alleged traffic in uranium between Iraq and Niger. It's over.

As consistent reporting both from within the executive branch and the intelligence agencies has shown, the only reason this canard ever caught any life outside the vice president's office was not because of its credibility but rather its irrelevancy. By the time Libby came to leak more information about it months after the war, it had been still further discredited within the administration.

The Post also sticks to the up-is-down claim that Wilson's trip to Niger supported rather than undermined the Niger-uranium claim. That is a viewpoint that can only be maintained if you are willfully ignorant of the backstory to the Niger canard. Wilson's report didn't add a lot to what most in the intelligence community already thought about the pretended Niger story. But that was because it tended to confirm the reasons why most in the intelligence community didn't find the story credible in the first place.

For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still barely governing the capital.

They've made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers.
-- Josh Marshall

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 03:46 PM

I'm shure you'll dismiss all these comments as the "left wing attack dogs",but these are your readers that you are disregarding.these are people that care,people that vote,those that see your B/S for what it is.
One request,start printing the paper on softer stock,I may run low on T/P.

Posted by: DMM | April 9, 2006 03:47 PM

It's so enlightening when the editorial page makes it completely obvious that they do not even read their own front page news.

Let's see - an ombudsman who refuses to issue corrections and disdains the readers, an editor whose goal is the White House's pleasure rather than good journalism, hiring a racist plagiarist ... now this.

Heckuva job WaPo!

Posted by: siun | April 9, 2006 04:17 PM

Is "The Good Leak" some code for an offer to Judy Miller to come and work for the Post on WMD coverage before Iran?

Posted by: Mary | April 9, 2006 04:18 PM

Could you publish the name of the writer(s) who wrote your "A Good Leak" editorial?

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 04:21 PM

Just because it's editorial commentary does not mean the "editor" is allowed to lie. You are just sending your tarnished reputation further down the toilet bowl.

All who have read your editorial today are shaking their heads in disbelief. The crap that was written there - in direct opposition to the facts printed on the news pages of your own paper - just defies comprehension!

You are very stupid to print this kind of tripe when the only purpose it serves is to shine a spotlight on your true agenda and lack of ethics.

Posted by: reader | April 9, 2006 04:39 PM

Since when is it a "good leak" to publicly disclose the identity of an undercover CIA agent?

Posted by: James | April 9, 2006 04:46 PM

A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic

Prosecutor Describes Cheney, Libby as Key Voices Pitching Iraq-Niger Story

By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, April 9, 2006; A01

As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

Bluntly and repeatedly, Fitzgerald placed Cheney at the center of that campaign. Citing grand jury testimony from the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Fitzgerald fingered Cheney as the first to voice a line of attack that at least three White House officials would soon deploy against former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Cheney, in a conversation with Libby in early July 2003, was said to describe Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger the previous year -- in which the envoy found no support for charges that Iraq tried to buy uranium there -- as "a junket set up by Mr. Wilson's wife," CIA case officer Valerie Plame.

Posted by: James | April 9, 2006 04:57 PM

I say this less in anger (which, candidly, was my first reaction) or sorrow (my second reaction, given how in the past 10 years this great newspaper has made series after series of destructive decisions) than out of concern. Were you a teenager, your willful wrongheadedness would be the kind of thing the assistant principal for discipline would examine, then call the school counselor, saying "We have to get this boy some help." Something has gotten terribly distorted in your emotions, verging on the sociopathic and psychotic. Your friends avoid you, your teachers wring their hands in their impotent despair, your parents weep.

Posted by: peachyboy | April 9, 2006 05:47 PM

Fred should use the search engine to find out the real facts before he repeats Karl Roves talking points. How many faxes does Rover send you daily? Ya think he will still be able to fax ya when he gets locked up for being a traitor?

Posted by: Chonkonyahr | April 9, 2006 05:48 PM

I'd like to point out just how insane it makes your paper look to have the editorial page make claims that refuted in the very same paper ON THE SAME DAY!

It's really gobsmackingly surreal and I'm sure quite depressing to the staff that Fred Hiatt doesn't even read their paper anymore.

Posted by: Gryn | April 9, 2006 05:48 PM

For anyone who wants a comprehensive, insightful analysis into the mistake that "A Good Leak," was, I invite you to read Jane Hamsher's, "Does Fred Hiatt even read the Washington Post?"

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 05:51 PM

Fred Hiatt obviously doesn't read the facts written in his own newspaper.

Mr. Hiatt's editorial today ignores facts to support an opinion, a troubling development on the editorial page of largest paper in our nation's capitol. Along with Judith Miller's half-truths and "inside access" escapades, it certainly appears that the upper echelon of our leading newspapers is quite troubled, indeed.

It's time for new blood at the Post - a new set of leaders who won't trade access for spin, as it appears Mr. Hiatt is trying to do with his apologetic misstatement of the facts in his editorial.

When will the Post's principals demand that Mr. Hiatt resign? Will it take thousands of cancelled subscriptions as people migrate to honest reportage on the web?

Posted by: Enn Ess Ay | April 9, 2006 05:54 PM

In my lifetime, I've seen this once might newspaper led by the likes of J R Wiggins and Ben Bradlee descend into a rag led by the likes of Janet Cooke, Sue Schmidt and now Hiatt.

Whom the Gods Destroy they first assign Sally Quinn

Posted by: TallIndian | April 9, 2006 05:54 PM

Some of the other commenters make good points. The Post should really fix that ridiculous, biased article by Gellman and Linzer on the front page today.

Posted by: Brainster | April 9, 2006 05:56 PM

I assume the Washington Post Editorial board will be having a send-off party soon for their sons and daughters who have volunteered for active duty in Iraq.

Posted by: Karl Lafong | April 9, 2006 05:57 PM has all the recruiting info for Fred Hiatt's 3 children

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 05:58 PM

I'm concerned about Mr. Hiatt's mental health. Please encourage him to see a doctor.

Posted by: Semblance | April 9, 2006 06:01 PM

Hiatt? You got to be kiddin me? You poor folks. I pity you. Brady stll there? Obviously. Too bad.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 06:04 PM

Plame: Does your editorial staff ever think about reading the front page from time to time, you know, just to keep up?

Also Kurtz's treatment of Jill Carroll is just shameful. After being held hostage for so long, she deserves some time to regain her equilibrium and sanity. Kurtz needs to pick on someone his own size, which is to say small-minded.

Posted by: E. "Greg" Ious | April 9, 2006 06:05 PM

I tend to have a positive appreciation for the Washington Post editorial today about Bush's NIE leak. The fact that the discourse is being forced up the ladder from hack reporters, to partisan columnists, and now anonymous editorials means that there probably aren't too many more cards to fall in this charade. As ranks close the attacks will undoubtedly become more vitriolic and concentrated by dint of there being fewer people willing to weigh in on the administration's side of this. Their gene pool of logic and reason is shrinking by the day (Hello Arlen Specter!). Bush/Cheney/etc. are calling in all the favors they have this week so look for some good fireworks as they flail and flop around, looking for a handhold.

Posted by: Eric | April 9, 2006 06:07 PM

The pathetic Hiatt editorial today and its freakish juxtaposition with actual reporting that refutes the editorial's claims is just another example of the depths that the WaPo has fallen.

You are not entitled to your own facts-as Josh says above, this ship has sailed. The Niger uranium claims are completely bogus and no number of blast faxes from Ken Mehlman or Karl Rove will change that. It wasn't just that the intelligence was flawed-this administration knowingly used bad intel to bolster its weak case for war. The very weak claims that the selected leaks were to somehow "balance" Wilson's claims are pure baloney. He was right then and he is right now. To now suggest that selected and politically-motivated leaking is OK by the President is a slap in the face to our democracy and any principle of fairness or good governance. Shame on you for defending this administration's allergy to the truth.

I hope those cocktail weenies in Georgetown are worth it, Fred. You have severely damaged the credibility of the WaPo as it inexorably slides toward irrelevance.

Posted by: Kevin Judge | April 9, 2006 06:07 PM

A steady diet of Kool-Aid and cocktails weenies is not good for reporters, editors or America's health ...

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 06:10 PM

Come on, Fred, tell the truth...did you lose a bet or something? Why else would you have that idiotic editorial that completely contradicts the article on your own front page? Oh, and completely contradicts that the facts? Of course, facts and your editorials don't have anything in common anymore, do they?

Posted by: BarbinMD | April 9, 2006 06:12 PM

The Post has a credibility problem. At least One of your editors has a professional and financial stake in the public's perception of the Bush administration. Bush's credibility with the public is disasterously low. It is not your job to buttress the standing of the administration, nor to "balance" your reporting on slippery and dishonest ideological grounds. Anyone who has close ties to the current administration should not be writing editorials period.

Posted by: m. murray | April 9, 2006 06:13 PM

The Post's editiorial today "A Good Leak" was the most ridiculous, absurd piece of garbage I've seen in a very long time.

One would hope that the Post's editorial staff would bother to read the reporting in their own paper. Just a thought.

I find the idea that it's the Post's opinion that it is appropriate for the President of the United States to use the apparatus of state to punish a critic to be beyond the pale.

Shame of you guys.

Posted by: Lisa Crider | April 9, 2006 06:13 PM

Is Mr. Hiatt considering working for National Review?

He seems to have the inherent inability to grasp well-known facts for the sake of defending George W. Bush requisite for such a task.

This is the Washington Post?

Good Lord, you folks have truly reached your nadir.

Posted by: Attaturk | April 9, 2006 06:14 PM

Will one of your White House reporters ask Scott McClellan how it "serves the public interest" to publicly disclose the name of an undercover CIA agent?

Posted by: James | April 9, 2006 06:17 PM

"A good Leak" represents a disappointing low in the Washington Posts integrity. There is certainly a wide range of opinions that are perfectly respectable to express on the editorial page. However, to misrepresent the truth in order to support your views undermines your credibility as a news source. Joe Wilson never claimed that the Vice President personally decided to send him to Niger, and claiming this to discredit him is a red herring. His report from Niger in no way supported the idea that Iraq was seeking Uranium in Niger.

But that is besides the point. The leak of classified information was not used to inform the public, rather it was used to manipulate public opinion for political purposes. Considering that this was done to support a war that achieved very little beyond the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and US Soldiers, one wonders why the Washington Post thinks that it is proper.

Posted by: Disappointed.... | April 9, 2006 06:18 PM

Love you man, especially when you get under the skin of these liberal attack dogs. Keep up the good work, I don't mind you screwing around with the facts when you're pushing Dear Leader's agenda.

Posted by: El Loco | April 9, 2006 06:18 PM

Seldom is an editorial so thoroughly debunked by the news content of the same same paper. I presume that, whoever the author of the "A Good Leak" editorial was (and for the sake of the Post's journalistic integrity, I would second the call for the Post to state the author's identity), I assume he or she could easily have looked from that editorial as posted online immediately to the left, under "Most Viewed Articles," and find the link for the Gellman and Linzer article.
The editorial might be excused if it put together a cogent argument against the evidence that Gellman and Linzer used. But the editorial does not do that; it simply ignores that evidence (and a great deal of other, publicly-available evidence) in one of the most egregious examples of Orwellian "memory-hole" journalism that I have ever seen.
The Bush administration has shown, in the leak revealed this week, that it did not believe it could win an honest debate on Iraq, and therefore gave the public carefully selected information and thereby deceived the public.
It seems that the "A Good Leak" editorial replicates that strategy.
Please let the public know who its author is and when we may expect a correction or retraction.

Thank you.

R Cauthen
Los Angeles

Posted by: rcauthen | April 9, 2006 06:19 PM

I sincerely hope the responsible journalists of the Washington Post have taken proper precautions to protect themselves from the paper's editorial board.

The willingness of the Fred Hiatt and company to defend mass murderers clearly indicates they will stop at nothing.

Posted by: David Ehrenstein | April 9, 2006 06:20 PM


Aside from the FACT that the Washington Post chose to repeat misinformation about Plamegate repudiated on page one of the same paper, they left out a few glaring details in their ridiculous approval of Valerie Plame's outing for political gain.

Leaking Valerie Plame's name took a valuable resource out of the REAL war on terror. This action approved by the President and Vice President has endangered the lives of every American citizen, both at home and abroad.

Leaking Plame's name also blew her front cover employer, Brewster Jennings & Associates. It was Robert Novak, American traitor, and political commentator hack, who in collusion with Bush and Cheney, first published the highly classified information.

It has been suggested that there were other resources within the CIA who were also working undercover as non-official cover operative" (NOC) as employees of Brewster Jennings. It has also been suggested that once their undercover status was compromised, they were quickly captured and eliminated, thus multiplying the damage done to the CIA's ability to gather valuable information in the Mid East.

The outing of Plame destroyed all trust the CIA had for the Bush/Cheney administration. Why would they now put their lives on the line as NOCs knowing that at any time, their cover could also be blown for political gain, thus ending their careers and possibly ending their lives as well?

But there's more!

Plame... 'was a long-term proprietary and deep-cover NOC - well established and consistently producing "take" from ARAMCO (and who knows what else in Saudi Arabia). It was destroyed with a motive of personal vengeance (there may have been other motives) by someone inside the White House.

From the CIA's point of view, at a time when Saudi Arabia is one of the three or four countries of highest interest to the US, the Plame operation was irreplaceable.

Almost the entire Bush administration has an interest in ARAMCO.

The Boston Globe reported that in 2001 ARAMCO had signed a $140 million multi-year contract with Halliburton, then chaired by Dick Cheney, to develop a new oil field. Halliburton does a lot of business in Saudi Arabia. Current estimates of Halliburton contracts or joint ventures in the country run into the tens of billions of dollars.

So do the fortunes of some shady figures from the Bush family's past.

As recently as 1991 ARAMCO had Khalid bin Mahfouz sitting on its Supreme Council or board of directors. Mahfouz, Saudi Arabia's former treasurer and the nation's largest banker, has been reported in several places to be Osama bin Laden's brother in law.

ARAMCO is the largest oil group in the world, a state-owned Saudi company in partnership with four major US oil companies.

Another one of Aramco’s partners is Chevron-Texaco which gave up one of its board members, Condoleezza Rice, when she became the National Security Advisor to George Bush.

All of ARAMCO’s key decisions are made by the Saudi royal family while US oil expertise, personnel and technology keeps the cash coming in and the oil going out. ARAMCO operates, manages, and maintains virtually all Saudi oil fields – 25% of all the oil on the planet.'

Also, let's not forget the long term friendship and business partnerships between the Bush family and the bin Laden family.

Knowing all of this, how can anyone in their right mind approve of Bush and Cheney's treasonous behavior of outing Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings for political gain?

Posted by: KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA | April 9, 2006 06:22 PM

I am simply amazed that the Washington Post would run an editorial that contradicts its reporting featured on Page One. Either the editorial writers failed to read the story "Concerted Effort to Discredit" or else they read the story and deliberately included misleading statements in the editorial. Is the Editorial Page guilty of intellectual incompetenece or intellectual dishonesty. Which is it?

Posted by: Jay Harrington | April 9, 2006 06:22 PM

ThinkProgress fact-checks Hiatt's lying posterior:

CLAIM: “Mr. Libby’s motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney.” [Washington Post, 4/9/06]


Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president’s office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney’s questions. [Bloomberg, 7/14/05]

Posted by: James | April 9, 2006 06:22 PM

Think Progress further fact-checks Hiatt's posterior:

CLAIM: “Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative…After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson’s charge.” [Washington Post, 4/9/06]


Moreover, given that there is evidence that other White House officials with whom defendant spoke prior to July14, 2003 discussed Wilson’s wife’s employment with the press both prior to, and after, July 14, 2003 – which evidence has been shared with defendant – it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to “punish” Wilson. [Fitzgerald filing, pg. 29-30]

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 06:24 PM

the Post has gone the way of the WSJ: fairly decent reporting but with a wingnut editorial board ...

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 06:25 PM

Think Progress not only further fact-checks Hiatt's posterior but makes the Washington Post look very, very foolish indeed:

CLAIM: “Vice President Cheney initially chose to be secretive, ordering his chief of staff at the time, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the information to a favorite New York Times reporter…There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that.” [Washington Post, 4/9/06]


Defendant testified that this July 8th meeting was the only time he recalled in his government experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of the President’s authorization that it be declassified.” [Fitzgerald filing, pg. 23]

CLAIM: “The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.” [Washington Post, 4/9/06]


Two-year old assertions by former ambassador Joseph Wilson regarding Iraq and uranium, which lie at the heart of the controversy over who at the White House identified a covert U.S. operative, have held up in the face of attacks by supporters of presidential adviser Karl Rove…[T]he Senate panel conclusions didn’t discredit Wilson. The committee concluded that the Niger intelligence information wasn’t solid enough to be included in the State of the Union speech. It added that Wilson’s report didn’t change the minds of analysts on either side of the issue… [Bloomberg, 7/14/05]

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 06:26 PM

Karl Lafong said: "I assume the Washington Post Editorial board will be having a send-off party soon for their sons and daughters who have volunteered for active duty in Iraq."

I think he meant to say "active duty in IRAN"!

Posted by: eli grossman | April 9, 2006 06:26 PM

Great job, Hiatt! Looks like you bought a little more time before Rove's pictures of you are made public.

Posted by: Rick | April 9, 2006 06:27 PM

I just read the editorial 'A Good Leak'. I could not believe my eyes. You know that this was reported IN YOUR OWN PAPER TO BE FALSE?


Does your editorial board even read your own paper? If you are not going to be consistant with reporting facts then just stop putting out a paper.

Posted by: druidbros | April 9, 2006 06:29 PM

Your editorial in today’s paper is absolutely stunning. I mean Wow! Fred Hiatt should be ashamed of this terrible piece of non-journalism. There has to be some explanation as to why you feel it's necessary to misinform your readers through this kind of baseless and embarrassing rhetoric. The Washington Post has been rolling down the hill of shame here lately, but unfortunately today might be the day in which it loses all of its remaining credibility, if there was any.

I have a recommendation for you folks down at the Editorial Page. How about you try reading a real piece of journalism that came out in the Washington Post this morning, but wait, that’s your own paper. It contradicts most of everything you spewed out in this prize-winning editorial you concocted this Sunday morning.

The only explanation I can come up with as to why you would put something like this into print is because Karl Rove must have been barking down your door all weekend. Why else would you folks come up with something like this? What an embarrassment this is to people in your own paper who are trying to get to the bottom of this story.

A Good Leak. Wow!! Someone needs to resign over this one.

Posted by: GEOFF EWING | April 9, 2006 06:31 PM

I'm so glad that Fred Hiatt've decided to push Rove's agenda. Otherwise, I'll be disappointed with WP editoral.

Dirty liberals, stop slamming Mr. Hiatt. He has done nothing wrong. He just helped propagandizing these 'facts' to make White House looks good. It's his job! Back off moonbats!

Damn communists.

P.S. I'm entirely disappointed with Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer. Damn them for printing these hardass facts which contradict Mr. Hiatt's article. It is not fair to Mr. Hiatt...

Posted by: David | April 9, 2006 06:31 PM

The Post owes its readers an explanation of the ludicrously counterfactual editorial, "A Good Leak."

Posted by: penalcolony | April 9, 2006 06:32 PM

the Post is probably too liberal for the Editorial Board to read - for them, if it ain't in the Moonie Times or the blastfaxes from Mehlman, it must be a liberal lie!

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 06:32 PM

Good Leak = Disinformation

Today's editorial in support of "A Good Leak" was a shocker, and so bizarre. The editorial writer didn't seem to be aware of the facts as spelled out in their own paper.

Bush and Cheney were working to leak DISCREDITED information. That's pushing disinformation. Is the Post trying to out-Judy Miller the Times on this?

I'm sorry we spent the three bucks to buy the paper.

Posted by: Vaughan | April 9, 2006 06:33 PM

Why do liberals hate America?

Posted by: Ian | April 9, 2006 06:36 PM

You guys should fire republican shill Fred Hiatt or make him the new redstate blogger, you choose, but you can not leave him in charge of the editorial page any longer. Your credibility, long suffering in this year of Bob Woodward, is now gone after weekend of Hiatt editorial lying and kissing ass for Bush Co. Shame on the Wash Post!

Posted by: Greg in NY | April 9, 2006 06:38 PM

Oh, boo hoo, poor Valerie Plame, undercover agent extraordinaire. The moonbat spin about here "career" being destroyed has fooled many. And those it doesn't fool -- like the Op-Ed page here -- are now targets for moonbat anger. Hell hath no fury like a moonbat scorned.


Posted by: Leonidas | April 9, 2006 06:40 PM

R Cauthen - The sound you hear is crickets chirping. There is no one at home at WaPo. Poor devils.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 06:40 PM

I think I have finally figured it out. The hiring of a right leaning blogger was an attempt to "balance" the paper correct? Well that didn't work out so well for them. But that won't prevent them from carrying out their mission! It is now plain and for all to see what the WaPo thinks of as balance. Given the OpEd today that contradicts the WaPo's own factually based reporting, FOUND IN THE SAME ISSUE, I can now see that what they meant when they say they wanted balance was just that - falsehoods, obfuscation and disinformation to "balance" truth and fact. What a novel approach to "journalism".

Posted by: ender | April 9, 2006 06:41 PM


Posted by: | April 9, 2006 06:41 PM

What has happened to the WaPo? I cannot believe that editorial! How on earth can a major newspaper have penned such a horrendously erroneous piece of garbage, and so pathetically and obviously full of suck-up butt-kissing. I moved from Maryland to Tampa a few years ago, and I have to say that not even the conservative and mid-tier-city Tampa Tribune would dare write something so amateurish and irresponsible. Shame on the Post. I subscribed for many years but today I am thankful that I didn't waste a dime to read such trash.

Posted by: Madam Deb | April 9, 2006 06:44 PM

Be honest -- when you first read "A Good Leak" didn't you wonder for just a moment if the Post had been punked by Ben Domenech? The irony was just too rich having that editorial appear on the same day that the Gellman and Linzer article skewers the argument it makes by reviewing the facts.

Posted by: AJ | April 9, 2006 06:47 PM

I refer whoever wrote that atrocious editorial to this page:

Posted by: Steve J. | April 9, 2006 06:47 PM

Since when has the Post's editorials become less intelligent and informed than a High School newspaper??

Smarter and more informed people please.

Posted by: celo | April 9, 2006 06:49 PM

Well, thats it for me;If this paper isn't good enough for Fred Hiatt (one of its own editors) to read, then why should I waste my time.

Posted by: Kevin N | April 9, 2006 06:53 PM

Your title, "A Good Leak" is apt only in that a good leak feels good to the leaker. The editorial itself is rank hypocrisy, and Katharine Graham's newspaper now reeks worse than stale urine. Hope y'all are proud of what you've accomplished here; the rest of the country, otoh, has more than had enough.

Posted by: dannyboy | April 9, 2006 06:53 PM

Do we need another Wall Street Journal-a paper with editiorial writers so confined to their fantasy world that they do not know or understand the news that is printed on their own front page. The WSJ has something they consider an ideology to follow, but what can justify the ignorance and stupidity of the Post's editorial. Do they owe Karl another boot licking? Do they believe the country will be in danger if it is generally known that the President is a liar. But outside our country, that is known and understood, and inside the country, no more than 35 per cent believe what the president says. Trying to rewrite history so that the president does not look so imcompetent and dishonest only makes the editorial writers look foolish.

Posted by: RO | April 9, 2006 06:55 PM

i are a gooder reeder than i are a gooder riter..can i rite for ur paper?

Posted by: achildleftbehind | April 9, 2006 06:57 PM

Hey, i thought you guys fired Ben Domenech. What's he doing writing editorials. This is an outrage!

Posted by: db | April 9, 2006 06:58 PM

I don't want fair and balanced reporting from the Washington Post. That is the realm of Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, neither of which do fair or balanced.
Nor do I want Air America here.
Nor do I want The Washington Times version of truthiness.

From the Washington Post I want facts of news that is corroborrated and then I want editors that take those facts and write about them in editorials.
You failed me today.

Posted by: Corey G. Cate | April 9, 2006 06:59 PM

Soooooo, Fred,

If this is a "good leak", why didn't Bush just answer Wilson's claims himself instead of telling someone to tell someone to tell someone like a lovesick Jr. High girl. AND, why didn't he stand up when Libby was being indicted and say, "I told him to say that."

Posted by: motherlowman | April 9, 2006 06:59 PM

Post editorial is as much of a lie as the lies it tries to cover up.

The WAPO has turned to trash espeically with frauds like Bib Woodward shilling for our unitary executive.

Hahahaha We caught you!

Posted by: Nice Lie | April 9, 2006 06:59 PM

This is better reading from a person more informed than whoever wrote that atrocious editorial:

Posted by: Steve J. | April 9, 2006 07:00 PM

Fred Hiatt and I love the WSJ. A Journal editorial will state an opinion contrary to the facts reported on its front page.

Posted by: Shirley | April 9, 2006 07:00 PM

It’s unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.

it's unfortunate that sycophantic drivel like this gets promulgated by the fourth estate, which to my knowledge, and certainly in my hopes, is supposed to provide a check to government that has clearly run amok. thanx for the help buds. way to hold 'em accountable.

momentous decision = 2300 hundred dead... and many other gruesome statistics...

Posted by: charley | April 9, 2006 07:00 PM

So, according to today's editorial a "good leak" is leaking information that has been discredited (according to your own newspaper).


Posted by: hadenoughofthisyet | April 9, 2006 07:01 PM

Good to see Ian recycling GOP talking points. My response is why does Fed Hiatt hate America.

Posted by: Mike | April 9, 2006 07:01 PM

Haven't been here for a while...
I'm just checking to see if the Post ever offered proof that Abramoff directed donations to Democrats. You guys still on that topic, or has something else come up? Oh, and by proof, I mean something other than a link to a tendentious Wapoo article without any documentation either.

Posted by: Marky | April 9, 2006 07:02 PM

The good Bush leak would be the one where he leaked out enough facts, figures and tangible proof that all of this psyching us into a war and killing a whole lot of our soldiers and Iraqi civilians, just to bust an unprepared country through the gate to civil war was for the public good and in the public interest like he says.
Can't happen though because there isn't any good to it.
I can see that from my unlofty perch in Georgia.
Can I have a job? I could write you a fine editorial without reading for months if that's all it takes. But maybe I'm asking the wrong people for the job...

Posted by: Bubba | April 9, 2006 07:02 PM

Its about credibility stupid.

Posted by: getalife | April 9, 2006 07:03 PM

Leaking, Lying, and An Election
by georgia10
Sun Apr 09, 2006 at 03:37:53 PM PDT

Reading today's Washington Post editorial, I had to double check to see if they cropped the RNC logo off of the press release before publication. Throwing facts to the wind (including investigations by its own reporters) the editorial board calls the selective leaking of classified information as "a good leak" meant to counter Ambassador Wilson's "twisting of the truth." Indeed, the Washington Post is so proud and sure of the accuracy of these claims, it chose to publish them in an unsigned editorial (come on, Fred Hiatt, even Ben Domenech had the guts to put his name to his journalistic embarrassments).

I'd like to focus specifically on the first line of the piece:

PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.

While the WaPo channels Scott McClellan, let me channel the facts. President Bush did not selectively leak highly classified information to "set the record straight." He wielded his executive power in a partisan, pointed way with a singular purpose: to cover his ass, and to ensure a second term.

It is this simple fact that tends to get lost in the intricate discussions of the Plame scandal. If the President wanted to clear the air, he would have released the NIE in its entirety, to the entire press. Yet the selective leaking allowed Bush to cherry-pick the intelligence (again). This time around, it wasn't done to mislead us into war, but to mislead the nation into believing the President was deserving of a second Bush term.

As Murray Waas detailed last month, the entire discrediting of Wilson and the subsequent cover-up were centered around the pivotal task of insulating the incumbent President:

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration.

Which is why, of course, the Executive Branch engaged in a massive, covert campaign to silence Joe Wilson. This is why only parts of the NIE were leaked to Judy Miller, so she could parrot away in the newspaper of record that the poor President was just the victim of a failed intelligence apparatus. Never mind the rest of the NIE--the parts where the Energy Department and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research said the tubes were "intended for conventional weapons". No, the goal here again was to fix the facts around the policy. The goal was to represent those leaked parts of the NIE as the "key judgments" (even though they weren't) and to represent to Judy Miller that the rest of the document bolstered those fundamentally wrong claims that the uranium was for nuclear weapons. [UPDATE: Big thanks to Quicksilver for pointing out that the NIE still remains classified--only the "key judgments" were released to the public.] The goal was to shield the President--the candidate--at all costs.

And this is why the President's actions are so revolting, so repulsive. His abuse of power--and yes, selective leaking in this way is an abuse of power--wasn't meant just to silence a war critic. It was to meant to silence the American people, to assauge their doubts about his leadership, and to portray himself as a competent Commander-in-Chief worthy of re-election.

This President cannot help himself. He is a habitual manipulator, a serial cherry-picker of intelligence. From pre-war to pre-election, his goal has been the personal interest, not the public interest. His legacy is one of a Leaker-in-Chief, selectively leaking us into war, and into a second Bush term.

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 07:05 PM

motherlowman, great post!

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 07:06 PM

Congratulations, I will now lump your fine papers editorial into the likes of Bill O'Reilley and Hannity. Your back hurt from carrying so much water? (R)

Posted by: Chris | April 9, 2006 07:06 PM

The Washington Post is clearly suffering from schizophrenic symptoms.

This is the most preposterous editorial I have read in a long time.

Posted by: Tango Belle | April 9, 2006 07:06 PM

The Washington Post is clearly suffering from schizophrenic symptoms.

This is the most preposterous editorial I have read in a long time.

Posted by: Tango Belle | April 9, 2006 07:07 PM

Fred Hiatt's editorial in the Sunday WaPo is an abominable disgrace. We expect misrepresentation (lying?) from Faux News, but are having trouble getting used to it in the WaPo.

Posted by: kleinknecht | April 9, 2006 07:08 PM

If I wanted b.s. right-wing talking points shoved in my brain, I'd buy the Washington Times. I expected better from the Post, but unfortunately it seems that many in charge, including Fred "the hack" Hiatt, have their heads buried in the sand screaming "lalalalala" as they kiss George Bush's feet.

How about reporting the news?? What a grand notion.

Posted by: Wally | April 9, 2006 07:08 PM

Editor and Publisher are all over your a**. Won't get fooled again, WP. Your editorial board will not cheerlead us into another war. Sorry.

"Also, the NIE was not first published for public consumption but leaked to “friendly reporter,” Judith Miller of The New York Times (who didn’t even write about it). Even then, Libby selectively quoted form the NIE, accentuating the part that seemed to bolster the Bush case and ignoring the doubts. This cherry-picking, in fact, mirrored the conduct of the administration (and the Post editorial page) during the entire run-up to the war. "

We are on to you, a-holes.

Posted by: fedup | April 9, 2006 07:16 PM

The good Bush leak is that he is pissing off/on the entire country!!!

Shame shame shame on the Washington Post!

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 07:16 PM

Dear Jim Brady,

I have to thank you for this feature allowing reader comments. Although, from previous experience it does seem that you don't bother to read the comments your customers leave - it does provide an important service. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in the thinking that whoever wrote today's editorial "A Good Leak", doesn't bother to actually read the news - including their own paper (for example: today's excellent front page article "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic Prosecutor Describes Cheney, Libby as Key Voices Pitching Iraq-Niger Story" by Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer).

I'm very glad to know that many Washington Post readers, as evidenced by the comments left here, recognize that this editoral appears to be just a piece of Whitehouse stenography. The editors ought to be ashamed, and the readers ought to be outraged. Well, at least the readers are outraged.

Posted by: selise | April 9, 2006 07:19 PM

If that was a good leak, this is a good war

Posted by: mitch | April 9, 2006 07:24 PM

What is to become of our republic if our press refuses to do its job? I have never seen a more frighteningly dishonest editorial than A Good Leak in my lifetime.

To so transparently and deliberately misrepresent the facts is a breach of the public trust. This sloppy piece of work isn't fit to line a bird cage. The publisher and the Board should be embarrassed and the editorialist should be looking for a new line of work. I hear the National Enquirer is always in the market for a good fantasy writer.

The Detroit News blogger

Posted by: Libby Spencer | April 9, 2006 07:26 PM

So, who ya gonna believe - Fred Hiatt or the lyin' facts gathered by the WaPo's own reporters?

Posted by: J. P. Thompson | April 9, 2006 07:26 PM

Did Sue Schmidt take dictation on that editorial from Rove? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: Marky | April 9, 2006 07:28 PM

Is it April Fools Day ? You can't expect ANYONE to take your "Good Leak" opinion piece seriously.

I wonder if your reporters can sue your editorial writers for something - maybe gross incompetence.

All that I can say is that the glory days of Watergate are over for the Washington POst - and it's reputation.

Posted by: Patrick ONeill | April 9, 2006 07:30 PM


Notice that Ian's talking points are getting thinner by the day?

This administration is so inept that not even the GOP can come up with talking points to cover their asses.

They can't even get a leak out without screwing it up.

Posted by: AJ | April 9, 2006 07:30 PM

Huzzah to the Post, for beating back the socialist enablers of appeasement and speaking truth for power with one mighty blow.

As ample liberalphobic precedent has firmly established, 'when the President does it, it's not illegal'...The Leader Of The Free World has enough irrelevant bedevilment from the Democrat-supported Islamofascistic hydra without bothering himself with some obscure legal niceties that are the sole province of nanny-state ninnies who go goo-goo for terror like little girls in a Wal-Mart Barbie aisle whilst supping on finger sandwiches and tea with Joseph Wilson and his so-called 'spy wife', pinkies delicately upraised in the international sign for surrender, and seditious trysting of an unseemly nature.

When will America lift the scales from its eyes and heed worthies as Ken Mehlman, and cease this senseless, pointless prosecution of an anointed innocent and all-American patriot, Irving 'Scooter' Libby?

When will the faith of our fathers triumph over the godless so-called 'reality community', burying such petty trivialities in the
ash-heap of history?

When will informative scribes such as Ann Coulter and Jerome Corsi have the vital information that they alone possess placed front and center before an American public starved for the truth of how Democrat-sponsored liberal terrorism has put us forth on the path of societal extinction?

When? when? When?


Christian White

Posted by: Christian White | April 9, 2006 07:31 PM

You know, I had a good laugh the other night when NYT's David Brooks said on the Nightly News Hour that the Plame 'thing' didn't have much traction outside of Washington. He could only wished that that were so.
I hope you have some sense of the scope of people following this issue and that if this administration tries to pull a Saturday Night Massacre, they won't know what hit them.
Plame, Brewster Jennings et al was a vital source of information about nuclear proliferation that the administration blew out of the water as causally as Dead Eye shot Harry Whittington. Why, oh why do you not see and feel outrage at that betrayal? Outing Plame et al was a completely sinful act and the rest of the country 'gets it.'
We are facing, God knows what in Iran, and you come up with that pitiful editorial. Foolish, absolutely foolish! How far the once mightly Washington Post has fallen.

Posted by: Rubber Soul | April 9, 2006 07:32 PM

After reading "A Good Leak" one thing has become crystal clear.
The White House has the WaPo's fax number.

Posted by: Gust | April 9, 2006 07:32 PM

Dear Mr. Hiatt,
If you're going to print editorials that are completely ignorant of the facts as your own newspaper reports them, at least have the intelligence to print them on days without front-page articles so comparisons will be more difficult to make.

Posted by: Shalimar | April 9, 2006 07:32 PM

you think Katherine Graham is spinning in her grave, you should see Ben Franklin. How disappointed our Founding Fathers must be to see our currant state of affairs - a fascist government and the 4th estate either bought or brought low by blackmail. If there is a noble bone left in your body, you should quit publishing, sell your expensive house, and go somewhere else to live modestly but honestly.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 07:33 PM

"A good leak", in which the Washington Post takes a leak on the truth, has got to be the most outrageous piece of fiction to show up on any editorial page in a long, long time. If the Post doesn't quickly print a front-page retraction and provide evidence that Fred Hiatt is actually mentally impaired, Joe Wilson should sue for libel.

Posted by: jexter | April 9, 2006 07:33 PM

"A Good Leak"?

Shame on you WaPo, shame on you.

Posted by: M. Caicedo | April 9, 2006 07:33 PM

It seems like your reporters do research but your op-ed people do not. The juxtaposition of your op-ed with the story of leaking classified information by the president is just on more nail in the coffin of a once great newspaper. What an eloquent example of where the senior editorial staff has taken this paper. The way I see it, The Washington Post has two options to salvage itself in some form. It can either fire it's reporters and hire only journalists that are of the same idealogical bent of the editorial staff and become a full fledged propaganda arm of the Bush administration or it can decide to get back to news reporting and doing so fairly and without bias. For myself, I gave up trusting the Washington Post long ago. Opinions in this country will change, they always do and when public opinion turns even more against the criminals in the white house, you will find yourselves in the same position as FOX "News", trying to regain lost credibility but hopeless to do so because you've sold it out so completely.

Posted by: Margaret | April 9, 2006 07:34 PM

Dear Sirs:

After reading "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic:
Prosecutor Describes Cheney, Libby as Key Voices Pitching Iraq-Niger Story" I thought when I began to read the editorial "Good Leaks" which begins with the following sentence: PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. I swear, I double checked the date as I figured that this must be some sort of April Fools joke.

And then I realized. All credible newspapers erect an impenetrable firewall between the advertising and journalism departments.

Silly me.

Posted by: Phasis | April 9, 2006 07:34 PM

I have never written in on this blog before -- not during the Deborah Howell dust-up, not ever. Until right now. Because the editorial deeming the Bush/Cheney/Libby selective leak of classified NIE information to Judith Miller to be a "good leak" is such complete and illegitimate balderdash that it beggars belief. How can the Washington Post even hope to be taken remotely seriously when its editorial page fumbles the most basic facts and concepts that are *reported in its own news pages*?

This is disgraceful. Just disgraceful. This is beyond third-rate wishful thinking. This is a willful insistence on viewing the world through a set of blinders. For shame.

Posted by: Chris Green | April 9, 2006 07:37 PM

After reading your "Good Leak" editorial, the thought occurred to me that, the rules for facts are somewhat different on the editorial page, the editorial page still has some obligation not to present things that are known to be patently untrue. Being opinion, it is OK to select facts that support your opinion, or to spin facts a particular way, and your editorial certainly does lots of that. However, it is not OK to present lies as truth, even on the editorial page.

What is most significant about the editorial is that, were the truth presented instead of lies, the editorialist would have had to draw precisely the opposite conclusion to what was presented in the editorial. Basically, Joe Wilson was correct. This is known from declassified documents. It is known from testimony in the Libby case. Likewise, it is known that the information leaked by the president was untrue. Furthermore, it is known now that the president KNEW it was untrue. That is the definition of a lie.

Basically, the facts of the matter demonstrate that the president lied by selectively leaking false information to a friendly reporter for the purpose of covering his political butt by discrediting a (truthful) political opponent.

As I have written elsewhere, the use of a legitimate presidential power (declassification) for an illegitimate purpose (smearing a political opponent) is the very definition of abuse of power. If there is any planet in the universe in which that is a good leak, it is a planet that does not know democracy.

It is customary, when a newspaper inadvertently prints falsehoods, to make a correction. I expect the Post will promptly issue a correction and an apology for not checking the most basic facts before printing the editorial.

Posted by: shargash | April 9, 2006 07:39 PM

The 'good leak' was the administration using misinformation to cover its behind.

Watching The Washington Post spinning for politicians who regularly manipulate the Post and the rest of the news media with 'good leaks' makes me a bit dizzy, and quite nauseated.

Posted by: Kalamazoo, Mich. | April 9, 2006 07:41 PM

ZOMG LOL! I just managed to read 'A Good Leak' which comes across as work with all the quality and clearsightedness one would expect of the typical Chuck Asay cartoon. Whatever happened?

"In fact, his (Wilson's) report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium."

Yes indeed. Film at 11 ... in 1996 or thereabouts if I remember well? "Can we have Yellowcake?" "NO!". "Ok, bye then".

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 07:41 PM

Fred Hiatt
Editorial Page Editor

Colbert I. King
Jackson Diehl
Deputy Editorial Page Editors

Ken Ikenberry
Assistant Editorial Page Editor

Anne Applebaum
Robert Asher
Sebastian Mallaby
Ruth Marcus
Benjamin Wittes
Editorial Writers

* * *

Except for Ken Ikenberry and Benjamin Wittes, the editorial writers also write signed columns in the op-ed page. So going by style and inclination, we can guess as to who wrote the editorial.
You can eliminate Colbert King and Ruth Marcus right away. Maybe Anne Applebaum too - she writes some nonsensical stuff sometimes, but not this blatant. Mallaby is capable of this, but he generally sticks to world bank, IMF and developmental issues. Jackson Diehl can be eliminated too in the second round.

Benjamin Wittes writes about legal issues, I think. This is not his thing.

Out and out, this looks like Fred Hiatt's own writing, when we compare this with his recent signed columns. He is a Bush/Repub groupie.

Posted by: ecoast | April 9, 2006 07:42 PM

Rest assured, WaPost Editorial Board, your war drum is still big. Keep up the good beat.

Posted by: Limbaugh Letter | April 9, 2006 07:43 PM

I thought I was reading a Washington Times editorial. Shame on you for doing such a disservice to readers who expect something better of you. The Bush White House doesn't need your help lying to us.

Posted by: Mockie | April 9, 2006 07:44 PM

WP has no credibility. Fred's article today is further proof.

Posted by: Duane | April 9, 2006 07:44 PM

A "good leak" is "trickle down" yellow journalism on Fred's head'

Posted by: Ronnie Raygun | April 9, 2006 07:45 PM

All media operations pride themselves on the firewall between the news department and the Editorial Board but that firewall at the Post shouldn't keep the opinion folk from at least reading their own reporters! What a pity!

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | April 9, 2006 07:45 PM

I hear McClellan is on the way out. Is Hiatt auditioning for his job? His fact-free editoral is quite a writing sample for the annals of partisan spinning.

Posted by: JoshA | April 9, 2006 07:46 PM

We have decided to change the name of our paper from the Washington Post, to the Republican Party Post.

We feel this will clear up any confusion; apparently some folks out there still believed we were an independent media source, and not the propoganda arm of the Republican Party.

Posted by: PaperFormerlyKnownAsWaPo | April 9, 2006 07:49 PM

the washington post editorial page did not turn against the war in vietnam until after nixon's election, despite decent news reporting showing the folly of the war effort since even before tet.

on form, then, the washington post editorial page will turn against the war in iraq as soon as the democrats win the 2008 elections on an antiwar platform.

it is too much to expect them to be against the war now. nobody they know is dying!

Posted by: slangist | April 9, 2006 07:49 PM

Never in my life have I seen a more patently mendacious editorial appear in a newspaper of the Washington Post's former stature. Can you go lower still? I hope not, but I'm not betting on it.

Tragic, really.

Posted by: William Gibson | April 9, 2006 07:51 PM

I don't buy it.

The only good leak is one that protects the country's citizens, not an administration's political agenda.

A leak about unsafe mine conditions? good.

A leak about an undercover CIA officer? not good.

Posted by: MK Rothwell | April 9, 2006 07:51 PM

"A Good Leak" is nothing more than a work of post-modernist irony.

The commenters here not only take themselves too seriously, are humorless, not to mention sanctimonious.

Hiatt and the other brave editorial pagers are trying to keep us safe from "terror."

They are probably coming up with an editorial justifying our upcoming nuclear strike on Iran, so that when we are forced to smoke the freedom haters--we will understand why it was necessary.

Posted by: Thelema | April 9, 2006 07:52 PM

I have long suspected that the editors of the editorial page are all on a retainer from the White House. "A good leak" confirms it for me. I suggest they follow Mr. Wilson's advise and try to use facts, as reported by by your reporters.

Posted by: larry huff | April 9, 2006 07:55 PM

Fred, here's what happened after your "Good Leak": U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 2347.

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 07:57 PM

re: "A Good Leak"

Publishing this shamefully dishonest set of long since disproven talking points on the very same day as the excellent Gellman/Linzer article is a true masterstroke of boneheaded incompetence worthy of the Bush Adminstration itself. This surpasses even the Domenech, Deborah Howell and Bob Woodward scandals in the annals of journalistic malfeasance. You haven't quite topped the NYT's handling of the Judith Miller Fiasco, but you're getting closer and closer.

Posted by: Kevin Moore | April 9, 2006 07:58 PM

This Administration has done NOTHING 'GOOD'! I do believe that their rampage of death and destruction will be stopped by all that is GOOD IN THIS WORLD.

Fred Hiatt needs to utilize the new search function. Or is he not allowed? Mr. Brady, you are NO EDITOR!

Posted by: Harriett | April 9, 2006 07:58 PM

as Fred Hiatt was writing his latest screed "A Good Leak", in the background on his office CD player was the song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp!"

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | April 9, 2006 07:59 PM

Given previous articles written by Fred,
we know by now that Mr.Hiatt was dropped on his head as a child. After reading the anal leakage piece, I am revising my estimate of the height involved.Also,I am totally amazed he hasn't had his feeding tube removed.

Posted by: tim shea | April 9, 2006 07:59 PM

When our democracy is finally dead, WaPo will have blood on its hands. I gave up on WaPo a long time ago, when I thought I'd seen the worst. But not. "A good leak" plumbs new depths of irresponsibility and cravenness at your once, and briefly, great newspaper.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 08:00 PM

I thought I had taken a journey through the looking glass this morning as I was reading "A Good Leak" after just having read "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic".

The Post editorial page is a disgrace. You have done a disservice to the country by abdicating your fourth estate responsibilities.

You should be ashamed.

Posted by: Christopher Ferris | April 9, 2006 08:01 PM

What's worse the paper or the blog, it's a toss up. Both are bush driven.

Posted by: Earl | April 9, 2006 08:02 PM

I think Bob Woodward wrote that editorial. Everyone knows that he's a shill for the White House. They must have promised him another book.

Posted by: Lilly | April 9, 2006 08:02 PM

To leave such a incendiary editorial unsigned is unconscionable. What's happened to the Post?

When Bush and Co. attack Iran and/or Venezuela (October surprise, anyone?) will your paper continue to bloviate?

Posted by: I Don't Recognize My Country | April 9, 2006 08:02 PM

See my handle? That's right, Vienna local, as in Vienna, VA--as in, I subscribe to your
paper. Should you wish to keep that subscription, you would do well to release Fred Hiatt and Deborah Howell to the Washington Times where they belong.

Posted by: vienna local | April 9, 2006 08:04 PM

Please retract Hiatt's editorial, "A Good Leak."

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 08:05 PM

Since the Key Judgements of the NIE did not list the uranium claim, it's clear the VP ordered Libby to lie to a reporter about national intelligence. This was an effort to cover the administration's collective hiney.

Your editorial defended this blatant abuse of power. I hope the writer of this piece of garbage has the decency to resign. At this point it's the patriotic thing to do. Go home, putter in your garden, enjoy your retirement. Just stop hurting America.

Posted by: TheOtherWA | April 9, 2006 08:08 PM


Posted by: REDJB | April 9, 2006 08:08 PM

"A Good Leak?" is a rip roaring embarrassment to whomever wrote this.

What has happened to the days when the Washington Post was an accountable newpaper?

What has happened to accountability? Is anonymity a shield against bombast?

The whole, complete premise of the editorial is based upon lies and distortions.

It is simply incredible that this unsigned piece of garbage is being used to represent what The Washington Post stands for.

For shame.
For shame.

Fred Hiatt, hang your head in shame.

Posted by: Barry O | April 9, 2006 08:10 PM

Fred Hiatt just pulled his pants down and mooned America

Posted by: shpilk | April 9, 2006 08:12 PM

The only good leak is one that protects the country's citizens, not an administration's political agenda.

Recall the Washington Post's direct line to Ken Starr? The WaPo got fat on Starr leakage. The editorial board is objectively pro-leak.

Aprčs Woodward, le deluge.

Posted by: masculine_monica_nyc | April 9, 2006 08:13 PM


Your general contention that leaking by Presidents benefits the public is a confusing idea which your reasoning quite understandably fails to support, given its contorted nature. Your specific contention that selectively leaking NIE material in the context of the Iraq war and the ongoing Plame affair had any benefit to our country is the print journalism equivalent of a Salvador Dali painting.

If you believe what you wrote, you're literally flirting with insanity. If you don't believe what you wrote, you're flirting with something even worse than that.

Posted by: MarcLord | April 9, 2006 08:14 PM

There is NO equivalency between the selective leaking of politically advantageous albeit debunked intelligence and the bureaucratic process of declassification in the interests of the public's right to know.

Except in the lunatic worldview of the writer of today's Washington Post editorial.

And that lunatic world view sounds suspiciously to me like that shown by Bob Woodward on Larry King. Could be Fred but my money is on Bob for this bilge.

Posted by: AJ | April 9, 2006 08:16 PM

the chitchat around the Post will be amusing on Monday about the massive public embarrassment of the Lead Editorial being punked the same day by the Lead News Story. Have fun, guys !

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 9, 2006 08:19 PM

I'm sorry, I stumbled by this blog looking for a credible newspaper that people still take seriously. My mistake.

Can someone direct me to the Toledo Blade blog? Thanks.

Posted by: chris | April 9, 2006 08:25 PM

Ah, your "Leak" editorial reminds me of the wonderful work of Pravda back in the good old Breshnev days. Yes, you deserve a "Hero of the Bushevik Union" medal.

Posted by: Nikita | April 9, 2006 08:26 PM

If President Bush meant to declassify the NIE, why did he not go through the standard route of having a subordinate call a press conference to announce that the report was now declassified, and hand out copies to reporters?

Because he wished only to release those parts that (erroneously) supported the invasion.

Evidently, now, if the President reveals a secret, presto! The classified is no longer classified. This means that under no circumstances can a President violate any secret, because once the formerly-secret things issue from his mouth, why they are instantly declassified. A neat trick.

That is, if Mr. Bush were to read aloud on prime time television the entire Non-Official Cover list of the CIA, that would be no crime. Stupid, yes; but not a crime, if we follow the current GOP position on instantaneous declassification.

I suspect that at least a few jurists in this country might not agree with the Nixon theory of ex post facto legalization, namely, if the President says it, it is no longer classified.

Posted by: David Derbes | April 9, 2006 08:26 PM

One can only hope that the WAPO management will clean house. The opinion editors must remain in certain bounds, I presume. For instance, they can't blatantly lie to make a case for an opinion. I could understand a conservative republican making a case for leaking the NIE estimate (even though, of course, Libby lied even while leaking), but that case would have to confront the facts, not obscure them, skew them, or simply inverse them. That is a misuse of the resources of the Washington Post. I can't imagine that Fred Hiatt is good, any longer, for this paper.

Posted by: roger | April 9, 2006 08:27 PM

There is a certain presumption of competence that we have in our institutions and its leaders. Sadly, that presumption is misplaced. The Post was for me the icon on government accountability. A paper you could trust to provide an objective read on Washington. No more. What is going on there? It is so sad. I never thought I was that naive that these interests were so aligned as to be without objectivity, but perhaps so. These supposedly wise and experienced persons are cowards and in the can with the rest of the lemmings who continue to make excuses for the fools running our government. I can't believe this is our country. At long last have some courage. What is everyone so afraid of?

Posted by: kevin costello | April 9, 2006 08:31 PM

Today's editorial titled "A good leak" was a 5-paragraph piece of disinformation which contained lies ranging from "wilson said that Cheney sent him to Niger" to "Fitzgerald thinks there is no evidence to suggest there was not a concerted effort to discredit Wilson". Fortunately, The editorial was so bad that it ignored the news article publish by the same Washington Post the same day, providing evidence that the White House carefully planned to smear Mr. Wilson.
This is arguably the worst editorial ever made by the WAPO.

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 08:33 PM

I'm sorry to write again. I forgot to DEMAND THE DISCLOSURE of the name of whoever wrote this so-called editorial.

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 08:34 PM

James L. Preston
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Please Mr. Post, Man!
An Open Letter to the Washington Post Editorial Board

The Editorial Board,

The Post editorial page presented what might be considered the best possible case for the Bush administration's selective leaking of classified intelligence to bolster it's case for the Iraq invasion in "A Good Leak"(April 9, 2006). It is not clear exactly what the motives are for the Post to defend this president, but the tactics that the Post has chosen go so far from the boundaries of reasonable debate that I am forced to assume that the editorial page is simply afraid of the consequences of the American people asking the administration to start taking responsibility for their actions. Let's take a look at the Post editorial alongside a few other plausible versions of the events to see if the story, as told by the Post, really rises to the merits of inclusion on the editorial page.

We'll skip the headline and sub-headline, and move right to the first paragraph of the editorial:
"President Bush was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling."

To begin with, the President did not "approve the declassification", so the Post has opted for dishonesty in the first sentence. Through Mr. Cheney or Mr. Bush, Scooter Libby was "authorized" to dish out limited segments of the NIE to Judith Miller and others. I have read that this ňüdishingňý involved Mr. Libby sitting down with Ms. Miller and pulling a folded piece of paper from his pocket, telling her that it was a portion of the classified NIE, and then ostensibly reading some of it to her or describing its' contents before returning it to his pocket. We know that Mr. Libby's characterization of the document to Ms. Miller was far from accurate, that contradictory information was withheld, and that the entire document was not given to Ms. Miller for verification. To call this a "clumsy release" as the Post has done, is truly the height of editorial irresponsibility. It would more appropriately be called a very artful and cleverly calculated release of carefully selected information to the journalist whose entire career was built around promoting fears of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. To trumpet, as the administration has, that the full document was publicly released a week later, is disingenuous, at best. A week later, pundits, the administration, and the media can toss off questions about the report as "old news". Also implicit in the Post's statement, and explicit in the editorial's headline is the assumption that the NIE was the basis of, or had influenced the President's decision to go to war in Iraq. Let's go back and look at the Post's Op-Ed "What I Knew Before the Invasion" by Former Senator Bob Graham on Nov. 20, 2005. Graham was the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the run-up to the Iraq war. Here's what Graham wrote:
"At a meeting of the Senate intelligence committee on Sept. 5, 2002, CIA Director George Tenet was asked what the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) provided as the rationale for a preemptive war in Iraq. An NIE is the product of the entire intelligence community, and its most comprehensive assessment. I was stunned when Tenet said that no NIE had been requested by the White House and none had been prepared. Invoking our rarely used senatorial authority, I directed the completion of an NIE.

Tenet objected, saying that his people were too committed to other assignments to analyze Saddam Hussein's capabilities and will to use chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons. We insisted, and three weeks later the community produced a classified NIE."

It is worthwhile to note that this activity in September of 2002 occurred eight months after Graham had learned that the war in Afghanistan was being compromised by preparations for the Iraq invasion. To my knowledge, nobody has disputed any of Graham's claims. Does the Post dispute the fact that the NIE was produced long after the decision to invade had already been made? With what justification does the Post claim that the President used the information in the NIE to decide on the war?

The Post editorial the goes on about "usual declassification procedures" and the ham-handedness of the administration, but let's stay on the topic of the NIE for a moment. Graham describes it as follows:

"There were troubling aspects to this 90-page document. While slanted toward the conclusion that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction stored or produced at 550 sites, it contained vigorous dissents on key parts of the information, especially by the departments of State and Energy. Particular skepticism was raised about aluminum tubes that were offered as evidence Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. As to Hussein's will to use whatever weapons he might have, the estimate indicated he would not do so unless he was first attacked.

Under questioning, Tenet added that the information in the NIE had not been independently verified by an operative responsible to the United States. In fact, no such person was inside Iraq. Most of the alleged intelligence came from Iraqi exiles or third countries, all of which had an interest in the United States' removing Hussein, by force if necessary."

So, the report had plenty of dissenting information in the NIE. How much of this information did Libby share with Miller? How much of it was in Bush's State of the Union Address? Of course, the Post and many pundits will claim that everybody points out the facts that bolster their argument. That is probably true, but I would prefer that the debate be held on considerably higher ground when the issue is whether or not to take the nation to war. Does the Post disagree?

Now let's see what Murray Waas of the National Journal says about it in "What Bush Was Told About Iraq" on March 2, 2006.
"The first report, delivered to Bush in early October 2002, was a one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate that discussed whether Saddam's procurement of high-strength aluminum tubes was for the purpose of developing a nuclear weapon.
Among other things, the report stated that the Energy Department and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research believed that the tubes were "intended for conventional weapons," a view disagreeing with that of other intelligence agencies, including the CIA, which believed that the tubes were intended for a nuclear bomb. "

There are a couple of striking things about this description of the NIE and its' presentation to Bush. Did Bush read to whole NIE? No, he perused a one-page executive summary. Not only did the administration refuse to debate the merits of the upcoming invasion on the facts, out in the open, the President himself could not even be bothered to read a 96-page report. At this point, to call the President's subsequent unleashing of Libby to feed information to Miller a "Good Leak" is truly an outrageous claim. Why would the Post choose this position?
Getting back to the Post editorial, the second paragraph concludes with the acquiescent "Nevertheless, Mr. Cheney's tactics make Mr. Bush look foolish for having subsequently denounced a different leak in the same controversy and vowing to 'get to the bottom' of it' ". Well, at least we are glad that the Post realizes that the President ňülooks foolishňý. I could think of stronger words, but I really don't think that this is the issue at the heart of the matter. Does the Post really think that the important thing about the Iraq invasion is how the President "looks"? This is the impression that I am getting more and more both in the Post and in many other media outlets.
In the third paragraph the Post moves on to a narrative of Joe Wilson's "absurdly over-examined visit to the African country of Niger in 2002". The Post claims that "Each time the case surfaces, opponents of the war in Iraq use it to raise a different set of charges." The different sets of charges that the Post would like to attribute to the opponents of the war are that the administration ňütwisted the intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threatňý and that the CIA undercover status of Wilson's wife Valerie Plame was revealed to punish or discredit Wilson for his ňüsupposed whistle-blowingňý. Does the Post want to assert that the intelligence was not ňütwistedňý? As Lindsey Graham said to John Dean earlier this month, "Give me a break!" As Graham clearly explained, all of the intelligence came from people who had a vested interest in the invasion, none of it came from US sources inside Iraq, and dissenting views of the Iraqi threat were minimized. The administration even had created a new office, Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans, for the express purpose of selling the Iraq invasion to the American people. Cheney is reported to have remarked about some of the intelligence they obtained that "this is much better than the stuff coming out of the CIA". Better in what sense, Mr. Cheney? The Post would do well to remember exactly how many of 550 sites that we were so sure contained WMD were found to contain any. The answer is zero. To say that the opponents of the war are the actors in this play who are guilty of chasing "different sets of charges" goes beyond irresponsibility to the point of insulting the intelligence of your readers. The Post also asserts that the disclosure of Plame's identity was not done to discredit Wilson but to "disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney." The Post attributes this explanation to the Special Prosecutor in the Plame case, Patrick Fitzgerald. The details get fairly muddy here, and the Post naturally chooses an interpretation of the events and possible motives that strengthens their argument, but the does the Post really want to make the claim that Libby was doing the only honorable thing by outing a CIA agent? Okay, we'll move along.
The Post concludes the editorial with the paragraph:
"As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out at the time of Mr. Libby's indictment last fall, none of this is particularly relevant to the question of whether the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus. It's unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision."
That is not at all what Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out last fall. What Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out was that his office was not tasked with, nor was it authorized to, make judgments about the run-up to the war. That would be an appropriate job for, well, the editorial board of a major newspaper, for example. So, does the Post think that the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus? Go ahead, we'll give you a do-over. For you, who were so wrong about so much during the run-up to the war to insult us again in your final sentence is appalling. Libby passing half-baked intelligence to Judy Miller now passes as "releasing for public review"? I disagree. You call Libby's misrepresentations of the contents of the NIE a release of "some of the intelligence (Bush) used in making his momentous decision."? In retrospect, does the Post think that George W. Bush was even qualified, much less adequately informed, to make this momentous decision that has cost thousands of lives with absolutely no end in sight? Does the Post think that Mr. Bush used the information in the NIE in making this decision? Please answer the questions!
There were many, many people in Congress, in universities, in the public square, in the intelligence community, and probably even in the military who were willing to debate the decision to invade Iraq during the run-up to the war. Did the administration engage with any of them in good faith, or did they belittle their motives, intellect, worldliness, and patriotism? I remember it well, and I do not plan on forgiving their smug condescension anytime soon. If the Post had had the sense to report on the realities of the difficult situation in Afghanistan, then a lot more people would have realized how unlikely it was that the Iraq invasion would work out as predicted by the administration.
I am disappointed in the Post. When George Will, Charles Krauthammer, or E.J. Dionne writes a column that stretches the truth and assumes an extreme level of gullibility in their readers, at least their names are attached to their misleading statements. For the Post to anonymously make the kind of bizarre and ultimately false arguments that you have made in this editorial is truly irresponsible. In conclusion, I have to ask, Why? I would like to offer the possible explanations that I can come up with.
The first possibility is that this is "just the way Washington works", and those of us who don't enjoy being lied to all the time just aren't big enough to play. If that is the case, then I just don't understand the Post's concept of the role of the newspaper. Do you not consider it part of your charter to distinguish fact from fiction? Another possibility is that you think that supporting the President's spurious legal "right to declassify" will help you to maintain your access to the administration. I think that the President has a much more important moral responsibility to be considerably more truthful with the American people than he has been, as does the Post. Another possibility is that the Post sees the credibility of the President eroding rapidly, and has taken an arguably noble stand to support the office of the presidency as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney do their best to destroy it. I don't support this position, but I do understand it. After all, it is hard to imagine what might happen if the President's approval rating were to slip to Mr. Cheney's tasty 18%. Granted, it might not be pretty, but I think you would find something to write about. What other reasons could there be? The only one that I can come up with is one that I would rather not introduce, but I think it needs to be proposed. Is it the case that in the final analysis, the Post editorial board sees the United States of America as a foreign policy arm of Israel? If so, then I wish you would state it more openly. If Israel would like to become the fifty-second state (after DC) then we can probably work something out, as long as they would be willing to live under the US constitution.
Those are the plausible motives that I can discern for the Post's strange position on the Libby case, the support for the President's selective leaking, and the current impasse with Iran, which could certainly be improved with a little real diplomacy, instead of Mr. Bush's preferred "Do everything I want or else I'll invade you." technique. It is clear that an honest assessment of the situation is not your motive. What is it? Please Mr. Post, Man! Answer the question!!
James Preston
Silver Spring, MD

Posted by: Jim Preston | April 9, 2006 08:35 PM

I lived in Washington DC for four years working for a member of Congress between 1989 and 1993. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, people asked me what I missed most about living in DC, and I would reply that I missed The Washington Post. I missed having a great paper that did real reporting on important events worldwide.

I have actually felt fortunate that I have only had to witness the decline of the Post from a distance, from a smart, incisive, journalistic powerhouse to a steno service for Washington power brokers. And today you guys have clearly lost what has remained of your credibility.

As many have commented, it is very difficult to take a newspaper seriously whose editorial writers clearly do not respect their own colleagues enough to read their own newspaper.

It's sad, and I'm sorry to see this happen to a formerly great organization.

Posted by: Katy Warren | April 9, 2006 08:36 PM

Thank you for continuing to provide absurdist-in-the-extreme humor in your newspaper. I have missed Monty Python these past thirty years. It gives me great pleasure to see the Washington Post resurrecting Dead Parrot sketch-type humor on their editorial page. Keep pining for the fields and pushing up those daisies.

I expect Fred Hiatt to join Jim Brady any minute now in a Viking helmet to sing us a rousing tune about spam, spam, bacon, eggs, spam and spam.

Posted by: BThwaite | April 9, 2006 08:37 PM

Nice work on "A Good Leak". And don't think that we didn't notice.

After reading the front of the paper, we all thought that you deserved a little time in the penalty box and that for a few months we would deny Bart et. al (and maybe even "Big Woody", though he's more of a fixture than a reporter around here! Ha Ha!) any access to the inner sanctum.

Fred, while to most folks unaquainted with the way the news businees is done in this town, it looks like you put a puff piece where an editorial usually goes, those who understand the reality on the ground, see the wisdom of the help you are giving the Administration. I know that I and all of the staff over here at 1600 sure do!

You really went out on a limb with that editorial and, while your credibility as a newspaper will be driven to an all time low, your readers will get over it. But, as you know, we always remember.

And we won't shut down your access because of that horrid little front page story "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic". (Fred, what were you THINKING when you let that go out??? You should know that David A. is still steaming about that one so you might want to stay clear of him for a little while.)

Anyway, thanks again for that great editorial.

(p.s. Will I be seeing you at Melman's little "cocktail" party on thursday night? Would be great to see you there.)

Posted by: Karl R. | April 9, 2006 08:38 PM

many employees at the Washington Post must know who wrote "A Good Leak". If any of them are reading these comments: how about a REAL good leak? At least the honest employees should be allowed to distance themselves from that crap.

Posted by: jexter | April 9, 2006 08:40 PM

That's a really impressive editorial Fred wrote there. Really accurate. Fred would make an excellent choice for the conservative blogger you're looking for, if he can add a bit of plagiarism to his bs versions of the facts. Maybe he can try ripping off Powerline, although that editorial looks like he already did. I'm sure your ombudsman will jump all over him over this outrage.

Posted by: harry | April 9, 2006 08:41 PM

This is more than an "opinion" piece.

"In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium"

In fact, huh?

It would be one thing for an editorial to articulate an opinion on a controverisal subject. But it's another to lie and then dress that lie up as fact.

The Post is so far from having any integrity left and so far from having a conscience to even care. How can anybody self respecting even work there?

Posted by: Pointed Head | April 9, 2006 08:44 PM

Someone at the Post please knock the shovel out of Fred Hiatt's hands. His hole's now large enough to accomodate the whole editorial staff.

Posted by: dano347 | April 9, 2006 08:44 PM

It shouldn't be a shocker that the op-ed page takes no notice of the rest of the paper. But it is, again and again, over and over.

Posted by: Michael | April 9, 2006 08:45 PM

Inching ever closer into Washington Times territory.

So much egg, so little face.

Posted by: shingles | April 9, 2006 08:45 PM

F arcical propaganda,
R uined reputation,
E ditors taking
D ictation from Rove.

H ow low can you fall?
I nsane rationalizations
A bsurd explanations
T wisted journalism
T ortured truth

Posted by: Mac Rostic | April 9, 2006 08:46 PM

how very sad,..

Posted by: joe_is_in_the_room_54 | April 9, 2006 08:47 PM

A modest team building proposal:
Have Howell & Brady "trade jobs for a day" with a couple of their reporters. (You know, Pickus & others that actually know things, rather than just names on Brady's wingnut rolodex). Call the locksmith, change the keys, and make it permanent.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 08:47 PM

A "Good Leak"? Please don't insult your readers!!
We continue to hear our government is short on human intelligence in the "War on Terror". If a NOC can be outed for political purposes, why should anyone aspire to, or remain at, the CIA?
It appears our entire government has become a mechanism for corporate corruption and cronyism...whatever the longterm cost to our way of life. Why fight to bring democracy to Iraq when ours is failing? The ediorial page writers of the WaPoare unindicted conspirators in all of this. Just how much power does Bob Woodward have? (more than he should, that's for sure)

This is simply disgusting.

Posted by: Did want to work for the CIA | April 9, 2006 08:48 PM

Of course, now I understand after reading Mr. Hiatt's WAPO Bio. He lived in Moskow for several years where he must have interned at Pravda in order to refine his propaganda, party shill skills. Way to go, Hero of the Bushevik Union nominee.

Posted by: Nikita | April 9, 2006 08:50 PM

It is quite the day when I go from reading this in the Washington Post:

One striking feature of that decision -- unremarked until now, in part because Fitzgerald did not mention it -- is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before.

To reading this:

It's unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.


The Washington Post editorial board has absolutely no credibility left.

Posted by: Jane Conroy | April 9, 2006 08:50 PM

Since Bush was appointed, I thought the WaPo had been trying to merge w/ the Wash Times. But seeing how Brady can't read the front page of his own paper, maybe the merger is with the WSJ. Both have a few strong investigative reporters AND wildy delusional wingnuts running the editorial page.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 08:52 PM

When will these froth-flinging Leftish tools 'get it', to use the common parlance?

The venerated Washington Post is above such trivialities as so-called 'objective factual research' prior to editorialization, owing to the far more pressing concern of generating advertising revenue of sufficient magnitude so that all stakeholders can luxuriate in a 'Scrooge McDuck'-style frolic in a swimming pool filled with lucre, after which Jeeves will serve caviar burritos and thimbles of Sherry.

Such communistic claptrap as so-called 'good journalism' fails to address the solipsistic realities of life in the 21st century...The huddled masses must be taught that there is no such thing as 'free breathing' as long as they insist on driving to the welfare office in Lexuses bled from taxpayer's largesse.

Please, Washington Post, minimise this pernicious 'reality-based' reporting , as it is interfering with the correct perception of wholesome all-American content such as your 'A Good Leak' editorial...We must reduce the antiquated '5 W's' to their proper number...One.

W.! W.! W.!


Christian White

Posted by: Christian White | April 9, 2006 08:53 PM

May we please have the ombudsman write a column about whether, after this, Fred Hiatt should still have a job?

Posted by: Brad DeLong | April 9, 2006 08:54 PM

Fred Hiatt's editorial, "A Good Leak, is a BAD Editorial.

Horrible is a better word.
Atrocious pile of offal is probably closer.

Posted by: brendan | April 9, 2006 08:57 PM

Have you heard when the White House is going to present you with your "Offical Republican Pet Rock Pundit" paperweight award? I hear they have a lovely cold buffet afterwards.

Posted by: Rubber Soul | April 9, 2006 08:59 PM

How about putting the Sunday editorials in a separate section like Sunday Source or the Sunday Comics. Or better yet, under the Names and Places column in the Style section. Then one could better shrug off todays laughable disconnect of the editorial board.

Posted by: RLM | April 9, 2006 08:59 PM

Good Grief!

The Washington Post has become a comedy media during these past few years. Fred Hiatt's op-ed this morning is the final proof!

As a voting, registered moderate republican, retired clergyman, I find it tragic that a paper which once held high respect has become the United States Comedy Tabloid Reader.

I am of the opinion that the Washington Post has become The National Comedy Tabloid because it is financially desperate for readers. In a miss-guided philosophy, it believes it can be ALL THINGS TO ALL READERS!

Hello? Is anyone home at the Washington Post?

Posted by: Suedmeyer | April 9, 2006 08:59 PM

"In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium"

In fact, huh?

In fact. In fact.

In fact.

The writer of that steaming turd "A Good Leak" should be made to write:

"'In fact' actually means something."

1,000 times in front of actual journalists.

(thanks, Pointed Head.)

Posted by: jexter | April 9, 2006 09:01 PM

Dear Sirs,

I have read The Washington Post all my life. I have read avidly your Sunday Editorials along with all the news items in your paper and now your web site.

Today I read your editorial entitled "A Good Leak". I am still scratching my head about the position your paper has taken on this.

As I understand it, you are suggesting that the President was correct to selectively leak/declassify the NEI to Judy Miller. You indicate mild displeasure with Mr. Cheney for the way the leak happened. I am certainly no journalist, but a couple of basic things stand out:

When the president declassifies, it is usually given to the public. When he gives only information that would boost his case to one reporter that is called leaking and playing politics. This much should be obvious to you.
This leak was part and parcel of the drumbeat to war where a pattern of leaks designed to influence public opinion was deliberately orchestrated by the WHIG. To pretend otherwise may be expected from the White House, but coming from The Washington Post editors is simply bizarre.
It would have been preferable to release this opinion piece of yours under the byline of one of your columnists/editors rather than under the banner of the Washington Post. As it is, it stands as an embarrassment to this fine newspaper and the many hard working journalist who toil on its behalf (especially in light of the featured article today in your paper that debunks some of the central assertions in the editorial).

The reputation of your paper was damaged today. I recognize that the editorial board has opinions to express, but when those opinions fly in the face of the facts and ignore the motivations of the primary players in the drama, it appears blatantly partisan and sycophantic. I expected more from this paper I grew up with. Today was a blow to American journalism and The Washington Post.

Posted by: Mash | April 9, 2006 09:01 PM

what a pure STUPID editorial by Hiatt--where's he been for the past yr or so? Doing Cheney's garden or something? Does he even read his own paper's front page? As the Post's reporters seem to be cathcing on to the Bushites. Pathetic!!

Posted by: al Spafford | April 9, 2006 09:02 PM

Plain to see the writer of "A Good Leak" was not one to be constrained by pesky facts. Is this finally the bottom for the Washington Post or are we yet to see it? I'm almost afraid to ask.

Posted by: ejw | April 9, 2006 09:03 PM

Lčse-majesté is only a crime in a country with a king.

Mr. Bush is an elected official. The Washington Post is a daily newspaper. Neither he nor anyone who works for your paper is above criticism, although you wouldn't know it from the increasingly hysterical reaction to it.

I'm kind of amused by this level of how-DARE-you-question-ME? hauteur from jumped-up service providers (particularly service providers who haven't done a particularly good job of providing service lately).

Mr. Bush lied. Your paper, including one of your top editors, actively covered it up.

I doubt you're ashamed, but you should be.

Posted by: Julia | April 9, 2006 09:04 PM

Can Bush be accused of leaking?

Can I be accused of stealing my own car?

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 09:07 PM,2763,999737,00.html,,1700836,00.html

"A Good Leak" exposing a CIA agent and lots of double-talk and placid concern for our boys and girls - 2400 plus now dead!

Hubris is going to get them and the list is long. Colin Powell, I hope he cannot sleep at night. I didn't believe any of this at first.

I applaud Ambassador Wilson, a true American hero, who dared to tell the truth. He was even honored by GHW Bush.

The Fear of being exposed of lying to the American people about going to WAR is getting to them. The lies have caught up with them and their crediability is in the tank.

The Brits even go so far as to assert the possibility of Cheney - behind the forging of the Niger documents -- more to come in tomorrow's paper.

An editorial opinion and a lawyer contacting every MSM outlet to CYA Bush, only to start the pepper spraying of Cheney.

Call and fax your legislators -- they want to get re-elected - their allegiance will only go so far. BE sure to tell Kyl, from Arizona that he was lying like a two-fisted ten year old with his hands in the cookie jar on The Late Edition this morning.

Guess he got his list of fibs from the Rove House, but didn't have time to practice them, or just forgot to read the memo, "Watch your body language when you tell lies on CNN on the Lord's Day".

Oh yea, you would like this drumbeat with all that oxycontin you popped today - response to Limbaugh Letter above.

Posted by: Maeme | April 9, 2006 09:10 PM

When I was a schoolboy long ago, I remember reading serious theological treatises dealing with how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. These passages came rushing back to me with a vengeance as I watched last Friday's "press gaggle" at the White House, and as I read your pages today.

All the "distinctions without a difference" that Scott McLellan and you, in that vapidly sycophantic apologia in the Washington Post today, touted, are similarly void of meaning and are a shameful waste of time and ink. Except in yours/McLellan's/the Bush Administration's case, all those inanities are also deeply unpatriotic, disgraceful and worthy of censure.

Whoever wrote that slavish faux-editorial should be explicitly named and should post-haste be carrying Ben Domenech's bags towards journalistic oblivion.

And, far more importantly: Ayone working in the White House who committed or abetted the Federal Crime of exposing a CIA asset for crass political purposes, exposing her and her colleagues to mortal danger and vitiating years of their valuable and potentially crucial (but now we'll never know -- convenient, isn't it?) work on arms proliferation, should be investigated, indicted, convicted, fired and imprisoned. If the appropriate penalty for some is impeachment and removal from office, bring it on, and let's roll.

For shame, WaPo. At long last, have you no decency left?

America, wake from your slumber and demand the truth! It will again set us free. Nothing else ever could, or ever will.

Posted by: S.O.S. in MA | April 9, 2006 09:10 PM

After reading today's "A Good Leak" editorial, I have but one observation:

Newspaper editorials are supposed to be NON-FICTION, i.e., based on actual facts that can be validated, instead of on spin, hearsay, and outright mendacity.

I thought your editors might have learned that fundamental concept back in journalism school, but apparently not.

Posted by: Cieran | April 9, 2006 09:12 PM

Let's not pretend that the Washington Post cares about what we think and say here. They're serving other masters and don't have time for their readers, especially those who, like me, only read them on the Internet (I won't pay for a paper that has such a corrupted moral compass when it comes to lying to support the powerful).

I'm happy to use their server to talk to people I like, but I'm not going to excercise myself because they could care less about right, wrong, and readers.

Posted by: PopeRatzo | April 9, 2006 09:17 PM

A good leak? A good cover-up is more like it.

Posted by: femmedem | April 9, 2006 09:19 PM

It is stunning that this newspaper has such contempt for the public that the editorial "Good Leak" could appear in its pages. You must think your readers are fools. Sooner or later you will no longer be able to avoid the fact that there are a great many Americans who are on to your game. I will be very glad when that happens.

Posted by: Nightprowlkitty | April 9, 2006 09:20 PM

How can anyone believe in the Post's credibility after their editorial on Bush's selective and political leaks of classified information? If you are going to defend Bush, admit that this is wrong, but part of the game. Call it what it is; don't pretend it is noble and in the public interest. This is just disappointing and crazy. VandeHei is in bed with Scooter Libby's defense team. We all know about Woodward's highly unethical poo-pooing of the Plame leak matter when he was involved, and failed to disclose it.

The Post is not credible on this issue. How can it be credible on anything else?

Posted by: Joel | April 9, 2006 09:20 PM

"Can Bush be accused of leaking?

Can I be accused of stealing my own car?"

You can if it's actually OUR car. Bush didn't leak the name of HIS non-official cover CIA operative; he leaked the name of OUR non-official cover CIA operative.

Posted by: jexter | April 9, 2006 09:23 PM

Why does the Post have an editorial page staffed by people who don't read newspapers?

Maybe they aspire to higher office?

Anyway I don't mind really. I'll read the paper ... so you don't have to.

Posted by: AA | April 9, 2006 09:26 PM

Wapo is now totally the shrill voice of incompetence, you have degraded yourselves into the realm of trash. The only reason people read you is to see what tripe you're printing, to sit aghast at the drivel. Wapo is evidence of the lie that the media is left wing - support the Nation not the morons running it - we'll be here long after they will and probably this publication - infact put yourself up for sale and get out quick.

Posted by: dick | April 9, 2006 09:27 PM

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

I suggest encouraging reporters to report the fascts, the ombudsman to report the facts, and the editorial writers to be familiar with the facts.

WAPO needs the journalism refresher courses that are the equivalent of the White House ethics refresher course.

Oh, and they need the journalism ethics refresher course, too.

Posted by: Art | April 9, 2006 09:31 PM

May I suggest?
"A Good Leak...On The Truth"
No matter how you spin this some one at the highest levels of our Executive Branch outed a CIA agent during a time of war. This, Mr. Hiatt, is an act of treason.
You make yourself look foolish trying to make this event into something legitimate when the resulting propganda cost lives and untold damage to the CIA.

Posted by: mkelch | April 9, 2006 09:33 PM

For the right's views of what constitutes "good" versus "bad" leaks from the likes of Rich Lowry, Michelle Malkin, John Gibson, Bill Bennett, Bill Frist, John Cornyn and more, see:
"GOP Cornered on Bush Leak."

Posted by: Avenger | April 9, 2006 09:33 PM

As a former employee of TWP for four years and a subscriber for many years since then I was saddened by today's lead editorial.

That such blatant nonsense, so categorically debunked by the paper's own reporting (on the same day!), could be allowed into print is very nearly beyond belief.

A once-great paper has lost its way, and lost a subscriber.

Posted by: Rob Pitzer, Arlington Virginia | April 9, 2006 09:34 PM

Please reconsider today's erroneous editorial on the President's 'right to selectively de-classify information."

It is cheating to de-classify only that which supports your position -- particularly when it harms a CIA operative.

YOUR EDITORIAL CLAIMS, for example: PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.

But President Bush falsely claimed that Saddam was seeking nuclear weapons and was acquiring uranium (in Mr. Bush's State of the Union) -- even though Valerie Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, saidhat the administration exaggerated its claims about Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium.

Moreover, NOBODY ever said that Wilson or his wife ever asked Cheney to be sent to Iraq to check those claims -- yet your editorial still relies on that canard.

President Bush selectively released information about Valerie Plame to PUNISH her husband for rebutting his false claims. I am astonished that the Post would consider that action justified.

M. Selk
Albany CA

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 09:35 PM

The government is overrun with embezzlers and thieves (note the few trillion missing from the Pentagon), the criminal Straussian neocons plan to restructure American society and warp its once lofty ideals (already seriously eroded through neoliberal globalism) via economic strangulation and perpetual conflict.

Posted by: Galaxian | April 9, 2006 09:42 PM

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: WaPo's front page debunks WaPo's editorial page!

For coverage of how WaPo contradicts itself, check out these much better publications:

Memo to Fred Hiatt: We're onto you.

Posted by: GJ | April 9, 2006 09:45 PM

Dear Mr. Hiatt,

I read the Washington Post at the dining table in front of my kids.

When reading your paper, I expect not to find such shameless acts of whoring on your pages. If I wanted to see the sex acts with Karl Rove, I would be subscribing to the Washington Times.

Thank you.

Posted by: anon | April 9, 2006 09:45 PM

Good Leak ?

Outed CIA officer was working on Iran, intelligence sources say
Larisa Alexandrovna
Published: February 13, 2006

The unmasking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson by White House officials in 2003 caused significant damage to U.S. national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program.


Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame's work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in "severe" damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA's ability to monitor nuclear proliferation.

Plame's team, they added, would have come in contact with A.Q. Khan's network in the course of her work on Iran.

While Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss has not submitted a formal damage assessment to Congressional oversight committees, the CIA's Directorate of Operations did conduct a serious and aggressive investigation, sources say.

Intelligence sources familiar with the damage assessment say that what is called a "counter intelligence assessment to agency operations" was conducted on the orders of the CIA's then-Deputy Director of the Directorate of Operations, James Pavitt.

Former CIA counterintelligence officer Larry Johnson believes that such an assessment would have had to be done for the CIA to have referred the case to the Justice Department.

"An exposure like that required an immediate operational and counter intelligence damage assessment," Johnson said. "That was done. The results were written up but not in a form for submission to anyone outside of CIA."

One former counterintelligence official described the CIA's reasons for not seeking Congressional assistance on the matter as follows: "[The CIA Leadership] made a conscious decision not to do a formal inquiry because they knew it might become public," the source said. "They referred it [to the Justice Department] instead because they believed a criminal investigation was needed."

The source described the findings of the assessment as showing "significant damage to operational equities."

Another counterintelligence official, also wishing to remain anonymous due to the nature of the subject matter, described "operational equities" as including both people and agency operations that involve the "cover mechanism," "front companies," and other CIA officers and assets.

Three intelligence officers confirmed that other CIA non-official cover officers were compromised, but did not indicate the number of people operating under non-official cover that were affected or the way in which these individuals were impaired. None of the sources would say whether there were American or foreign casualties as a result of the leak.

Several intelligence officials described the damage in terms of how long it would take for the agency to recover. According to their own assessment, the CIA would be impaired for up to "ten years" in its capacity to adequately monitor nuclear proliferation on the level of efficiency and accuracy it had prior to the White House leak of Plame Wilson's identity.

Posted by: Plame and Iran | April 9, 2006 09:46 PM

It may be of interest to review a statement by 4 CIA operatives, colleagues of Ms Plame, in October 2003. The stement is found at
The phrase which particularly caught my attention was the following:
Beyond supporting Mrs. Wilson with our moral support and prayers we want to send a clear message to the political operatives responsible for this. You are a traitor and you are our enemy. You should lose your job and probably should go to jail for blowing the cover of a clandestine intelligence officer.

Posted by: Andy G | April 9, 2006 09:48 PM

I have been a Wash Post subscriber since 1972 (by all means look it up). I will cancel my subscription this Friday unless the Post either provides convincing evidence supporting the Sunday editorial page's wrongheaded (bizarre?) conclusion about President Bush's rectitude in leaking selected porions of the NIE and about what Mr Wilson found, or apologizes for showing such
complete disregard for the facts and the intelligence of your readers.

Posted by: donn viviani | April 9, 2006 09:48 PM

Valerie Plame Leak Sabotaged America's Iran-Watching Intelligence Effort

An important and provocative report has just been published that suggests that Iran was the target of much of Valerie Plame's covert investigative work and that outing her identity had far worse consequences than has thus far been acknowledged.

This information also dovetails with information TWN has been digging up on Iran's interests in Niger uranium.

Posted by: Hiatt, Danger to US National Security | April 9, 2006 09:49 PM

Hey folks, get a grip. Can an editorial be "wrong"? It's a person's opinion and it does not have to match your own. I agree with the writer, but that does not make me a stooge for the Bush administration. I haven't received my 'Wingnut Payola Check' in several months.

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 09:51 PM

In the future, please leave the satire to Jon Stewart. His stuff is much funnier, and people don't take it seriously.

Posted by: WackoPo | April 9, 2006 09:52 PM

Was "A Good Leak" actally written by Ken Mehlman?

Seriously, does Mr Hiatt have a ghost writer in the White House? Because he either does not read his own paper or he does not read the editorials written under his name. Look at this absurd juxtapostion and tell me that Mr Hiatt is serious about the practice of journalism:

Hiatt: "PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons."

Washington Post: "One striking feature of that decision ... is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before."

Posted by: HeavyJ | April 9, 2006 09:53 PM

"A Good Leak" will haunt poor Fred Hiatt long after Patrick Fitzgerald finished his investigation. Complete idiocy, especially as your own reporters contradict Hiatt.

A good leak is when a government employee risks his own career to serve the public interest. Colleen Rawley comes to mind. Whoever at NSA finally went to the press about the secret abolition of the Fourth Amendment, for example.

Exposing one of our government's most loyal and valuable assets (and the network she built) because a politically inconvenient truth is being told, and lying while you do it, then lying that you did it at all - well, that's many things, but not a "good leak." I call it betrayal.

Posted by: Beth Caskie | April 9, 2006 09:53 PM

And I thought you couldn't fall any lower than with Ben the Plagiarist. Now you write an editorial that is simply a pack of lies tied up with pandering to the White House.
To top it off, your own reporters supply a blow-by-blow refutation in the very same issue.

You have gone from beyond incompetent to despicable. Have you no shame left? No honor?

You are just like the powers you're toadying up to.

God help save this Godforsaken country from the likes of YOU and of THEM.

Posted by: Simply amazed, you have no shame | April 9, 2006 09:54 PM

future ideas for Washington Post editorials:

"The Good Preemptive War"
"The Good 350 Billion Dollar Deficit"
"The Good Four Trillion Dollar Debt"
"The Good Faith Based Science"
"The Good Global Warming"
"The Good Loss of a Major American City"
"The Good Torture"

Posted by: Bonnie | April 9, 2006 09:54 PM

I thought I'd long since lost the capacity to be shocked by anything the media does. I majored in Communications - you know, journalists like Murrow, Cronkite . . .

I don't always agree with editorials but I can usually see the writer, however misguided in my estimation, has at the very most misinterpreted the facts to bolster the argument.

"A Good Leak", however, just says the opposite of truth and then builds its argument on that! Joe Wilson never said Cheney sent him to Niger. He said the CIA sent him in response to a request for information on the part of the veep's office. So nothing to debunk there, no need for leaks, good or otherwise.

Joe Wilson's report did not support the idea that Iraq sought to purchase uranium. In fact, it stated the opposite. The WaPo itself has had to apologize for misstating Wilson's assertion that IRAN had sought to buy uranium from Niger. Aparently all those "I" countries sound the same to the WaPo staff.

Fitzgerald's filings and statements are clear on the subject of motive: Cheney, et al, worked in concert to discredit Joe Wilson by leaking various classified information and making false assertions to gullible reporters like Judy Miller. Yet the WaPo editorial falsely asserts Fitzgerald found no evidence to support Wilson's assertion that this was the motive.

"A Good Leak" can't seem to distinguish between declassifying a document and cherry picking preliminary assertions (which were not considered credible in the final analysis) to falsely bolster a case built on a pack of lies.

For this paper, editorial or no, to blatantly LIE about so many things and misrepresent so many others is unconscionable.

Shame on your editorial staff and shame on you for printing their tripe. Go ahead and support this horrific president - but please use reality to back it up . . . if you can find anything real that does.

Posted by: delphine | April 9, 2006 09:54 PM

George Bush, A Slam Dunk Liar
by Larry Johnson
Sun Apr 9th, 2006 at 04:38:24 PM EST


The White House and Republican National Committee spin has been exposed now as a bald face lie. The CIA did not tell the President it was okay to say this. The told him it was wrong. What is it, Mr. President, about "baseless" that you do not understand?

And yet, despite being told by the CIA that the story was false, George Bush used the info in his State of the Union to build support for war. There is now no reason for any person of integrity to accuse Joe Wilson of lying. Moreover, the latest revelations, obtained from Patrick Fitzgerald's response to a filing by Scooter Libby's lawyers, show that there was an organized effort that included George Bush and Dick Cheney to smear Joe Wilson. Making matters worse, their effort ultimately exposed Valerie Wilson as an undercover CIA officer. Mr. Bush, have you no shame?

Instead of admitting their error, George Bush and Dick Cheney defamed Joe Wilson, destroyed Valerie's ability to serve as a clandestine CIA operative, and exposed a CIA front company. Why? Because Joe Wilson dared to tell the truth. God save us when our leaders decide to punish a citizen for telling the truth. And, at the end of the day, the President used these lies to take us to war. The survivors of the 2400 Americans who have died in Iraq deserve better from their President. I pray our members of Congress find the courage to punish the President and the Vice President for violating the trust the American people invested in them.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 09:55 PM

Andrew wrote: I agree with the writer, but that does not make me a stooge for the Bush administration.

Then, with all due respect, Andy, you're colossally misinformed.

You have an excuse: you're not in the news business. Fred's editorial is errant nonsense, contradicted by his own paper. Because he is in the news business, he can't plausibly plead ignorance. The next most likely explanation is that he's an administration shill.

Next after that is organic brain damage, which I'm also not ruling out.

Posted by: Califlander | April 9, 2006 09:58 PM

At least that ombudsman Ms. Howell showed some degree of class and apologized for lying about Democrats taking money from Jack Ripemoff. Will (S)Hiatt do the same?

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 09:59 PM

Fred Hiatt Takes A Good Leak.

Posted by: Mo | April 9, 2006 09:59 PM

How could one go about apologizing for an editorial like "A Good Leak?" I haven't read the news for two years? I had an aneurysm? Sadly, there is no acceptable excuse. Mr. Hiatt must now depart the Post. Check and mate.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 10:00 PM

Dear Mr. Hiatt:

Thank you for your fine work in putting the Plame story to rest, for once and for all.

Your Medal of Freedom is in the mail.


Posted by: Indict Bush for War Crimes | April 9, 2006 10:01 PM

...And the frothing continues: "He lied!" "Lie" "Liar liar pants on fire"
Bush will be in office until Jan '08. Meanwhile work on getting your person elected. But I gotta be honest, it's not looking good.

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 10:02 PM

Fred Hiatt has drunk the coolaid!

Posted by: Jim | April 9, 2006 10:03 PM

Whoever wrote "A Good Leak" should be fire immediately. Liars.

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 10:05 PM

I look forward to an update on today's editorial calling the Pretender in Chief on his actions damaging national security for his own political gain and calling for Congress to impeach him. I'm sure the logic behind this call will be impecable and the evidence is certainly there in your own news pages.

Posted by: Gord Brown | April 9, 2006 10:05 PM

The WaPo Editorial Board is a JOKE. You guys don't even read your own paper! You know, the caricature is that Washington is filled with elitists who don't actually have a clue as to what is going on in this country.

Guess What?! The Editors have no clue.

And to think... as a young, impressionable high-schooler I would read your paper from front to back. Now that I've gone to college, gotten my M.A. and am making it in the real world... I can think critically for myself. I know hypocrisy, dishonesty, and bull**** when I see it and don't feel the need to suck up to those in power. Amazing that the editors for the Washington Post can't say the same.

Posted by: TimW SilSpg, MD | April 9, 2006 10:08 PM

The President, any President, can declassify info at will. The administration, any administration, uses the press (among other media) to get their story out. Nothing new under the sun, folks.

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 10:09 PM

Tomorrow's top WAPO Sports headlines:

-Yankees beat Angels on the road.
-Yankees lose to Angels at home.

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 10:10 PM

Andrew, you're so funny!!! I seem to recall a chorus of "he lied" emanating from the repugnicans in the Capitol for several years. Apparently one type of lie is a "lie" and the other isn't.

By all means, conclude that outing a CIA can ever somehow be good for the country. Decide that leaking parts of the NEI (the parts that were later described as being unsubstantiated - i.e., false) to protect your ass. By all means find a way to support hiding memos so no one would know Bush knew the aluminum tubes weren't for nukes even while he insisted they were.


If you can find a way in your tiny mind to reconcile that with villifying a guy for getting a blow job, by all means.

We here aren't angry at the WaPo for disagreeing with us. We are shocked and disappointed because the editorial makes statements that are directly debunked on the front page of their own paper by their own investigative reporters. It restates falsehoods that have been debunked from a hundred different directions. It makes assertions about Fitzgerald that even his own words clearly show are incorrect.

All to make bush look good.

If you want to write an editorial in support of the president, by all means, go ahead. I hope the WaPo prints it. Please back it up with some truth, though. Please refrain from re-asserting stuff like "Wilson said Cheney sent him". He never said it. If you can manage to write an editorial that doesn't use lies to bolster your argument, I'll read it.

Posted by: delphine | April 9, 2006 10:10 PM

The Washington Post editorial/joke has been picked up by Editor and Publisher.

The Washington Post': At War With Itself
The newspaper's editorial page on Sunday declared Scooter Libby's notorious 2003 gift to reporters "The Good Leak." On the same paper's front page two reporters thoroughly debunked the notion.

'The Washington Post': At War With Itself
The newspaper's editorial page on Sunday declared Scooter Libby's notorious 2003 gift to reporters "The Good Leak." On the same paper's front page two reporters thoroughly debunked the notion.

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 10:15 PM

it's always more sorrow than anger that i feel at moments like this one. even if the post had written a good and truthful editorial it wouldn't make any difference to this most willful of administrations. but for those of us who grew up thinking of the post as valiant, there's something so squalid about seeing it turn craven.

thank heaven, then, that the news page at its best continues to uphold the idea that power should be questioned, not justified.

Posted by: robby | April 9, 2006 10:16 PM

We are all familiar with Grover Norquist's infamous quote on government:

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

A question: Is it the intent of the editors of The Washington Post and to do the same with its journalistic integrity?

I can think of no other reasonable assumption after the travesty of "truthiness" in Fred Hiatt's editorial. Do your editors actually *read* their own paper?

Am I being wildly optimistic that WaPo will stand up for integrity and honesty and issue a correction or apology?

Sadly, I think I am.

Posted by: RR | April 9, 2006 10:16 PM

They pay you folks to do what you've, no I don't mean the Republicans, though why not escapes me at the moment, I mean your employers?

Hello in there? If your listening I'd look for other work. You guys, if Hiatt is any example, aren't too good at this newspaper stuff.

Are you?

Posted by: A. Citizen | April 9, 2006 10:16 PM

I grew up reading the Post through the 70"s-Watergate and all. I am truely sickened by what the post has become.

Posted by: Herb | April 9, 2006 10:17 PM

The editorial waxing rhapsodic over the administration's "Good Leak" was a fabulous work of parody which must have had the office in stitches when it was circulated even as "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic" ran on the front page!! I'm afraid the poor fool who mistakenly put it in the REAL paper and on the REAL website is going to be looking for a job tomorrow, but, if it's the same person who authored the brilliant satire that was the editorial, she/he should have no trouble scoring a job over with Jon Stewart, writing lots more fake news!

Posted by: DeeLuzon | April 9, 2006 10:18 PM

Does anyone else find it strange that this line of slime didn't have a byline?

Makes me wonder if the author was proud of his "opinion" or not.

Posted by: Midori | April 9, 2006 10:20 PM

What has happened to this mighty paper? You were once a beacon of truth in a town of lies, now sadly, you have become part of the problem.

Why don't you just Copy and Paste the RNC talking points, just like the right wing blogs do?

Did you get a fax, threatening your families?

I don't understand how a news organization can justify lying to it's readership. You have just lost the last bit of credibility you had. Sad days in America.

Posted by: Joseph Sampson | April 9, 2006 10:22 PM

WaPo have you no shame?

Egregious stuff like this not only destroys reputation and credibility, it also destroys morale within the organization.

This is not a close call, or a mere difference of opinion. This is a shocking abuse of editorial prerogative.

Fire Fred and regain some credibility.

Posted by: Jim | April 9, 2006 10:23 PM

Hey remember a long time ago when one of those other presidents said "If the President does it its not illegal?". I think the ghost of Nixon is haunting us again. Hey editorial board, remember Watergate? Maybe you can get some memory pills from Senator Roberts.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 10:24 PM

I continue to subscribe to the Post only for local information that might be useful, but after today's truely idiotic and hypocritical lead editorial I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription. After 12 years of reading this rag I am ready to admit that it has declined to the place where it is an insulting waste of my time to even try and make sense of it. I suspect the invisible hand of the market is going to strangle it to death. Why would anyone pay for and read such obvious lies and self-serving crap?

Posted by: Doug Vaughn | April 9, 2006 10:26 PM

"A Good Leak." Sounds like the answer to the question: What did Fred Hiatt just take while standing over a copy of the Washington Post?

The editorial board of the WaPo should hang its collective head in shame, regardless of who actually penned this travesty of an opinion piece.

Posted by: CityGirl | April 9, 2006 10:27 PM

OMG! You mean that editorial wasn't satire?!?!?!?

Posted by: AnitaX | April 9, 2006 10:29 PM

The cowardice of the big media outlets in knuckling under to administration bullying is disheartening to those of us who still want to respect our newspapers. Please, someone on the editorial board must have served overseas, where reporters, editors, and publishers risk their lives trying to get the truth out about corrupt, bullying governments.

What awful fate do you think Rove and the rest of the conservative thugocracy will inflict on you if you defy them and tell the truth your own reporters have uncovered? Is there no sense of honor left in the higher ranks of your profession?

Posted by: Berken | April 9, 2006 10:30 PM

The editorial staff needs to turn off Rush Limbaugh and FoxNews and actually read their own front page.

It is difficult to find a single fact that is not distorted in that short editorial.

The President did not declassify anything. He authorized a leak. Go to the White House and ask for the declassified report. You won't get it because it is still classified. Bush later lied 8 times about the leak and his determination to find the source.

Congratulations for the great reporting the WP occasionally does. The anonymous and not so anonymous editors should be fired.

Posted by: Gary Denton | April 9, 2006 10:31 PM

The editorial "A Good Leak" is an amazingly dishonest, poorly-informed and misguided piece of work. As so many have pointed out, it is thoroughly undermined and discredited by reading the front-page article in the very same paper. This is a truly stunning revelation about the mind-set of the editorial staff of this paper. The phrase "bought and paid for" certainly comes to mind. Supporting the Iraq war was merely boneheaded, but this is just atrocious.

Posted by: twc | April 9, 2006 10:31 PM

'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic'is a misrepresentation itself. Was the release of the NIE intended to rebut Joe Wilson's Big Adventure? Or was the Bush administration trying to get it's side of the story out? When UGO told Bob Novak about Wilson's wife, was a crime committed? If so, why isn't Fitzgerald going after him?

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 10:32 PM

Is there good treason and bad treason??

I'm sure Mr Hiatt could explain to us what good treason is?

Posted by: johnny drama | April 9, 2006 10:34 PM

"A Good Leak" was nothing more than a good crap taken by the author. Shame on the Washington Post. Suggest you change your masthead to "Washington Past," because gone are the days when we could count on you to ferret out high crimes and misdemeanors by national political leakers, er, I mean, "leaders." Instead, you've become their cheerleaders. Shame, shame, shame. It's long past time that impeachment proceedings on these White House madmen should begin, and all we get from the WP is more barnyard excrement disguised as fact-based editorial opinion.

Posted by: Bugs | April 9, 2006 10:41 PM

Andrew, Nixon was going to be impeached because, among other things, he used the power of his office to punish political enemies. It is NOT legal to use the White House and the government to do that. Bush might have the power to declassify-- although that isn't what he did, apparently. He does not have the legal power to declassify for the purpose of punishing others. You might think Bush is king, but he's only president.

Just remind yourself that anything you allow Bush will also be allowed for the next president, who might very well be a Democrat. Do you actually want Russ Feingold or Hilary Clinton or John Kerry to have the power you're granting Bush? No? Well, at least I'm consistent-- I don't want ANY president to have the powers of a dictator. That's not why we rebelled against the British king, to install another king 250 years later. Especially a stupid venal one.

Posted by: nolo | April 9, 2006 10:41 PM

I suggest we find a more accurate name for the Washingon Post.

How about ?

Posted by: GJ | April 9, 2006 10:46 PM

I had always like the Washington Post.

But the overt refusal to report facts as facts -- nor to editorialize based on the known facts -- is extraordinarily damaging to the Post. Not just to its reputation, but to its actual institutional capacity, as well as its functional integrity.

It's sad, because there are so many good reporters working at the Post.

But the sort of -- and let me be factual about it, rather than pejorative -- the sort of lies, distortion, water-carrying, "spin" (read: propaganda), corruption, and outright Orwellian fabrication we've seen from the Post has simply been nothing short of diseased.

Now, that's not un-civil. That's just a fact.

It's always been there, to some degree: esp. when they mewl that they have liberal columnists (none dare speak the name balance), or when everyone pretends George Will is a conservative in any true sense, or has any moral claim on public discourse.

*sigh* What's extraordinary is that I'm sure they feel they've done well by these betrayals. Though the nation is beyond grievously wounded, and at this point is ready to be dispatched by a clumsy meat-cutter -- they've yet to come to their senses.

Go figure.

Thanks to Marc for posting this:

F arcical propaganda,
R uined reputation,
E ditors taking
D ictation from Rove.

H ow low can you fall?
I nsane rationalizations
A bsurd explanations
T wisted journalism
T ortured truth

Posted by: Mac Rostic | April 9, 2006 08:46 PM

Posted by: SombreroFallout | April 9, 2006 10:46 PM

Thank God for the Internet. To think that had not been for it the readers would be in the dark about the washington post falsehoods. Fortunately the almighty left-wing bloggers are on watch 24-7 to slam any media attempt to misinform America.

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 10:50 PM

nolo, it is not illegal to release the NIE to the press and public. The front page article seems to be suggesting that there was a conspiracy to punish Joe and Val. If you've been paying attention, you will notice that "They outed my wife to punish me", is Wilson's story. Lazy journalists swalowed that whole.

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 10:51 PM

If Fred Hiatt is the author of today's editorial, I think he is demonstrating remarkable qualification to be WaPo's new ombudsmen. The risk, of course, is that he may have plagiarized Rove.

Posted by: Jim White | April 9, 2006 10:52 PM


Then Hiatt need to have the frickin' guts to SAY that, not use lies to support a position. But I don't expect you to get that idea, given how poor your acquaintance with reality is.

Posted by: | April 9, 2006 10:56 PM

Might I suggest, the next time Fred Hiatt gets into his head that he can write a reasoned editorial piece, he try out the Washington Post's new "News Search" feature?

You'd be amazed at the facts you can find in your very own newspaper, Fred - and how different they are from the fantasies that fill your tiny little wingnut brain...

Posted by: dave | April 9, 2006 10:57 PM

Does the Washington Post editorial staff read the substantive portions of the Washing Post before or after they right their editorial? Based on today's editorial, my guess is that they don't, or at least they haven't lately. Opinion is one thing, but making facts up is another. Wow, a far cry from the Washington Post I used to know.

Posted by: William Jensen | April 9, 2006 10:57 PM

Misleading things I've read in the Post:

-Iraq is a threat to the U.S.
-Abramoff gave money to Democrats
-Joe Wilson said Cheney sent him to Niger
-There is no evidence of a White House effort to punish Wilson
-Wilson's report supported White House claims

Posted by: David | April 9, 2006 11:02 PM

This is gonna sound crazy, and it may be due to my "poor acquaintance with reality", but there are many people that see it the same way as Mr. Hiatt.

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 11:03 PM

Many people here have already written excellent refutations of the lies in todays editorial.
So all I have to add is, Washington Post, please stop. You're hurting America.

Posted by: Karin | April 9, 2006 11:07 PM

Looks to me like the editorial does a good job of rebutting the front page article. Again, I'll ask anyone here: Mr Fitzgerald has said that UGO told Novak about Plame, yet he is protecting his/her identity, and has indicated that he will not prosecute UGO. Is what UGO did illegal?

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 11:09 PM

Looks to me like the editorial does a good job of rebutting the front page article.


Posted by: A completely delusional lunatic | April 9, 2006 11:13 PM

Why does the Post continue to emabarass itself with this BS?

An ombusdsman who doesn't represent the readers' concerns at all, even derides them. Lies and refuses to correct the lie.

An online manager who seems to be exceedingly out of the loop of how the internet community functions. Who hires a partisan operative to supposedly "balance" a journalist.

An editorial page that willfully misrepresents a story with an argument that is refuted by a news article in the very same edition.

Embarassing. Absurd. Surreal. Disgusting.

The Post has become a mockery, a tired piece of fishwrap so inept and disingenous that it's not fit to line a bird cage. Are you being paid off ala Armstong Williams et al? It's the only reason I can imagine for the relentless partisan shilling on the part of the WaPoo. Yes, WAPOO because it is emitting a rancid stench.

Good riddance and good luck.

former subscriber Pete.
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posted by: Alaskan_Pete | April 9, 2006 11:14 PM

How exactly, Washington Post Editorial Board, is it a good thing for the President to leak information to the American people that he knows to be false?

By President Bush's own argument, it was lawful for him to release this information. Why didn't he release it publicly? Was the White House press-release machine broken that day?

Gosh, given that he knew the information was a lie, it's almost like he didn't want to be caught lying and so he started a false rumor instead!

I don't know why this isn't obvious, but it's not "hardball politics" for the most powerful man in the world to secretly put false information about America's national security into the newspapers. It is not hardball politics for the White House to spread lies to the American people about why we need to go to war.

I am shocked that the Washington Post is defending behavior from the President on national security that we wouldn't tolerate from schoolgirls.

Lying is wrong. Starting false rumors is no less wrong.

Making someone else scream "fire" in a crowded movie house is equally murder as screaming it yourself.

Posted by: Ernestina Preguntala | April 9, 2006 11:15 PM

I came over to what everyone American has probably tried to do - wax some whoopin' on your paper's but for that ridiculous editorial today. The Good Leak? Wow - doesn't the Post read The Post?

To be merciful, I see that the The Rest of the Planet has hopped onto your back, beating your with your own arm. No sense in beating you any more.

Although, there WAS that Ben fellow just a scant few weeks ago.

How does it feel to destroy a newspaper that your fathers spent so much blood, sweat, tears building? Long hours at manuals typewriters, with modest pay, and journalistic integrity fueling their work. All so you can come and tear it down for some idiot from Texas.

How does it feel to destroy the work of a generation? Here's a hint: you're supposed to feel really bad.

Posted by: Bob from Kansas | April 9, 2006 11:17 PM

The Good Leak? Yeeehaaah!

What a load. Not only was the information leaked for political ends, it was incomplete, cherry-picked and misleading.

I suppose we should remember who was actually right - Joe Wilson. And who was actually wrong and purposefully misleading - the Bush administration.

Where is the good in this? And good for who?

Posted by: Ryan from Logan, Utah | April 9, 2006 11:26 PM

President Bush was right to declassify an NIE, the contents of which had already been discredited? Pray how does the public benefit from this?

Extra! Eztra! Read all about it! Joe Wilson's report was correct. Have you forgotten that already? You must have read that in your newspaper.

Posted by: janeboatler | April 9, 2006 11:29 PM


Thank goodness you take criticism well. Our master will be pleased. Pass me a banana, will you?

Posted by: Insane monkey in adjacent cage next to yours | April 9, 2006 11:32 PM

Are there none among you who can tell me why Fitzgerald, tasked with finding out who exposed Plame, refuses to prosecute UGO. For those of you that don't know what UGO is, Unidentified Government Official. Libby didn't tell Novak, Cheney didn't tell Novak, Bush didn't tell Novak.

You've got a meme going that is essentially, "Bush and cohorts lied, they exposed secrets, they damaged security."

Bush gave authorization to release the lie there.
UGO identified Plame as Wilson's wife to Novak and others. This is the same Plame that drove to Langley everyday to work.
It's not even a crime to expose her. If it was, Fitzgerald would have indicted UGO.

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 11:33 PM

When the damage assessment pertaining to the consequences of revealing the identity of Valerie Plame is leaked (if ever), I think that the Washington Post editorial board will be forced to reconsider its evaluation of this sorry episode as a "good leak".

Posted by: Patrick in Az | April 9, 2006 11:35 PM

Amazingly pathetic!!

The Washington Post editorial by Hiatt has now secured it's place in this administrations drive toward the world of 1984. The Bush Ministry of Truth must be so proud.

Posted by: Andy in Albuquerque | April 9, 2006 11:37 PM

I'm sure others have posted this here but this smackdown by Josh Marshall bears repeating:

For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still barely governing the capital.

They've made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers.


Posted by: TPMnewmediafan | April 9, 2006 11:38 PM

A Good Leak? I'd say A Bad Editorial...the latest in a series of bad editorials. I used to like reading the Post, but it's gone from the first tier of my daily reads to the middle of the next-to-the-back row. It's getting harder and harder to sift through the drivel and downright toadying to the administration to get to the increasingly few tidbits of real information and serious reporting.

Posted by: Mr. Rick | April 9, 2006 11:39 PM

No html tags allow here. Why am I not suprised.

I'm sure others have posted this here but this smackdown by Josh Marshall bears repeating:

"For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still barely governing the capital.

They've made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers."


Posted by: TPMnewmediafan | April 9, 2006 11:40 PM

To whom it may concern:

I have it on good credit the the poster "Andrew" is really Freddie Hiatt!

The incoherency in his (Andrew) arguments and poor spelling and grammar is because Ben Domenech is no longer editing Freddie's work

Posted by: Deborah | April 9, 2006 11:41 PM

The goons in the W.H. have your editorial writer by the short hairs. That's the only explanation for "A Good Leak" which was done to cover the Chimperor's ass, nothing more nor less. It was just another heinous act by this corrupt regime, and you condone it? The Post must be owned by Moon too, huh?

Posted by: jreed | April 9, 2006 11:42 PM

Oh yeah, I meant to say I found this quote at, Another newmedia outlet.

No html tags allow here. Why am I not suprised.

I'm sure others have posted this here but this smackdown by Josh Marshall bears repeating:

"For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still barely governing the capital.

They've made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers."


Posted by: TPMnewmediafan | April 9, 2006 11:43 PM

Hey Andrew, don't you remember that Fitzgerald said he's not prosecuting anybody because Libby "threw sand in the umpire's eyes"? Stop playing dumb. You know that Libby screwed the whole investigation, and you are crapping your pants at the thought of Fitz uncovering a whtie house conspiracy (which he said last week he will pursue).

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 11:47 PM

Reading Fred Hiatt's editorial in all its twisty word mincing glory, in which he dodges and weaves masterfully, but still can't avoid making flat-out false statements in pursuit of his conclusions, I am reminded of another commentator who went to great lengths to defend the administration:

Should perhaps someone be looking into the possibility that Mr. Hiatt has been drinking from the same trough? I can't think of an other explanation for "A Good Leak" that isn't as insulting to his intelegence as the editorial itself was to mine.

-- MarkusQ

Posted by: Armstrong redux? | April 9, 2006 11:48 PM

"Cooper asks us to protect criminal leaks so that he can write about the crime. The greater public interest lies in preventing the leak to begin with. Had Cooper based his report on leaks about the leaks, say from a whistleblower, who reveals the plot against Wilson, the situation would be different, because in that case the source would not have revealed the name of a covert agent, but instead revealed the fact that others had done so. The balance of news values and harm would shift in favor of protecting the whistleblower. Yet it appears Cooper relied on the Plame leaks themselves, drawing the inference of sinister motive on his own. Accordingly, his story itself makes the case for punishing the leakers. While requiring Cooper to testify may discourage future leaks. Discouraging leaks of this kind is precisely what the public interest requires." JUDGE DAVID TATEL, U.S. District Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit

Posted by: topo | April 9, 2006 11:50 PM

Washington Post editorial page and much of the op-ed pundits are now neoconservative. Fine, we can live with that. But don't you have to respect facts? The falsehoods in this editorial are so blatant, so easily refutable that it is shocking reading it. Don't you have any standards?

The shilling for the administration has reached a tipping point. I believe you owe it to your readers to disclose any/all business ties your company has with the Bush administration including any govt contracts you are receiving and any regulatory favors. It is clear to me there is more going on here than merely tilting the editorials. There is some kind of an incestious relationship between your paper and this regime.

The irony of course is that this same editorial page was a cheerleader for Kenneth Starr's jihad against the Clintons over a pseudo scandal called Whitewater. Your paper cheered on Starr's massive abuse of power and defended him to the bitter end even as he was leaking grand jury testimony to your paper.

How ironic that the Washington Post which pretended such phony outrage over a president lying about his sex life can find no outrage for a president whose lies have led to the deaths of thousands.

Posted by: DonB | April 9, 2006 11:50 PM


Let's get together the first thing tomorrow and figure out how we can blame that moron Freddie Hiatt for all the dumb SNAFU's that we were responsible for. We have to be prepared for when Donnie decides to get rid of all the incomptents working for the Post.

It is clear that Freddie will be in Donnie's crosshairs before the sun goes down and we need to put a good target in a prominent place on Freddie's back.

Posted by: Jim | April 9, 2006 11:51 PM

Shame on you, Washington Post, shame on you.

When the day comes that George W. Bush's crimes against this nation, the Constitution and international law are fully revealed, you people are going to look awfully foolish with your relentless shilling for whatever Dear Leader wants.

When that day comes, don't bother asking for our forgiveness.

Posted by: renato | April 9, 2006 11:51 PM

Jim Brady hired Ben Domenech.
Mr. Brady, can we put the new search feature aside and discuss why in the world did you hire this plagiarist?

Posted by: Andres | April 9, 2006 11:52 PM

Our media is now part of the cult that has taken over the country. The WP's stock has surely been bought up by the conservative's savior, Sun Myung Moon, and like a cult mouthpeice they don't care about the truth and or wouldn't know it if they saw it. They now buy into their own propaganda sown over the years. It's layered into the nation's reality, a false reality. Just like Pravda the WP flows from an occasional good peice to shear distortions and propaganda.

The truth is dead in America just like our democracy.

Think about it, they hired Domenech(sp?)... think about that? You think America still exists? One party is accused of lowering the debate while the other honors Rush and Coulter. CNN hired Glenn Beck...does anyone think that will be "good" for America in any form?

God save us. It has NOTHING to do with fredom of speech it is twisted potent propaganda shoved down a once great nation's throat.

Someone asked when is Kurtz going to apologize, hahaha.

here ya go folks, the Voice of Russia is where to get some news you can use.

Posted by: Pray Hard | April 9, 2006 11:52 PM

The shame continues. Thank goodness the truth can still be written, and found, to debunk the fakery that spews from this once proud rag.

Posted by: spite | April 9, 2006 11:52 PM

Hey Hiatt - you better read this. You just got the wood put to you over at FireDogLake.

Posted by: Al Bedo | April 9, 2006 11:53 PM

Read Fred, Jim and Deb. Think of these words as you look into the eyes of the eyes looking back at you while you shave or put on your makeup. And think of the 2400 Americans that have come home in boxes. And the 15,000 who came home on stretchers, missing arms and legs or after their brains were slamed against their skulls. You not only helped make it possible, you continue to enable these incompetent fools with your shameless propaganda.

I hope you are enjoying your positions in the great game.


"For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still barely governing the capital.

They've made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers."

Posted by: TPMnewmediafan | April 9, 2006 11:56 PM


I'll type this slowly so you can follow it: UGO told Novak about Plame. How can Libby "thow sand in the umpir's eyes about that?

Posted by: andrew | April 9, 2006 11:58 PM

good leak? great leak! wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Posted by: pukebot | April 9, 2006 11:58 PM

I have to say, I can't really imagine what Mr. Hiatt meant. That anything The Executive wants to do, that's just A-OK? That his authority extends to whimsically claiming ever new powers for himself? Where are the limits, the boundaries?

Just what kind of society does Mr. Hiatt have in mind for us?

Posted by: Drindl | April 9, 2006 11:58 PM

I found reading these comments quite entertaining, however, I doubt the WaPo learns a thing from them.

After all, they don't learn a thing from their front page even.

Posted by: Susan | April 10, 2006 12:02 AM

What on earth has happened to the Washington Post. The obviously dishonest editorial "A Good Leak" is one of the most disturbing things I have read. What a quick fall from grace this paper has taken. Bob Woodward becomes a stenographer for the White House, Deborah Howell's disgraceful tenure as "omsbudmen", the hiring of a racist, homophobic conversative blogger and now this.
Really, how low can this paper go. I am all for diversity of opinion but outright lies are unforgivable.
The paper should apologize and immediately fire whomever wrote this editorial. For the integrity of the paper and confidence of the readers the paper needs to make a correction.

Posted by: lee | April 10, 2006 12:03 AM

Fred Hiatt's editorial today was an embarrassment. I didn't think anyone could surpass the disaster that was Ben Domenech but Fred has done it.

Opinions are fine, but you need to get your facts straight. Your readers and advertisers don't put their money into the Washington Post to see it turn out hack work like this.

For shame.

Posted by: John Salmon | April 10, 2006 12:03 AM

Oh shoot, I forgot to put a link to Josh's site, Oh that's right, tags don't work here at the oldmedia.

Oh well at least I can C/P this again in case Fred missed it:

"For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still barely governing the capital.

They've made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers."

Posted by: TPMnewmediafan | April 10, 2006 12:05 AM

hey, WaPo, are you going to help the Bushites start a war with Iran?? Think North Korea might join in and bomb San Fran? or Seattle?

oh, what fun can be had with an optional war for bogus reasons!!! And WaPo not only can put out the bogus reasons, they will later paint them pretty!!

Here' my summary of the American corporate media in the lead up to the optional war for bogus reasons:

fiction: bad
stenography: good

Posted by: Susan | April 10, 2006 12:09 AM

An editorial that directly contradicts the front page story is an embarrassment to this newspaper.

Posted by: Nik | April 10, 2006 12:10 AM

I have a cartoon here, about the wonderfully hideous editorial mess at the WP.

Look, if the criminal in chief wanted to "declassify" information about the undercover CIA agent, he could have followed protocols, right? Right. Then, if he absolutely had to "out" an agent and everyone she interacted with across the planet, he should have walked into the Rose Garden, given a speech explaining why he is forced to reveal vital secrets and then point to the woman and say, "She was a secret agent but because her husband won't let us use doctored documents to force a war, we are going to put her on a plane, paint it to look like a UN flight and then lure Saddam into shooting it down....dang! Wrong line! That is for Tony Blair! Not America!...I must out this woman because her husband wrote an editorial in the New York Times and the only way to silence anyone else who knows of our secrets like the UN plane business, for example, or the Downing Street memos, well, they will all shut up, so there!"

Posted by: elainemeinelsupkis | April 10, 2006 12:12 AM

Andrew, you are so pathetic. Your arguments are baseless. Fitzgerald's own filings and statements indicate a conspiracy within the White House to discredit Wilson by outing his wife.

The NEI still has not been declassified. Only those parts the preznit wanted us to see were leaked to none other than the 'pro' - Judy Miller. If he wants to declassify, let him declassify. Apparently this was more of Scooter reading parts of the NEI from crib notes to Judy over apple martinis. Just what they wanted us to know, and no more.

But this NEI wasn't even used to justify the war - it wasn't even written until Bob Graham asked for it. And the parts that were leaked were debunked elsewhere in the document.

It's not a LEAK it's a LIE.

Lying is lying. These guys lie. You can play whack-a-mole all day, every day, but you can't smack it all down. There's just too much that's shady, arrogant, incompetent, phony, and self-serving about these guys. Feel free to misrepresent what Fitzgerald said, feel free to be hypocritical, whatever.

You convince no one, and come off as hopelessly naive.

Posted by: delphine | April 10, 2006 12:13 AM

The unsigned editorial in the 4/9 edition of the Washington Post entitled "A Good Leak" is nothing less than a travesty. The assertions made by the editor are not only false, they are contradicted by the reporting by Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer printed on the very same day. They are contradicted by months of reporting from news sources ranging from CNN to the New York Times to the Associated Press. In particular, the assertion that President Bush's authorization of the leak regarding the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate was beneficial to the American Public overlooks the basic, indeed, primary fact that the assertions made to Judith Miller were false: the President's assertions regarding Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from Niger was not covered by the "Key Findings" section of the NIE, was in fact dealt with in the body of the report, and was brought into severe question in the appendix. The leak was misinformation: your reporting today confirms that the White House had been warned that there was no factual basis for the claim before both the State of the Union speech, and before I. Lewis Libby was 'authorized' to assert as much to the New York Times. To ignore these facts entirely while arguing that the administration's motives may not be questioned is frankly unconscionable. The fine work of the WaPo journalists has been unjustifiably tarnished by this editorial. Your reporters, and your readership, deserve an apology and a correction.

Posted by: Padraig | April 10, 2006 12:13 AM

It's passably strange that, on Sat. night a number of PBS stations played "All the President's Men" while, on Sunday morning, thousands of folks who had watched it woke up to find that the the editorialists of the paper of Bradlee-Woodward-Bernstein had turned out to be this president's men. The film ended with a teletype clicking out the punishments meted out to Nixon's men. What accountability faces Bush's men on the Wapoo's editorial board? (No, Wapoo is not a typo.)

Posted by: RJRJR | April 10, 2006 12:15 AM

How many of us will be blacklisted or have our comments deleted for simply pointing out that your own front page makes today's editorial "A Good Leak" a pathetic joke? Has your desire to protect the Bush Administration no shame? Doesn't it bother you that so many of us have good reason to call you shills for the Bush Administration? Have you no pride in being ridiculed by nearly the entire world? Editor and Publisher truly called you on it and if you don't listen to them--then at least listen to your own news people. On Page 1, they are telling you that everything you said in "A Good Leak" is BALONEY!! Oh, excuse me for using such profanity, gosh I guess you and the Ombudsman will now have to purge my comments for using such abusive language. What a shame, I used to have respect for the Washington Post. How the Mighty have Fallen.

Posted by: Ron Russell | April 10, 2006 12:16 AM

"How ironic that the Washington Post which pretended such phony outrage over a president lying about his sex life can find no outrage for a president whose lies have led to the deaths of thousands."

Especially now that Bush's spokesman draws a distinction between releases in ‘public interest’ and those that threaten security.

We can all agree that Clinton's release didn't threaten national security, so by default, it was in 'public interest'.

Posted by: Totally not Al K. Duh! | April 10, 2006 12:16 AM

One question I forgot to ask: Are you so ashamed of "A Good Leak" that you had to publish it without attribution? The public deserves to know who wrote this, as well as who approved it! Naw, don't bother. I know that the smell of Brady, Hyatt and Howell are all through this piece of....

Posted by: Ron Russell | April 10, 2006 12:18 AM

Wow, Washington Post. Just when I thought you'd limbo'd as low as you could.

The music starts up again and before Li'l Debbie could say, "Look there's the proof of a bipartisan Abramoff scandal -- right there next to the WMD's where we left it!" you're bending over and taking one again like a champion.

On a serious note: I'll be sure to tell friends and family that The Washington Post is an unreliable source for news.

Posted by: Tony Ross | April 10, 2006 12:22 AM


I'm pathetic? I've read the motions. Have you? I don't think you have and I'll tell you why: Nowhere in Fitzgerald's motions has he said there was a conspiracy to discredit antone. No one has been indicted on conspiracy charges.

Posted by: andrew | April 10, 2006 12:24 AM

rant, rant, swear, intimidate, lie.

Posted by: atrios dittohead | April 10, 2006 12:24 AM

I'm used to right wing, slanted media; after all, I live in San Diego, land of Copley newspapers. But I'm really staggered by the stupidity and incompetence of the Washington Post. Can't run a website. Can't hire journalists. Can't even put a whole paper together without leaking on itself. Shockingly stupid.

Posted by: Jim Ricker | April 10, 2006 12:24 AM

"Mr Fitzgerald has said that UGO told Novak about Plame, yet he is protecting his/her identity, and has indicated that he will not prosecute UGO. Is what UGO did illegal?"

Golly, maybe it's because UGO told Novak on the instructions of someone else ... like, say, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Posted by: Swopa | April 10, 2006 12:25 AM

Some Washingtn Post journalist with integrity should write a book to explain the catastrophic loss of standards and professionism at the WAPo in the last five years. Name the names. Explain the motivations. Set it as a cautionary tale about how quickly a major cultural institution can trash its own reputation when it's sucked into the cronyism of a corrupt political oligarchy.

Posted by: digger | April 10, 2006 12:30 AM

So WAPO decides to write an editorial kool aid peice for their ignorant right wing readers while disgusting everyone else. I knew the right was made up of a bunch of idiots, but if they buy the Good Leak argument, then please let them know I have a bridge to sell them! We need to have Harry ask you people about whether you ever "have the humility and grace to be ashamed"!!

Posted by: DUMBFOUND | April 10, 2006 12:33 AM

Will this editorial be withdrawn? Because a simple fact check reveals several crucial errors. The most glaring is this one:

Editorial: "The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth."

The fact: "It was at that moment that Libby, allegedly at Cheney’s direction, sought out at least three reporters to bolster the discredited uranium allegation. Libby made careful selections of language from the 2002 estimate, quoting a passage that said Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium" in Africa."

No evidence aside from forged documents has ever emerged to substantiate Libby's claim to Miller.

Posted by: HeavyJ | April 10, 2006 12:33 AM


A referral was made to DoJ by the CIA to investigate who leaked Plame's identity. UGO has admitted he told Novak about Plame, and yet UGO remains unindicted. The reason UGO has not been indicted is because it was not illegal to divulge Plame's identity.

Posted by: andrew | April 10, 2006 12:33 AM

This is truly a sad day.

The good news is that today 500,000 people were marching in Dallas. They were waving almost that many American flags and many were carrying placards with messages like, "Justice for All" and "Freedom".

But sadly and shockingly, on the same day The Washington Post editorial board is undermining the freedom and justice we all want in this country.

We need not only a free press, but a press that is honest and trustworthy. I am shocked and dismayed that I cannot count on The Washington Post to print the truth.

What happened?


Posted by: eve | April 10, 2006 12:33 AM

Hiatt is a shill for the White House...this editorial is the last straw, I'm cancelling my print edition.

Posted by: Blake | April 10, 2006 12:34 AM


All rightwing folks are idiots, huh? How old are you? 15? Sure, Dems, liberals, lefties are smart; Repubs, conservatives, righties are dumb. That may be the most intellectually lazy thing I've read all day.

Posted by: andrew | April 10, 2006 12:39 AM

Mr. Hiatt: Okay, I don't have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by the leadership at the Washington Post, including the editor, by the ombudsman... And I would hope -- I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your tenure as editor, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself.

(Yes, I cribbed the previous paragraph from Harry Taylor's amazing speech. Blame it on my inner Ben Domenech.)

Posted by: buddhistMonkey | April 10, 2006 12:39 AM

Hiatt called three influential bloggers in for separate meetings on Monday, telling them he had classified information that could not be published but which explained the apparent errors in his editorial. One blogger reported that, at one point in the meeting, Hiatt pulled a piece of paper from his jacket pocket and read from it. He also shared information about Barton Gellman's wife, which, if true, would cast serious doubts about the reporter's objectivity.

Posted by: cadejo4 | April 10, 2006 12:46 AM


Now shape up and


To think that I thought I was so better informed than my neighbors because I read the WaPo and NYT, and not that local rag, the Toledo Blade.

I'm ordering a subscription to the Blade today. Ooo look, they've got an editorial section that examines the doings of our nation's lawmakers too. And they seem to use make use of facts and not just make stuff up.

I can't wait for more serious journalism, Pulizer worthy journalism.

When I call them today, can I get a subscription sent to anyone else here? Fred? Bob? Anyone?

Posted by: Mark Adams | April 10, 2006 12:47 AM

Wow. This paper has really blown it.

Everything I read indicates that the writer of this editorial either doesn't read this paper or doesn't live in this universe.

Posted by: Roger Samson | April 10, 2006 12:48 AM

When a once great newspaper's loyal readers can no longer trust that paper to give us the truth, to present facts rather than administration spin, then that paper deserves the loss of readership that will follow such irresponsible and devious misrepresenting of known fact(s).
Mr. Hiatt, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Downie: shame on you for furthering this administration's outright lies. You do our country a great disservice, at a crucial time in our history. We need the truth now more than ever. You continue to fail at a newspaper's most important responsibility: to verify and report the facts.

Posted by: badgervan | April 10, 2006 12:50 AM

Funniest thing I've seen in a while. What a joke

Posted by: ddub | April 10, 2006 12:54 AM

Wow, I thougth that Editor and Publisher had made your "A Good Leak" Editoral look foolish, then I read what was on Firedoglake:

Now, I've gone from disgusted with this editorial, to laughing AT YOU!!!

Posted by: Ron Russell | April 10, 2006 12:56 AM

From earlier:

"When the damage assessment pertaining to the consequences of revealing the identity of Valerie Plame is leaked (if ever), I think that the Washington Post editorial board will be forced to reconsider its evaluation of this sorry episode as a "good leak"."

Oddly, Bob Woodward himself has received such a leak. Of course, he isn't Raw Story, but this is what he said:

"They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment.

So people have kind of compared -- somebody was saying this was Aldridge James or Bob Hanson, big spies. This didn't cause damage."

CNN transcript:

FWIW, I happen to agree with Swopa that the logical theory explaining why UGO walks while Libby is indicted is that UGO relied on misinformation from Libby. A misinformed Ari Fleischer would make sense.

That said, I also agree with Swopa (follow his link) that, for other reasons, the leak to Woodward was probably not from Fleischer.

However, I only mention the "Ari to Novak" theory as a theoretical answer to Andrew's reasonable "why no indictment" question. I think there are other problems with the "Ari to Novak" theory, starting with the high likelihood (based on recently released docs) that Woodward and Novak had the same source.

From the once-credible WaPo:

"But Walton's decision to continue to protect the anonymity of one administration official, whom Libby's attorneys described as a confidential source about Plame for two reporters, one of them apparently Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward, is a blow to Libby's case."


If the UGO was the source for "Woodward plus one", the only clearly unmatched reporters are Pincus and Novak. Pincus' source was at the White House (or so he said last fall). And the WaPo added this:

Defense attorneys in yesterday's hearing described the official as someone who did not work at the White House and was the source for two reporters.

Posted by: Tom Maguire | April 10, 2006 12:56 AM

Id like to applaud the Post editorial today and your tolerance for much of the silliness I see above.

It was clear that the editorial rested on the facts as regards the leaking of Plame's name, and not the maniacal scream by some to get Bush at any cost.

Your critics seem to be allowing that crucial distinction - the Plame leak as the crux of the matter, to disappear from their reasoning in an all out offensive to get Bush.

Your editorial went a long way to stop them from moving the goal posts away from the current facts in evidence in the Fitzgerald investigation.

Posted by: Dan Riehl | April 10, 2006 12:57 AM

"People shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people."

Posted by: V | April 10, 2006 12:59 AM

"A Good Leak" should never be discussed in public.
If you have a "Urine Nation Problem" discuss this behind closed doors with you doctor.
Only the NSA has any interest in this.

Posted by: Facing the wind | April 10, 2006 01:00 AM

The remarkable thing about the Leak editorial, the Domenich fiasco, Jill Carroll response, the anti-reader "Public Editor" is how anti-journalism the Post has become -- supporting the right of a government to deceive its citizens, and ridiculing anyone looking for the truth.

Posted by: Alan Lewis | April 10, 2006 01:07 AM

"A Good Leak" is insulting to the prosecutors, FBI agents, and support staff who have worked to uncover facts about the Plame investigation in a non-partisan fashion. It is also insulting to citizens who are watching with interest -- and who are coming to some rather sobering conclusions (some of which have been informed, oddly enough, by news reported elsewhere in your paper).

Your editorial fails to distinguish between a federal investigation( conducted in a procedurally responsible fashion), in contrast to the machinations of purely *political* actors who -- feeling the heat of an investigation at their heels, and knowing themselves in legal (and political) jeopardy -- seek to 'throw sand in the eyes' of the WaPo editorial staff, its readers, and its advertisers.

"A Good Leak" smacks of the self-serving trash-talk, and solipsistic neurosis, that I'd expect from dumb hoodlums, scammers, and shills.

"A Good Leak" insinuates that the President can selectively leak 2 or 3 sentences at a clip from various sections throughout a 90+ page document -- without telling affected agencies, nor the public. You imply that these leaks can occur irrespective of national security implications. Your main complaint about the leaks at issue is that they were "clumsy."

In publishing this OpEd, the WaPo appears to be participating -- wittingly or otherwise -- in what looks like a politically-motivated effort to smear a federal investigation. By politicizing Mr. Fitzgerald's name, along with that of Mr. Wilson, you distort the significance of terms like "declassification" and "leaking".

Suburbanite to WaPo: it's a post-9/11, post-Katrina world; the economy is tanking; oil prices are rising. From what I see and hear, people are absolutely fed up with the type of solipsistic, juvenile, Memory Hole Policizing, trash-talking partisanship exhibited in this OpEd. I see this on the blogs, in my community encounters, and in business.

I'm not the only adult in the nation who is seriously concerned about the state of the US military, to say nothing about the integrity of our legal system. I'm not the only reader contemptuous of the rank partisanship that's had a strangehold on this nation in recent years. Your OpEd perpetuates a great deal that is already wrong in America.

I am not interested in one single more article, OpEd, or smear that fails to clearly analzye, expose, and articulate the differences between legitimate, procedurally correct federal investigations, and politically motivated filth. Should the WaPo decide to cover politically motivated efforts to smear a federal investigator, federal employees like a CIA agent, or other reputable citizens, kindly do it in the news section, and provide ample documentation.

Heads up, WaPo. In a global communications network, only sources viewed to be of outstanding quality, integrity, and relevance are going to survive. Judging from my forays on the Web today, the WaPo has lost far, far more credibility, goodwill, and respect than it probably realizes.

I honestly don't think that many of us out here trying to connect dots, pay bills, buy groceries, and maintain medical coverage are going to have any time for another politicizing, solipsistic, 'sand in the eyes' editorial -- not even from a publication with the reputation of the WaPo.

Good luck to you in cleaning up your act promptly.

Posted by: readerOfTeaLeaves | April 10, 2006 01:13 AM

I was never fooled. I always knew the Post was a joke.

Posted by: ÔżÔ | April 10, 2006 01:14 AM

RE: The rhetorical question about whether Bush declassifying SOME secret information is a scandal -- the answer is "Yes". If the President had declassified ALL the relevant information, that would be a public service. He "leaked" the pro side of the argument, in full knowledge that the con side was the stronger. That's deliberately misinforming the citizenry, and if it isn't a crime it should be. It is certainly a scandal.

Posted by: G.L. Horton | April 10, 2006 01:16 AM

Jane, at FDL says it much better than I can:
"For years now the GOP machine has succeeded in strong-arming the Washington Post into legitimizing their propaganda, dribbling out sensational disinformation during Whitewater to the hacktackular Sue Schmidt to put on the front page without skepticism or question. Over time they have provided easy, sleazy copy and traded "access" to the point that it has fueled an empire of mediocrity where only the people willing to limbo low enough and shape the news to Karl Rove’s satisfaction are rewarded with the scoops that trigger seniority. Both editors and reporters alike know their only ability to ascend the hierarchy comes from emulating supreme access pimp and BushCo. dupe Bob Woodward in a slavish devotion to stenography and the propagation of disinformation."

Posted by: Gerald | April 10, 2006 01:19 AM

Extra, Extra! WaPo outed as lovechild of Pravda and The Onion.

Posted by: rascalsout | April 10, 2006 01:20 AM

From watching All the President's Men on PBS last night, to reading the Post editorial on the good leak this morning, makes a fan and reader of 30 years standing of the Wa Po very sad.

Posted by: CCC | April 10, 2006 01:21 AM

Apparently "A Good Leak" was leaked straight from the White House. But when disseminating it, perhaps it would be wise to avoid contradicting yourself in the same paragraph:

"Rather than follow the usual declassification procedures and then invite reporters to a briefing..."
"There was nothing illegal or even particularly usual about that; "

That would be what they call a direct CONTRADICTION.

I don't have all night to go thru disseminating the ill-conceived an factually deficient remainder of this article. But it seems the new Post motto is "Never let the facts confuse the propaganda."

Carry on, Mr. Hiatt & Staff. At this rate the paper will rival the National Enquirer for hard hitting editorial content.

Posted by: Kira | April 10, 2006 01:24 AM

The only explanation for today's editorial is that the administration has dirt on Fred Hiatt and has threatened to use it.

Have you been hanging out at the Dept. of Homeland Security and downloading kiddy porn, Fred?

Posted by: marley | April 10, 2006 01:32 AM

I will believe you when you confirm in a future Op/Ed piece that aliens from Orion have invaded our nation's capitol and are employing fusion devildarts to disable our President, Vice President and Bob Woodward.

I will champion with you Homeland Security's recommendations that all patriotic Americans stop what they are doing, fashion makeshift hats of foil, subscribe to The Washington Post and immediately commence extended credit card shopping sprees to protect our strong economy against this unpredictable terror threat from outer space.

I will believe you then because I believe you now. The sterling evidence you presented today in support of the "good leak" our president wisely and secretly authorized to politically disarm another of Freedom's enemies was more than convincing.

I will believe, I will be afraid and I will obey.

Posted by: incontext | April 10, 2006 01:32 AM

Dear Washington Post,

There really is no depth to which you won't stoop, is there?

It's one thing to say that opinion and reporting are different. It's quite another to refute your own editorial "staff" on your front pages.

If there is anything else left for you to do to complete the process, I'd be curious to know what it will be. Welcome to Washington-Times-Land.

Hey, I hear the money's good. If you can't have dignity, why not have cash?

Posted by: ice weasel | April 10, 2006 01:34 AM

A good leak?

I think you meant to say, "Bush leaked it good... Boy oh boy... he leaked it real good."

Posted by: ac | April 10, 2006 01:35 AM

Obviously your editorial was a late April Fool's joke, right?
If not, will you someday tell us what you are so afraid of?

Posted by: Katharine | April 10, 2006 01:46 AM

Obviously there must be some words or phrases left out of the WaPo editorial that would have allowed us to make sense of


(It depends on what the meaning of "good" is.) the end of this editorial, which was unsigned, they must have left off: "Karl Rove, Guest Editorial Writer".

And Andrew...You should definitely enlist. They need you in Iraq.

Posted by: sarik | April 10, 2006 01:50 AM

If the Washington Post editorial board is knowingly distributing false information to help (or at the direction) of the Bush administration, they should be prosecuted for collaborating in distributing propaganda, part of a criminal conspiracy to mislead the American people.

Posted by: Mike G | April 10, 2006 01:53 AM

...I actually *read* Joe Wilson's Op Editorial in the New York Times in July of '03. It was entitled something like "What I didn't Find in Africa."

How, in the warped view of the WaPo editorialist did this translate to the false claim that Wilson "in fact" said he found that Iraq had sought uranium there?

Who should I believe? An anonymous Bush toady or my lying eyes?

Posted by: Liz_Dexic | April 10, 2006 01:57 AM

In the not so distant future, when I'm standing in line at the grocery store with my daughter and we're laughing at the headlines and pictures of the tabloid magazines and she points to The Washington Post and asks me why the once-revered newspaper of the nation's capital is displayed at the checkout, what do you suggest I tell her? Also, please tell me why it would be better to waste one's time flipping through your tabloid for a laugh instead of looking at the others. I'm serious about this and would really appreciate a response, any response.

Posted by: Mary | April 10, 2006 02:00 AM

I'm pathetic? I've read the motions. Have you? I don't think you have and I'll tell you why: Nowhere in Fitzgerald's motions has he said there was a conspiracy to discredit antone. No one has been indicted on conspiracy charges.

So, Mr, Andrew, you've read the motions? Then surely you've seen this bit:

Moreover, given that there is evidence that other White House officials with whom defendant spoke prior to July14, 2003 discussed Wilson’s wife’s employment with the press both prior to, and after, July 14, 2003 – which evidence has been shared with defendant – it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to “punish” Wilson. [Fitzgerald filing, pg. 29-30]

Care to respond?

Posted by: Padraig | April 10, 2006 02:06 AM

What a shame that the Washington Post has become so bad that no one likes it. Dear Brady, et al. do you think Delay and Falwell are coming to your rescue? They still hate you and so does every right-minded, moral thinking humanoid. You're all a sad and sick disgrace.

Posted by: Zaine Ridling | April 10, 2006 02:10 AM

Did you guyz hire the Weekly World News staff by mistake for todays paper? If you did, get a refund. Normally, their work is more believable.

Posted by: Snark | April 10, 2006 02:12 AM

Since when has Fred let the truth get in the way of a really trashy story?

Posted by: wisedup | April 10, 2006 02:13 AM

Boy, Let me tell you, taking your dog to the emergency room at the veterinary hospital on a Sunday is incredibly expensive! Fortunately, my blue heeler Matilda is expected to make a fairly satisfactory recovery, with only a 35 - 40% loss of her olfactory receptors. We are told that with a lot of specialized rehabilitation, that she will regain a significant portion of her sense of smell.

The mistake, ultimately, was mine. Some would say live and learn, but it is hard for me to divorce myself so easily from a nagging guilt that simply will not recede. You see, when Matilda just a puppy, I taught her to run out into the front yard each morning, pick up the newspaper and bring it back to the house. As I have a rather large front yard, it can be a real time-saver when my wife and I are trying to get ready for work, especially with the paper boy's propensity for throwing the paper to a completely different part of the yard each day. The Lithium seems to have helped some, but everyday is still a bit like Easter morning, hence our great relief when Matilda got the hang of ferreting out the Post and bringing it back to the front door.

For years, everything was fine. Lately however, It seemed to be taking her longer and longer to get back to the front door with the paper. My wife even remarked upon several occasions that as she ran back to the house with the paper firmy clenched between her canines, that her upper lip would be curled back as if the process were somehow extremely painful or upsetting. I just passed it of as her being over solicitous of Matilda, seeing as how she had spoiled three of our other children.

This morning, however, I stood at the screen door and watch her as she leapt of the porch and tore out into the yard in her usual search pattern to locate the errant bladder. Locating it lying right between the Mirandy and the Mister Lincoln, she proceeded to carefully edge in between the two trying to snag the Post without getting snagged herself by the barbs of the rosebushes. Just as her nose got close to the paper, she let out an excruciating sound that was somewhere between a moan, a yelp and a howl and flipped over on her back writhing and spasming momentarily before falling unconscious and inert, save for an occcasional twitch or shudder.

I instantly suspected that Ronnie the paperboy, who had seen Matilda perform her trick, had doctored the paper with some noxious substance. I screamed for Judy, my wife, that Mattie was having some kind of seizure, and to fire up the Volvo, while I ran over and scooped up both the paper and my lifeless dog. Fortunately, the traffic was light, being Sunday and we got to to the Vet in record time. As my wife had called ahead, the staff was waiting for us, and as we pulled up to a screeching stop, they whisked the payload out of my trembling arms and disappeared into the waiting room and through the swinging doors of the doggy ER.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as Judy and I huddled together in the waiting room, hoping against hope for some shred of good fortune, or karma, or anything, but at the same time realizing that our darling Mattie might be torn from us. My thoughts momentarily turned to Ronnie, the paperboy, as I flicked through imaginary scenes of increasingly unspeakable retribution that would occur as a result of his little "practical joke."

Finally, after what seemend like an eternity, Brian, our haggard looking vet slamed through the ER door, ripped off his exam gloves, and shakiing his head in fury announced, "Its Bullsh*t!"

"Was it chloroform, Brian, or ether, or what was it?" Judy began.

"No," Brian fumed, "It was the editorial page in Post. It was pure, unadulterated, 100% bullsh*t – a concentration so strong that it almost killed your dog. The only thing that saved her was the totally contradictary news story at the front of the paper that acted as a partial antidote and saved Matilda."

As he stood shaking his head I recalled my wife's mentioning Mattie's curled lip as she returned with the Post on recent mornings. Perhaps she was already sensitized by previous editions, like a baby chewing lead-based paint off the railing of it's crib. Judy and I colapsed in each others arms, sobbing in relief and joy that our sweet, sweet Matilda was going to live!

I guess you know by now where this is going. As soon as we got home, I cancelled our subscription to the wapo. Since Dan Froomkin is online, we figure figure we still get to keep the best part of the reporting, and Judy and I have promised not to link to or open any pages from Woodward, or Brady, or Howell. We love our dog, and can't risk a relapse.

Posted by: Pat Kofahl | April 10, 2006 02:17 AM

Hope someone at the post is keeping a tally. I'm pretty sure a 99:1 comment ratio against your opinion might be worth a retraction and reconsideration of your editorial points. It is so sad to see your once distinguished paper running interference for the boy-king who is killing our democracy.

Posted by: Innocent Bystander | April 10, 2006 02:24 AM

"A Good Leak" is the kind of mendacity that one expects from the official news organizations of totalitarian regimes. Pravda never did it better, and it represents a nadir so stunning that one searches for explanations. Perhaps the Reverend Moon purchased the Washington Post editorial pages and didn't tell anybody? Maybe Baghdad Bob has a new gig? There is probably nothing you can do to regain your credibility, which has been shattered by the reporting in your own newspaper. Given that, you might as well rehire Ben Domenech, "A Good Leak" had the distinctive aroma of those aspects of his work that weren't plagiarized.

Posted by: Ba'al | April 10, 2006 02:32 AM

(I wish Mattie a speedy recovery - the antidote may be to teach her to fetch the onine version - it's less toxic).

If Hiatt does indeed read the online version - Kofahi's is it.

Posted by: Ted Woerner | April 10, 2006 02:36 AM

If you ever read this commentary, you will see that 'A Good Leak' is being challenged to the umpteenth degree. As you state:

"We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features"

Well, we're throwing down the gauntlet. Let's roll.

Posted by: Outraged Reader | April 10, 2006 02:47 AM

Dear WaPo,
The disparity between the facts published in your news section, and the distortion of reality published in your editorial brings to mind the term "schizophrenic dissociation". I am no psychologist, but it seems to me you have a problem that is grossly pathological.
So listen to us, your readers who care. This is an intervention. Seek professional help.

Posted by: roberto | April 10, 2006 02:48 AM

Dear Deborah Howell:

Fred Hiatt defends the Bush Administration's selectively releasing of classified intelligence information on the WaPo's editorial page, yet in the same edition, Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer claim on page 1 that the Administration pursued a concerted effort to smear Joseph Wilson by those leaks.

Could you explain how Gellman and Linzer could have gotten things so wrong? It's the ombudsman's responsibility track down and correct all the errors that appear in the paper.

Posted by: Alan Bostick | April 10, 2006 02:55 AM

Washington Times, Washington Post, we'll have NYT shortly...

Posted by: RNC | April 10, 2006 02:55 AM

the president's defense for cherrying picking intelligence and than covertly handing it to selected (friendly) journalists is that he can do that because he is the President....

but like with all his other excuses for breaking our laws he seems to want to erase the rules for declassifying intelligence.....

Classified Intell can be declassified as long as its not to:

(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
(3) restrain competition; or
(4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security

the Washington Post can spin it, dice it or slice it ...they can declare it a good leak (whatever the heck that is) but it sure looks like Dubya once again broke our laws and then LIED about it and the wapo editors are once again complicit in protecting and defending the lies and the liars that make up the WORST Administration in our nations History.

Posted by: RealityCheck | April 10, 2006 03:25 AM

Wow. Publishing an editorial that is so thoroughly debunked by your own front page story is the greatest April Fool's Day joke in the history of modern American journalism!

Too bad it's nine days too late. Otherwise, you really had me going there for a minute.

Posted by: roberto | April 10, 2006 03:34 AM

Tonight, after my weekly Sunday night radio show, my co-hosts and I made our usual trip to the local pub for some beer and cameraderie.

When we got there, though, things quickly turned in a different direction: we met a guy on two-week R&R from Iraq. He's an Army noncom stationed at, of all places, Abu Ghraib.

He told stories of suicide bombers and children used as ambush bait and mothers crying for their dead babies... horrible. Then he apologized and said we probably didn't want to hear all that. I said no, it was ok, maybe we NEEDED to hear all that. Maybe we all did.

(I remember when newspapers like the Post used to report such news.)

Then I asked him if everybody over there was ready to get the hell out yet. A look of pain crossed his face and he replied, "Oh, man, you have no idea. Everybody HATES this war now. We just can't wait for this to be over and to come home for good."

Of course, I had to go to Finn McCool's pub to get this information. It's not in the newspapers.

I wonder how many more decent men and women like this guy will have to die or be maimed before institutions like the Post quit treating politics like a football game and start understanding that for many, it really is a matter of life or death. 5000? 10,000? 100,000?

As Ronald Reagan once said in a moment far less appropriate for the words: this isn't a matter of right and left. It's a matter of right and wrong. This war, the people who started, and the people in the press who facilitated it, are wrong in every sense of the word. And they will be held accountable before God. That much is certain.

Posted by: chris | April 10, 2006 03:56 AM

Here lies the Washington Post.

Once a great newspaper. Died a slow death of mediocrity and declining circulation.

Once loved by loyal readers. Mourned with sadness, then anger, then indifference.


Posted by: Joel | April 10, 2006 04:10 AM

So thoroughly do they contradict each other, "A Good Leak" and "A Concerted Effort" cannot exist in the same space, in the same universe... at least, not in the space and universe of a credible newspaper.

So which one do you stand by Len Downie?

Posted by: roberto | April 10, 2006 04:11 AM

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
-- George Eliot

So, Dear Publisher, Editors, and Reporters at the Washington Post --

I am not going to write you off into the dust bin of history just because you ran one of the most malinformed and mendacious editorials in the history of journalism this Sunday.

I do, however, suggest that you summarily fire the person responsible for penning (or urinating) "The Good Leak."

Evidence seems to point in the direction of one Mr. Fred Hiatt, but then again, he may be plagiarizing from one Ben Domenech, who flamed across your pages recently.

Whoever it is, he's obviously a "useful tool" for Karl Rove and a total toadie for the Bush Administration, which succeeded (with your editorial help, I might add) in misleading, if not outright lying our country into a bloody, disastrous and expensively unnecessary War on Iraq and then into scaring our citizenry into re-electing that same incompetent, "all-war, all-the-time" President in 2004.

If that was your and his intention, then you've gotten what you wanted.

However, I do not believe that we the American people have gotten what we deserve.

It's too late to ask George W. Bush and his administration to take back their lies. They've already inflicted too much blood on us and the world. They've already stuck each American child with a "birth tax" of over $30,000 per child to pay for their misbegotten war and their tax cuts for millionaires.

However, it's not too late for you to apologize for your misrepresentations or lies. It's not too late for you to fire the sycophantic sophist who regurgitated malodorous, cheap-shot Republican talking points onto your editorial pages. It's not too late for you to remember the late, great Katharine Graham and to restore a sense of truth and honor to the pages of the once-great Washington Post.

The American people await your response. As George Eliot said -- "It is never too late to be what you might have been."


Posted by: radlib1 | April 10, 2006 04:16 AM

The comments on this page are just unbelievable. Kurtz was extremely EASY on Carrol, for chrissakes.

The question people should be asking is: Why isn't Jill Carroll under indictment for treason? Um, she DID make propaganda videos for her country's enemies in time of war. Doesn't that MATTER?

Yes, she was under duress. So? Lots of people are under duress and they don't commit TREASON. Hell, I'm under all kinds of stress every day and I don't BETRAY MY COUNTRY. Toyko Rose was under duress, they say. SHE didn't get off, and although she wasn't executed as William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was, she did do ten years, I think.

Carroll could have done the brave thing and killed herself rather than make those videos. But she took the easy way out. So, she saved her cowardly skin. But now she should have to pay the price.

The only question really is, is Carroll's case like Tokyo Rose's or Lord Haw-Haw's? Her ACTIONS were similar to both. The only question is, should she get off with a stiff prison term or should she face the death penalty?

I would say the latter, but things being as they apparently are, I'd settle for the former.

Posted by: Floyd Alvis Cooper | April 10, 2006 04:28 AM

No snark here. This is very sad. You used to be a great paper....

Posted by: JM Lofficier | April 10, 2006 04:32 AM

You don't give a rats ass do you WaPo?

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 04:36 AM

Stop reading the Wash Post, DC residents. Read the NYTimes.

I know, I know, the Times isn't perfect. At least the Times prevented Judy Miller from publishing this leak becuase her past reporting had been so stenographic. At least the NYTimes did a thorough review of its reporting on WMD, and admitted it had dropped the ball.

Do readers ever see any kind of self-criticism from the Post? Over their cheerleading for the war? Any mea culpa from Howell for repeating the RNC's Abramoff talking points? Any recognition that VandeHei (like Judy) should be prevented from reporting on the Libby scandal because he is in bed with his sources (Libby's defense team)? That VandeHei should prohibited from reporting on politics at all because of his involvement in Republican party politics and his adulation of Tom Delay? That Woodward should be disgraced for publicly criticizing the Plame investigation when he was knee deep in it, and did not disclose it? That the Post hired a right-wing, crypto-racist, plagiarist blogger because he would be "controversial", and sought to include no progessive blog?

The Post is shameless. It is a hopeless case. Nothing it reports can be believed any more. Cry, moan, wail -- despair, but stop reading it. We'll forget why we loved it after a while -- and we'll be better informed.

Posted by: David | April 10, 2006 04:41 AM


Are you aware of the fact that the moonie paper managed to sneak one of its editorials onto your editorial page? "A good leak" was obviously written by someone on the editorial staff of the Times and somehow snuck onto your editorial page.

Posted by: Roland Buck | April 10, 2006 05:07 AM

Now that your paper's wounded reputation finally committed suicide, may the WP rest in peace. Its death-throes was a gruesome, pathetic thing to watch.

You're now born-again Republicans, waiting for the Rapture (that, btw, will send you all to the ninth circle of Hell).

You don't think you can buy or weasel your way to Heaven, do you?

Posted by: OverseasReader | April 10, 2006 05:27 AM

Floyd, are you absolutely kidding me?
Are you saying you would rather this story be about Jill Carroll's body being shipped back to the United States (had we been there we'd have known she went down for refusing to do a propaganda video at gunpoint.)

Floyd, would this video even be an issue had major TV outlets/the internet put it out there for all to see? Should not ANY RATIONAL person watching a video featuring an American hostage in a war zone who has not even been released into US custody realize that her words may not be her own? It is not Jill Carroll's fault that this garbage was beamed to every home in America before Americans even talked to Jill Carroll. Shame on the networks, shame on the news outlets, for relaying this video without knowing the facts behind it, without telling us it had been taped before Jill was released, without apologizing over and over for sending a garbage anti-American propaganda tape, filmed with an American hostage AT GUNPOINT, without telling us the background of the video.

How dare you, Mr. Cooper. How dare you insult this woman rather than taking a look at yourself and seeing if maybe you shouldn't believe everything you hear, just cause it's on the TV.

Posted by: chains | April 10, 2006 05:50 AM

Dear Danas Priest & Milbank, and all other WaPo reporters with integrity still intact:


Posted by: Save Yourselves | April 10, 2006 06:01 AM

Always look on the bright side. With Sunday's Post editorial, the Washington Times has become superfluous.

Posted by: Bill Brock - Chicago | April 10, 2006 06:02 AM

Ouch: I thought I was being original, but Roland Buck beat me to it at 5:07 a.m.

I'd probably find others voicing the same opinion upthread: too obvious.

Posted by: Bill Brock - Chicago | April 10, 2006 06:04 AM

Why did The Washington Post knowingly publish lies about the Wilson/Plame matter on its editorial page? Why does The Washington Post hate America?

Posted by: Helena Montana | April 10, 2006 06:08 AM

The "Good Leak" editorial was astonishing. One wonders if Fred Hiatt and the rest of the editorial board are receiving fat checks from Karl Rove. Or perhaps the compensation comes in the form of "access" and invitations to high level cocktail parties.

Either there was payment involved or the "Good Leak" editorialist comes from Alice's Wonderland and is capable of believing six impossible things before breakfast. Indeed, there were more than six totally fantastic "facts" in the editorial which were directly contradicted by the Gellman-Linzer news article on page one.

Poor Gellman and Linzer, they must be denizens of the reality-based community, while the "Good Leak" editorialist obviously springs from the Bush-based "We create our own reality" crowd, otherwise known as the Mayberry Machiavellis.

Did the whole WP editorial board vote to approve the "Good Leak" editorial? Can a majority of them be so removed from reality that they didn't recognize it as a preposterous inversion of truth and fiction?

How sad that a once great paper has made a laughing stock of itself.

Posted by: Justina | April 10, 2006 06:22 AM

Don't take a "Good Leak" down my back and try to tell me it's raining.

It's gotten so we can't even believe the weather reports in the WashedupPost.


Posted by: thedeanpeople | April 10, 2006 06:37 AM

What a dissapointment. First we get news that pychological propaganda in Iraq leaked into the states. Tax payers being duped by their own dollars all for the benefit of an agenda and not for the public interest.

Now WaPo has jumped on the propaganda machine with no shame, none at all. What a belligerent slap to the face you have treated your readers to assume that we would auspiciously welcome an awry editoral of butchered facts.

On April 9th, the Washington Post tried to call me an idiot.

Posted by: Incomplete American | April 10, 2006 06:52 AM

Roberto at 4:11 am:

"So thoroughly do they contradict each other, "A Good Leak" and "A Concerted Effort" cannot exist in the same space, in the same universe... at least, not in the space and universe of a credible newspaper."

Like matter and anti-matter, sort of. And when the two are brought together, the WaPo's credibility ceases to exist.

Posted by: J. P. Thompson | April 10, 2006 06:58 AM

Slowly, one more time, for Mr Hiatt:

1. The NIE was prepared at Congress's request. The Administration already had all the facts it needed, thank you.
2. The NIE was prepared in a fraction of the time an ordinary NIE is prepared.
3. The late and rushed nature of the NIE made it particularly vulnerable to the danger that it would support conclusions already reached, instead of serving as an objective, impartial collection and assessment of the policy choices at hand.
4. The principal claims of Bush, Cheney et al regarding the threat presented by Iraq concerned its alleged nuclear weapons program.
5. The principal evidence for such a program was a claimed purchase of aluminum tubes usable as centrifuges and the purchase of yellow cake uranium from Niger.
6. The NIE itself reported that the Energy Department had concluded the aluminum tubes were not suitable for use in centrifuges.
7. The NIE itself reported that opinion was divided on the alleged purchase of uranium from Niger.
8. The information leaked by the President did not include either of these items from the NIE.
9. The NIE was portrayed to Woodward, Miller, and Cooper as containing "definitive" evidence of Saddam's revived nuclear program.
10. To release some information and to cite it as definitive evidence of WMD while not releasing information that one knows supports the contrary conclusion is to LIE.

Hope that helps Fred. If you need any more information, call your own reporters.

Posted by: Aisthesis | April 10, 2006 07:06 AM

The author of Sunday's editorial, "A Good Leak", prefaced the piece with this: "President Bush declassified some of the intelligence he used to decide on war in Iraq. Is that a scandal?"

Well, color me cynical, but after reading the Washington Post article "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic" where it was noted "the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before"...

That seems like a bit of a scandal to me, dontcha think?

Posted by: James Pearson | April 10, 2006 07:13 AM

Some web forum had reprinted the article. Until I pressed the link, I thought it was written by The Onion.

Posted by: A Good Leak???? | April 10, 2006 07:24 AM

I just convinced my neighbor to stop taking the Post. He's jealous of my NYTimes, delivered every morning the same time as his Post. No, really, we discuss the Post all the time, and just now he said, "Did you see that editorial yesterday." (!!!) What a great way to start the day. We aren't alone, people. This guy is pushing 80, a member of the "greatest generation." He's been reading the Post for over 35 years.

Posted by: Joel | April 10, 2006 07:30 AM

To say I am disappointed and disgusted by your editorial "A Good Leak" would be an understatement. Especially in light of the front page story found within the same issue.

It is one thing to use the bully pulpit have on your opinion page that is based on sound reasoning and facts and responsibly inform the masses. It's quite another to use that same opinion page and bully pulpit to spread lies, and disinformation to purposefully misinform the masses. I believe the latter is called propaganda and the fact that you have been caught once again doing that is not only irresponsible, but also highly reprehensible. It is an insult to average Americans such as myself everywhere. How dare you. Have you no shame sirs?

Either you will be printing a retraction and correction notice of the Gellman Linzer front page story or you will be printing a correction/retraction editorial of "A Good Leak" because both certainly can't be true at the same time. Either way, I suggest you take "A Good Look" at both and then quickly tell your readers which of those is factually incorrect and correct it accordingly. Otherwise what little credibility you have remaining is lost. Hope you act quickly and responsibly.

Posted by: A disappointed reader | April 10, 2006 07:33 AM

I read your lead editorial yesterday, and all I wondered was, 'what was that guy smokin?'

It's sad. Really. We can't trust our leading papers, the WaPo and the NYT, for truth.

No wonder you're losing out to the blogs. They have something you've lost. Integrity.

Posted by: Barbara | April 10, 2006 07:46 AM

Well, um, The comics page is still the best in the country.

The coupons are often useful.

There are some good reporters on staff.

oh, never mind. I'll just stick to the Frederick News-Post. At least it doesn't pretend to be a national newspaper.

Posted by: why buy the post | April 10, 2006 07:51 AM

One of my all-time favorite movies, All the President’s Men, was on the other night, and I couldn’t even watch it. You have completely ruined it for me.

How did the Post go from exposing lies to espousing them?

Posted by: citizenkahn | April 10, 2006 07:53 AM

At least the New York Times gets this story straight.

Iraq Findings Leaked by Cheney's Aide Were Disputed

President Bush's apparent order authorizing a senior White House official to reveal to a reporter previously classified intelligence about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain uranium came as the information was already being discredited by several other officials in the administration, interviews and documents from the time show.


Posted by: DT | April 10, 2006 07:54 AM

As a long time reader of the WAshington Post I am dismayed that that you would write an editorial so contrary to the facts found on the front page of the same Sunday issue. Opinion is one thing, deception is unforgivable.

Posted by: katjam | April 10, 2006 07:55 AM

Great April Fool's joke editorial!

Now you need to apologize for Whitewater.

Posted by: Bartolo | April 10, 2006 07:59 AM

citizenkahn asks, "How did the Post go from exposing lies to espousing them?"

As we all know, the Republicans have "worked the refs" at the Post ever since Watergate. Seems that tactic within their greater strategy has worked like a charm. Now you've got a bunch of editors at the Post whose terror is so great that they've moved past cognitive dissonance to a full-blown psychotic break. The Post literally sees things that aren't there.

The remedy for this is to fire the editorial staff and hire a new staff who have been duly screened for mental illness. I wouldn't hold my breath, though. After all, summer's coming and the Post's editorial staff is no doubt looking forward to invitations to Nantucket from the same people who have badgered them into this sad state.

Meanwhile, Katherine Graham spins away in her grave.

Posted by: N.M. | April 10, 2006 08:05 AM

I am frankly shocked that that you would write an editorial that ignores the very facts found on the front page of the same issue. I am worried that we are no able to trust you anymore.

Posted by: explanation needed | April 10, 2006 08:13 AM

Uh-oh WaPo, it looks like towing the Bush Administration line is really starting to incite the masses. If you all -really- want to protect the powerful, at least hire more competent folk to do the shilling. Otherwise the next round of giant demonstrations will be outside your offices, and, soon enough, the White House.

Posted by: M | April 10, 2006 08:15 AM

Don't forget guys -- Howie has a media chat today ... why don't we all log on and ask him if the news side and the editorial side at the Post are speaking to each other today? Could be fun...

And Dan Balz has a politics chat as well.

Posted by: AJ | April 10, 2006 08:16 AM

WMD FOUND IN IRAQ!!! Bush was right! We're winning in Iraq! Saddam is gone! He was the TRUE instigator of 9/11. (Not only that, but the economy is significantly improved since yesterday, and global warming has been PROVED false!
(WAPO op-ed 4-12-06)

Posted by: allun | April 10, 2006 08:47 AM

Yesterday's editorial, "A Good Leak," was perhaps the most disgraceful display of factually challenged drivel that's ever sullied the Post. Opinion writing is one thing, issuing those so-called "opinions" in contravention of known facts, including those printed in your own pages, is absolutely shameful.

Others have discussed, at length, the Post's likely motivations behind decisions such as these. Whatever they were, I certainly hope they were worth the wholesale sacrifice of the paper's integrity, respectability, and--more than anything else--credibility.

Posted by: Verchiel | April 10, 2006 08:50 AM

Typical. Facts mean nothing to this editorial board. How do you look yourself in the mirror Mr. Hiatt? The news world will be better off when you retire.

Posted by: Patrick in Chicago | April 10, 2006 08:50 AM

I can summarize this thusly:

"Who you gonna believe, me or my lyin' front page?"

Posted by: ohboy | April 10, 2006 08:55 AM

Your editorial about the Bush administrations "good" leak is preposterous. You've shown yourself to be inconsequential once again. I keep wondering how much your editorial board gets paid for regurgitating Bush propaganda. Whatever it is, is it worth your soul? Or are you those kind of folks that doesn't believe anything is inherently wrong, as long as you can win the argument?

You obviously aren't listening to the majority of Americans, who believe that using classified information to deal with a critic is wrong. Do you guys have an self-respect left? I'm going straight to your advertisers. They at least are interested in what most Americans think.

Posted by: Dixie Mom | April 10, 2006 09:05 AM

Your "Good Leak" editorial is correct. Despite the Leftist raving sputum-flecked mouths shrieking at the behest of meth-fiend firedogs, your moral courage is exemplary.

The freak-show left simply wants politics criminalized if it does not conform to their authoritarian totalitarian agenda.

God bless Fred Hiatt and Brady and his bunch!

Posted by: dave in boca | April 10, 2006 09:14 AM

What was with the editorial "A Good Leak" in your Sunday Outlook section?

The factual errors in this editorial were beyond belief and easily refuted, so how after all these years could the Washington Post editorial staff still be making them?

First, lets get this straight, Ambassador Wilson never, repeat never, said that he was sent to Niger by Vice President Cheney. That you bring up this White House Strawman defense in your editorial just shows that you do not even know what Ambassador Wilson's original op-ed said.

As a reminder here is what Joe Wilson said in the July 6, 2003 NY Times Op-Ed:

'In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.'

Please note that he didn't say, as the White House defenders and Republican National Committee operatives repeatedly have insisted, he was sent by the Vice President.

Your editorial also seems to imply that the
Senate report debunked what Ambassador Wilson said. This is false. The conclusion of the Senate report is not supported by the body of the report. In fact the conclusion is an assumption of an assumption. Ambassador Wilson reported that the Prime Minister he had met had in fact met with an Iraqi delegation, and this Minister assumed that the Iraqis were interested in purchasing Uranium Yellow Cake, but they had never discussed it, partly because the Minister had steered the conversation away from such discussion.

This is what the Senate report reads, yet somehow the conclusion of the report assumes the Niger Prime Minister's assumption was correct and offers this as proof.

It should also be noted that the Senate report failed to include the CIA's position on a number of matters involving the Ambassador Wilson/Valarie Plame Wilson scandal, and that the Democrats did not know this until after they signed off on the document.

Your editorial states that the Senate Committee report found that, for most analysts the former ambassador's report lent more credibility, not less, to the reported Niger-Iraq uranium deal, when in fact, the body of the Senate report suggests the exact opposite.

It is clear from the body of the Senate report that the Intelligence Community, including the DCI himself, made several attempts to ensure that the President not become a "fact witness" on an allegation that was so weak.

A thorough reading of the report substantiates the claim made in Ambassador Wilson's opinion piece in the New York Times and in subsequent interviews he has given on the subject.

Your editorial ignores the fact that the then Deputy Commander of European Command, General Carlton Fulford, and the then US Ambassador to Niger Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, also did investigations into the Iraq/Niger Uranium connection, and found that there was no deal between Iraq and Niger, and that all they could confirm was a visit by the Iraqi Ambassador to the Vatican.

Your editorial also ignores the fact that Libby's testimony is that Bush and Cheney authorized him to release only select pieces of the NIE that supported their case. How is this not a bigger issue for a news paper?

The Washington Post editorial staff has truely fallen down on the job.

Posted by: RJRolsen | April 10, 2006 09:14 AM


You don't get it do you? How can the editorial be correct when the "facts" it is based on have been shown repeatedly (on this blog, in court filings, in news reports appearing in papers around the country, in books and magazines, etc) to be false.

You may want to live in an Owellian world where the government gets to decide the facts, but the rest of us prefer the reality-based community.

Do yourself a favor. Take a few days off. Read the coverage of this leak investigation from 2003 up until yesterday (including the court filings, the report of the 9/11 commission and the SSCI). Your president has played you for a fool and if you spend the time looking at the facts that is inescapable. Quit carrying the water for a guy who has been laughing at you and the rest of the base for the last 6 years.

Posted by: AJ | April 10, 2006 09:29 AM

With respect, Mr. Hiatt....are you high? At least read your own paper. Or is it that the newsies can't appreciate Rove inspired 'nuance' and are stuck stating facts.

Another example of the Post and its formerly sterling reputation heading for the ash heap.

Posted by: KRH | April 10, 2006 09:30 AM

I declare WaPo completely devoid of any credibility with the Human Race as of.............Now.

Posted by: God | April 10, 2006 09:34 AM

This is a polite message from the fever swamp. Why do you allow editors to lie?

Oh, about the front page story today about only 150,000 demonstrators expected today, hope you took the metro.

Posted by: OGeorge | April 10, 2006 09:34 AM

Partial, misleading, politically-motivated leaks of intelligence information by the president is never a good thing.

Posted by: Greg | April 10, 2006 09:37 AM

Do you rent out op-ed space or just let Barbara Comstock have it for free?

I am interested in learning how to make up stuff and get it published on your editorial page.

Would you please publish your fee list and available discounts for Republican propoganda? Thank you very much.

Posted by: E. "Greg" Ious | April 10, 2006 09:41 AM

"a Good Leak" is as dishonest as it gets, Brady should go.

Posted by: john griffith | April 10, 2006 09:50 AM

At first I thought, how sad for Fred Hiatt, because the editorial page is put to bed well before the front page, so he couldn't know that the new headlines would contradict him.

But now I realize that the Post editorial page is a self-parody. Move over Onion, the Post is way funnier!

Posted by: Rich Cohen | April 10, 2006 10:01 AM

This is so very sad and pathetic. Hey, Washington Post, everybody is laughing at you.

What a pitiful and disgusting editorial. At least some effort should be made to hide your bias. Unbelievable.

Posted by: hostile | April 10, 2006 10:08 AM

Gotta love miscreants like Dave in Boca. Does he read what he writes? how about this gem:

"Despite the Leftist raving sputum-flecked mouths shrieking at the behest of meth-fiend firedogs, your moral courage is exemplary.

The freak-show left simply wants politics criminalized if it does not conform to their authoritarian totalitarian agenda.

I mean, really now, Dave. Who sounds like they're raving?

PS - There's still some 'sputum flecks' on your chin.

Posted by: Not Dave in Boca | April 10, 2006 10:17 AM

I wish I had a subscription to your paper so I could cancel it.

Posted by: commie atheist | April 10, 2006 10:19 AM

'A Good Leak' is the most insulting, deceitful editorial I have read in a major newspaper. I've just canceled my subscription of 20 years.

Posted by: Scott in DC | April 10, 2006 10:23 AM

"Your "Good Leak" editorial is correct. Despite the Leftist raving sputum-flecked mouths shrieking at the behest of meth-fiend firedogs, your moral courage is exemplary.

The freak-show left simply wants politics criminalized if it does not conform to their authoritarian totalitarian agenda.

God bless Fred Hiatt and Brady and his bunch!

Posted by: dave in boca | April 10, 2006 09:14 AM"

Wow, even the Post has parody trolls.

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 10:23 AM

God bless Fred Hiatt and Brady and his bunch!

Which "bunch" is God blessing dear.

Posted by: ppp | April 10, 2006 10:28 AM

I won't recapitulate all the factual errors in the WaPo editorial, just so much: There seems to be general agreement that WaPo's editors joined Bush, Cheney, Libby et al. in taking a good leak on Joe Wilson. Nuff said.

Posted by: Gray | April 10, 2006 10:33 AM

Sunday's Editorial "A Good Leak" is another fine example of the use of misleading talking points by the Editors of the Washington Post.

The Editorial states there was nothing "unusual" about what was done. However, Libby himself described the situation as unique.

Furthermore, the editorial repeats old debunked myths that the leaked material somehow showed Wilson was wrong, when it did no such thing. First, the editors dont know what exactly was leaked. Second, they fail to identify the portion of would show what they claim. Third, they willfully misrepresent what Wilson's trip showed. Fourth, they ignore the fact that that Wilson's assertion were eventually bourne out by the truth. Fifth, they fail to describe what was "good" about this leak of cherry-picked slanted information to a single reporter in that it supported what turns out to be a false and misleading picture of the actual reality. Sixth, the editorial mistates what Fitzgerald wrote in the report: "In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity." In fact, this description is false as it suggests Fitzgerald affirmatively cleared the President of any involvement, it would be more accurate to say that Fitgerald stated that he had no evidence that Bush did or did not authorize disclosure of Plame's identity. At this point we do not know one way or the other.

The editorials conclusion is also misleading:

"It's unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision."

This mistates the problem: What he did wrong was release cherry picked information that provided a misleading description of the available information. What he did wrong was to keep information classifed that did not support his political possition that was also avaiable to him when he made this "momentous decision" despite the fact that its need to remain secret was no greater than the information he chose to release. What he did wrong, was to politicize the classification procedures where he pursued declassification only of those portions that support his position politically. What he did wrong was keep selectively provide information to a single person while denying the rest of the world access to the same information on the grounds that it remained classified.

In essence what he did wrong was to try to manipulate public opinion by selectively releasing information he liked and keeping information he didnt. Not due to national security but due to politics. You might think that the fact that the editors of the Washington Post were willingly duped into backing this misleading view of the runup to the war might make them less likely to portray such leaks as "good." Perhaps the paper is angling to have it be the beneficiary of such misleading leaks in the future from the President?

Posted by: Catch22 | April 10, 2006 10:38 AM

How many posts are they gonna let us post before they close us down? FREE SPEECH is better than printed lies.

Posted by: Count Chocula | April 10, 2006 10:41 AM

You're kidding with the "good leak" thing, right? Maybe you'd like to go back in time and tell us that the Watergate burglary was a "good burglary"!

Posted by: synykyl | April 10, 2006 10:52 AM

The world is sadly getting so bizarre that Hiatt is now apparently obliged to label his parodies for the less sophisticated among us. Lighten up you-all and enjoy the parady for it's entertainment value! Sigh.

Posted by: James | April 10, 2006 10:58 AM

I could start a long list of items, but I won't. I will just say that I am... disappointed in the Washington Post. Somehow I can't even muster the anger that I once could at such catering to political power. I can only feel an empty disappointment.

Posted by: Sunhawk | April 10, 2006 11:01 AM

When is W going to explain why he lied about the leak?

Posted by: getalife | April 10, 2006 11:02 AM

Nevermind, we can't believe anything he says.

Posted by: getalife | April 10, 2006 11:04 AM

All of this intelligent, much-deserved, outrage directed at the Washington Post Editorial Board really needs now to move to some closure ! As powerful as it is that we legions are able to make our indignation evident by our numbers, as guests of the WaPo blog structure (thank you, WaPo!), it cannot rest with this. WE MUST HEAR A FRIGGIN RESPONSE FROM SOMEONE IN CHARGE ! IF WE ARE LEFT AT THE END OF A MONOLOGUE, HOWEVER MANY CONTRIBUTING VOICES THERE MAY BE, THEN WHOOPEE ! WE ARE TALKING TO OURSELVES.

Posted by: Buddy Saleeby | April 10, 2006 11:09 AM

From Press Think:

Murray Waas is Our Woodward Now
"Not only is Woodward not in the hunt, but he is slowly turning into the hunted. Part of what remains to be uncovered is how Woodward was played by the Bush team, and what they thought they were doing by leaking to him, as well as what he did with the dubious information he got."

You guys had an Op Ed today on the "Crack-up in D.C.", it ain't just the government that's crackin'-up. You folks are ridin' in the back seat.

Posted by: COLORADO BOB | April 10, 2006 11:13 AM

Can it, "James".
Stop trying to transmogrify Fred Hiatt into Jon Stewart or Bill Maher.
If the dunce is being deadly serious, as he is, then let's not give him an out by suggesting that he is some comedic genius.
Neither a Will Rogers nor a mLenny Bruce is our dear dear Hiat.

Posted by: Buddy Saleeby | April 10, 2006 11:19 AM

DeaR Wash.Po., since you have decided on this rightward path, let me give you 2 words to show you your future: Dennis Miller.

Hello irrelevance!

Posted by: McStubbins | April 10, 2006 11:23 AM

Guys, don't you get it? The editorial was obviously written by Bob Woodward!

Posted by: Tom | April 10, 2006 11:31 AM

Don't tell me, the Editorial Sunday was written by Woodward? In a furious race for the finish line of irrelevance, the Post is clearly the jockey riding the shetland pony Bob Woodward, who long ago should have been retired, not to be put out to stud, but to graze until gorged in the pasture of complicity and accomodation. The Post is now without it's new whip, Ben Domenech, which broke under pressure. The prize in this stakes race? Fox viewers. Have at it, Post. Time for that friendly takeover from Murdoch.

Posted by: Kate | April 10, 2006 11:39 AM

Your editorial, "A Good Leak," is pathetic. What the heck has happened to the paper that broke Watergate? I guess you folks have sold out completely. Why?

Posted by: Peter | April 10, 2006 11:57 AM

That leak editorial was like something out of a time capsule from a couple of years ago, before we all knew, and before the Washington Post itself had reported, that practically every used-up talking point in there was untrue. The WaPo really has picked sides. History will not be kind.
"Good leaks." Ha.

Posted by: Jeff | April 10, 2006 12:02 PM

"A Good Leak" demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of what President Bush has done. I would recommend to this editorial writer that you actually read the reporting on the subject in your own paper.

Libby told Ms. Miller that a key judgement of the NIE was that Iraq had sought uranium from Africa. This information was false and misleading.

This editorial claims Mr. Wilson's charges are twisted but George Tenet seem to corroborate them when he announced that the uranium charges were too suspect to be included in the State of the Union.

Do the Post editors actually follow the news or do they just have expensive lunches with members of the Bush White House? This editorial sounds like a press release crafted by Mr. Rove and company. Congratulations on your access to the White House--it has completely compromised your ability to tell the truth.

Posted by: Jane S. | April 10, 2006 12:03 PM

The editorial should have been written on April 1 so people would get the joke.

Posted by: Billy Bud | April 10, 2006 12:07 PM

It's exactly this type of Bush Administration stenography by supposed "journalists" that led us to the national predicaments we're now experiencing. There are so many holes in Hiatts editorial analysis that Swiss cheesemakers would be proud.

Please...stop the propaganda!

Posted by: Al Curry | April 10, 2006 12:07 PM

let's all pretend that the only people who are going to notice the gross contradiction between the editorial and reality are far left extreme unhinged leftie bloggers/newshounds. the masses are ignorant.

this will all blow over and in the long run the wapo reputation will not suffer.

dream on

Posted by: annie | April 10, 2006 12:09 PM

Was that editorial faxed over from the Pentagon? Or the White House? Which is it? It reads like it was plagiarized from a White House position paper that was written before we knew about all of Bush's lies.

Bush has lied, and lied, and lied, and lied, over and over again, in ways that damage this country for decades to come. It takes a special, deep brand of cowardice not to be able to say that. Stop hurting the country and just tell the TRUTH.

Posted by: Splash | April 10, 2006 12:22 PM

After "A Good Leak," I will be cancelling my 20 year subscription to the Post. Your shameless editorial pandering to the Bush administration makes me sick.

Posted by: SusanJ | April 10, 2006 12:23 PM

Next week's editorial, apologizing for this one, should be titled "A Good Dump".

Posted by: Gary Reilly | April 10, 2006 12:30 PM

The time for lies is over. The Emperor's Old Clothes are decidedly transparent to the vast majority of the public.

Umm, read your own news articles before bloviating, why doncha?

Posted by: Sundog | April 10, 2006 12:40 PM

I wholeheartedly concur with the sentiments of those who desire to see an official response to the criticisms of Fred Hiatt's "A Good Leak," which, at the very minimum, should have addressed the points raised by the news story on Wilson from the same edition.

Or was Hiatt's piece intended as the "balance" to the news story? If so, that's not balance, that's toadying, and as such, it's not pleasant to observe.

Posted by: Mr Blifil | April 10, 2006 12:53 PM

So the Post supports deceitful selective leaking of sensitive classified information relevant to our national security with the purposes of political cover and payback? Does the entire editorial staff feel this way? And how about the news staff? Do they all like to be associated with this position? Remember folks, it was the partisan lying that brought down Domenech, that axe is sharp enough to cut some poeple at the print edition too.

Posted by: pughd | April 10, 2006 12:56 PM

Why is it that when the right wing fundamantalists whine about inconsequential things, the Post hires Ben "The Shiv" Domenich - and why is it that when centrists and liberals complain about the Bush administration, we get an editorial as wrongheaded and inaccurate as this one?

I'm fed up with the Post.

Posted by: Whiney Liberal | April 10, 2006 01:01 PM

Let's start a collection to buy the Post Editorial staff subscriptions to their own paper.

Posted by: Teapot Dome | April 10, 2006 01:02 PM

(on-line chat) Wow.

Howie thinks that it is ideology that makes some of us think the editorial is a piece of crap and makes others think the reporters have it all wrong.

Ummmmm -- Howie. Check the facts in the Gellman/Linzer article. Then check the "facts" asserted by the editorial writer. You should be able to do that without recourse to ideology. It's called analysis. You could look it up.

Let me save you a step. The "facts" in the editorial are wrong. People who actually follow the news recognized that those facts were wrong as soon as they read the editorial.

To assume that opinions about the facts are simply a matter of ideology rather than analysis is insulting to your readers.
But the Post is getting very good at insulting its dwindling subscriber base. And you are carrying their water now.

Posted by: AJ | April 10, 2006 01:10 PM

The editors of the Washington Post seem to be deeply confused about their responsibility. A free press is meant to stand up to the powerful when they misuse their position to punish their opponents and deceive the public, not to lick their boots and carry their water. What a disgrace. The thing is, while you continue to play Washington games and spin this story, probably 60-65% of the country has seen and accepted the underlying truth of the matter.

Posted by: Neil | April 10, 2006 01:27 PM

Your editorial smear of Ambassador Wilson is one of the most dishonest pieces of dreck that I've read in years. How sad for the once-great Post.

Posted by: Kingtut | April 10, 2006 01:37 PM

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle" - George Orwell

First thing this AM I heard one the
main stream media reporters, think it was
CNN talking about 'The Good Leak'
indicating how it defended President Bush.
The Whitehouse ordered up something they could quote and the Washington Post complied.

Besides letting down their readers they are
used to extend the Bush propoganda to the
masses via television. They wrote this
horid editorial because they were asked or
told to. It was not mistake. They knew exactly what they were doing.

So terrible.

Posted by: Marlie | April 10, 2006 01:39 PM

Here's from the chat:

Columbia, Md.: I would take an opposite view from the others who ask the question. Doesn't it make the reporters look foolish when the editorial page is so dead on with their analysis while the reporters are basically carrying the water of those who are against President Bush?

Howard Kurtz: Okay, so now we have the opposite comment from a couple of earlier ones. The Bush critics say the reporters are right on and the editorial writers have no integrity, are mangling the facts, etc. As a Bush supporter, you believe the editorial was brave and bold and the reporters are a bunch of Bush-haters, or at least allies of Bush-haters. I couldn't ask for a better case study in how the ideology of some readers affects their perception of what is fair or accurate.

Mr. Kurtz, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts.

Journalists like you who see their jobs as a game of he-said-she-said reporting, independent of objective truth, create an environment where only politicians who lie shamelessly can be successful. In fact, you create an incentive for politicians to lie. What a joke has this paper become.

And still no word on your vile Jill Carroll smear...

Posted by: mz | April 10, 2006 01:50 PM

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. Ms. Graham is spinning in her grave.

This is the last nail coffin for what used to be a newspaper.

Posted by: bergman | April 10, 2006 01:56 PM

The editorial "A Good Leak" disgusted me. Perhaps Orwell would have liked it because it captured his warnings into just three words.

Posted by: betsy | April 10, 2006 02:01 PM

More from the chat:

New York City, N.Y.: What is it about Judith Miller that causes so many lefties to go berserk? (...)

Howard Kurtz: I would need a degree in psychology to explain it. (...)


Howard Kurtz: I do think it's important to recognize one's own biases and try to compensate for them by being as fair as you possibly can to people whose views you disagree with.

Howard, either you're not trying very hard, or it's not working. Oh, and say hi to the wife and all the GOP gang.

Posted by: mz | April 10, 2006 02:01 PM

Jane Hamsher on nails the rebuttal to the "A Good Leak" on the front door of the Washington Post.

Posted by: Hilding Lindquist | April 10, 2006 02:09 PM

Hey Fred is that stuff your ingesting legal? It must have been what Alice was drinking through the looking glass!

Posted by: stephen | April 10, 2006 02:21 PM

The sad part, I originally subscribed to the Washington Post's daily email updates because I thought it would give me a balanced, objective news summary every morning. How wrong I was.

The crime of the Post isn't even the reporting of incorrect facts -- it's the obvious, unapologetic, intellectually insulting pandering that is killing the WP's reputation. I'd really like to know the standard to which the Post thinks it's aspiring, because the bar must be set pretty low these days.

Posted by: rising sign | April 10, 2006 02:22 PM

Floyd Alvis Cooper, my favorite troll (old school style) made an appearance!

They don't make trolls like you anymore. *sniff*

Posted by: Gryn | April 10, 2006 02:26 PM

citizenkahn asks, "How did the Post go from exposing lies to espousing them?"

Follow the money. It will lead you to the answer.

Washington Post is receiving all kinds of goodies from the Bush regime. From millions in govt contracts to favorable regulations.

It is about the money folks. It is always about the money.

You are not helpless. Stop subscribing to the Washington Post and paying the salaries of GOP shills like Fred Hiatt.

Posted by: Nan | April 10, 2006 02:28 PM

"Explain to me again about how Wilson was the one twisting the truth? Bush ordered the selective leaking of misinformation to prove something he knew was not true."

How about using the new search widget to find out why the bg color of this page is not yellow?

Posted by: Eric E C | April 10, 2006 02:36 PM

Dear Fred:

Was it blotter or liquid?

Posted by: Aaron Adams | April 10, 2006 02:40 PM

You have to ask yourself why the Editorial writers hate America, and our values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life.

And why they persist in lying to us when the news side tells the truth.

God's watching the lies - and those who work for the Prince of Lies will find it pretty hot, eventually.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 10, 2006 02:40 PM

Hey Fred, you forgot to read your own newspaper, you nimwad. What the hell is the matter with you? Are you not in the least embarrassed by this lapse?

Posted by: esther clark | April 10, 2006 02:43 PM

Hmm. I tried searching for "Red State Blogger" & "lack of realistic multi-view point discussion" on the site and it just keeps saying "Does not exist".

I think the search tool is broken. Why isn't there a Purple State Blogger? Remember when there were moderates (40 percent of the US population)?

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 10, 2006 02:54 PM

Ik ben trots dat in mijn land geen krant een dergelijke dwaas van zich zou maken die de Post enkel met zijn beďnvloed hoofdartikel deed dat vlak door een belangrijk nieuwsverhaal de wordt tegengesproken zeer zelfde dag. En ik houd nog van Dana Milbank voor zijn kleurrijke kleding!

Posted by: Queen Beatrix | April 10, 2006 02:57 PM

Did I detect a faint change in the masthead these days? If you squint, you can see the "ost" part fading and being replaced with "ravda".

Maybe it's just me...

Posted by: CaroCogitatus | April 10, 2006 02:58 PM

Fred Hiatt's editorial "A Good Leak" is absolutely astounding, ignoring almost every fact of the Plame case, which the Post has reported on quite well. Does he not read his own paper? He essentially repeats long discredited GOP talking points and apparently views Bush's selective leaking as neither problematic nor hypocritical. Tell me, when the president and others in his administration cite 'the expert opinions' of the intelligence community to make their case, is it not a clear obligation to *accurately* present those opinions? By now it's clear that the admin knew that the most knowledgeable experts strongly believed the aluminum tubes were intended for rockets, not a centrifuge (and they were right). We also know that the admin knew that the overwhelming consensus was that the Niger-uranium story was bogus.
Rather than praising such behavior as Bush's highly misleading leak, most people can call it what Hiatt is apparently unable or unwilling to do: dishonest. I'd add, reprehensible.

Posted by: Tim Munson | April 10, 2006 03:10 PM

I think people have misinterpreted the April 9th editorial.

Obviously this was meant as an April Fools Day prank. They were just off on the date a bit.

Posted by: ACounter | April 10, 2006 03:19 PM

The other possibility is that U.S. government spooks wrote and secretly inserted the April 9th editorial into the paper while nobody was watching.

Management is too embarrassed to admit it.

Posted by: ACounter | April 10, 2006 03:22 PM

We already know that the government is paying journalists in the U.S. and in Iraq to print what it wants.

Is this too much of a leap?

Posted by: ACounter | April 10, 2006 03:24 PM

You know how satisfying it is when you're at bursting point, need to get foul waste matter out of your system, finally get to a urinal and take A Good Leak?

Well, I bet that's how Fred Hiatt felt when he got that garbage out of his system. Too bad he had to foul the Sunday morning paper for so many loyal readers ...

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 03:28 PM

The Sunday editorial on the Plame/NIE leaks will go down in history as the worst and least honest one ever published by a major American newspaper. In one blow, the Washington Post has sullied itself in a way that, for example, the Jayson Blair affair could never have done.

Posted by: seesdifferent | April 10, 2006 03:42 PM

Dear Brady, Hiatt, Domenech, Kurtz, et al:

Thanks for last night. Our wives would certainly never assent to such a menage, but you were WONDERFUL... hot, passionate, willing, and oh so submissive.

Thanks again, and you can be sure that we (and Halliburton, Carlyle, etc) will always be grateful.

Please note also that we have so discreetly left the money on the nitestand for you.

With Much Tender Affection,
George and Dick

Posted by: DH | April 10, 2006 03:48 PM

Well, I think y'all are being too hard on poor Mr. Hiatt. He has a problem that he needed to solve: reality has a liberal bias. For quite a while, during the period leading up to and shortly after the beginning of the Iraq war, the Post took care of that problem by reporting falsehoods in its news section. But for whatever reason, some Post reporters have no taken to reporting actual, true facts.

This is not fair and balanced. It makes the president and members of his administration out to be sociopathic liars who have brought about the deaths of hundreds of thousand of people, destroyed the international reputation of the U.S., caused grievous harm to the stability of the world and the geostrategic position of the country, squandered what will likely end up being $2 trillion or more that our great grandchildren will struggle to repay -- if they even exist -- and what's balanced about that?

Obviously, it is the responsibility of a great newspaper, in this situation, to balance reality with fantasy. To do otherwise would be inexcusable partisanship. So you go Fred -- you are defining responsible journalism for the 21st Century.

Posted by: Cervantes | April 10, 2006 03:51 PM

Why is Fred Hiatt allowed to write when he is drunk and/or stupid? Why does Jim Brady still have a job? When will we see the proof of Abramoff's donations to Democrats?

Posted by: K. Ron Silkwood | April 10, 2006 04:07 PM

Wow what an absolute failure on the part of the editors of WAPO to allow such an obviously flawed opinion to appear within it's own pages as an editorial. Today I will be cancelling my subscription to the paper which as of today is no longer fit to wipe with.

Posted by: nimbus | April 10, 2006 04:37 PM

Regarding yesterday's editorial "A Good Leak," just wtf is this, the WSJisming of the Washington Post? Intelligent WSJ readers have long trusted the reporters and skipped the editorials. Opinion and editorial writers at the WaPo no longer deserve to be in the cohort we pay to do our thinking for us. Up the blogs, long live Josh Marshall, Jane Hamsher and the whole leftie blogroll. I don't know what the right-wingers are going to do for facts (in the rare instance when they feel they need them), but the jury is in on the left. *flick*

Posted by: Jeany | April 10, 2006 04:41 PM

You guys still read the editorials?

Go figure.

Posted by: shep | April 10, 2006 05:05 PM

McClellen and Joe DiGenova are now using this editorial to justify the leak. So, this is how it works. The Washington Post editorial page writes an editorial based on falsehoods, and that becomes the Washington conventional wisdom. It's like a microcosm of the run-up to the war. Ah, the power must be exhilerating. Too late the Post will realize it is at the cost of the Post's credibility with its readers.

And, you realize McClellan, Rove and their ilk are all laughing at you. They think all of you at the Post are a bunch of dupes. And, they are right.

Everyone is laughing at the Post

Posted by: David | April 10, 2006 05:08 PM

Well, some are also crying, but that will pass. Mourning a death is a long process, but you get past it.

Posted by: David | April 10, 2006 05:10 PM

With your "good leak" editorial, you have destroyed any credibility the paper had left.

Let me put it this way, Hiatt and Brady have done to WaPo's stature what George Bush has done for America's stature.

I blogged on this at

Jane Hamsher has an exceelent deconstruction of the editorial on the Huffington Post at

Posted by: scootmandubious | April 10, 2006 05:11 PM

It is official. The Washington Post is now a propaganda organ for the Administration.

The WH goons are using the Sunday editorial to justify their little cloak and dagger game of declassification / leak...

What did Rove promise Hiatt in adition to slipping him a fat envelope?

Welcome to the Washington Pravda, run by corrupt crooks for corrupt crooks!

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 05:22 PM

when I read my print copy of the Wall Street Journal (get it at home), I expect such lies on it's editorial page, but reading lies like this in the WP is just plain wrong.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 10, 2006 05:23 PM

"Howard Kurtz: I don't care what Post editorials say, except as a reader. They do opinion, we do news."
Fred Hiatt did fiction, that's not "opinion."
Howard, please use your column to publicly request that Fred retract his "Good Leak," as unfit for publication in the Post.

Posted by: John Casper | April 10, 2006 05:23 PM

wapo - dino - engaging the abyss of extinction - buried in its own bs.

Posted by: 60yoh | April 10, 2006 05:28 PM

The editiorial, A Good Leak, had to be written by the White House.


Posted by: eve | April 10, 2006 05:29 PM

don't your editors read the news side of the paper? how can you opine based on facts that are 180 degrees from the truth as reported elsewhere in your paper? bunch of losers.

Posted by: chris from boca | April 10, 2006 05:32 PM

I wish Deborah Howell would use the new search feature to locate those "copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with his personal directions on which members were to receive what amounts" she claims The Post has.

Posted by: Philip | April 6, 2006 12:47 PM

It would also be nice if Fred Hiatt used the new search engine to search for a clue!

Posted by: Philip | April 6, 2006 01:07 PM

Posted by: Philip | April 10, 2006 05:48 PM

There is no way to keep the truth from being revealed. All, in good time. That there are so many people who still care about the truth in governance and journalism is a healthy thing for our very fragile democracy.

This vigilance, on the part of readers, serves us well, and the Post, especially, as it shows the line which cannot be crossed in such a cavalier manner shown in the misuse of intelligence, when dealing with matters of national defense, war, CIA employees, and all the rest.

These posts of righteous indignation should serve as a wake-up call to the Washington powermongers who abuse the citizens' trust in their government and their newspapers.

Posted by: margaret koscielny | April 10, 2006 05:49 PM

when will this newspaper and it's ombudsman get a clue?
kurtz is insane,
and the good leak bit is absurd.

Posted by: buskertype | April 10, 2006 05:55 PM

Upon reading the first few sentences of Fred Hiatt's "Good Leak" editorial, I literally scrolled to the top of the page to check that I was on a page of the Washington Post, not the Washington Times. It's sad that the Post has been brought so low. It's even more sad that it's taking to the bottom the country it claims to serve.

Posted by: Nooneyouknow | April 10, 2006 06:08 PM

Let's get this right here. Your "Good Leak" editorial lambastes Fitzgerald's investigation. But it doesn't address the core of it's momentum at this point: That those who lied to the Grand Jury - at this point Libby - should be prosecuted in the fullest for obstruction of justice. This is no small infraction, regardless of any partisan takes on how serious the leak of Plame's name was to begin with. Investigations often do expand to greater import when they attempt to follow the weavings of those who would impede the authority for truthful testimony.
In fact these investigations have the duty to nail down those participants who have attempted to scuttle Grand Jurys in their extremely complicated tasks of getting to the truth. Look no further to Bill Clinton's damaging lie taken under oath - which the current president was given a pass on - in Kenneth Starrs case.
To say that this mushrooming affair has been 'absurdly over-examined'is of course opinion. But let's look at the strategy that Fitzgerald uses in this latest move. He is simply circling the noose around the neck that Libby stuck so far out in the service of protecting his boss. Libby makes a motion for more documents. Fitzgerald files his response that in fact no more evidence is needed for the context of Libby's defense of forgetting who he talked with in delivering Plame's name. The context is well established by Libby's own statements to the Grand Jury that a concerted effort was undertaken to discredit Wilson's OpEd attack on the administration and that he was tasked with the special responsibility to launch the campaign. Serious indeed and completely undermines the request for more documentation. That Bush is in turn made to look as mendacious as he is portrayed is simply the fault of revelations in response to a former official trying to save his neck. These are incidents of the administration's own doings, not the fault of an investigator who responds by undermining Libby's 'context of lies' with the bigger context of a focused and charged underling doing some very sensitive and surgical damage control.

Posted by: edsdet | April 10, 2006 06:11 PM

We are all entitled to our own opinions, but the Post Editorial Board evidently believes we are entitled to own facts as well.

Posted by: Broken | April 10, 2006 06:21 PM

I buy a Sunday Post about once every couple of months, and I've never written to this blog or the editor, but happening upon the utter tripe passed off as eidtorial writing, I had to find out what others thought of it.

I thought maybe my reading comprehension skills had suddenly deteriorated as I read the Sunday editorial. Maybe it was sudden onset Alzheimer's, but the editorial just made no sense. Editorials are opinion, but there should be some logical progression. Premise, argument, conclusion, with something connecting them. This piece just said blue is red and up is down, but it's a major newspaper; maybe I missed something, so I read it slower. Nope, still made no sense.

WTF? Norman, coordinate! All those kinds of reactions went through my head. And in the same issue with very coherent reporting on the Front Page detailing all that was necessary to support a completely contrary conclusion to that of the editorial.

Good thing I bought this at the news stand, so I don't have to trouble myself with cancelling a subscription. Better, I found this blog w/ many similar reactions, so maybe I don't have Alzheimer's after all.

And here I though the Post was still a major newspaper. Hah. Another one bites the dust.

Posted by: Occasional Reader | April 10, 2006 06:30 PM

Your editorial and your stance on these issues has been disgraceful.

Posted by: Mark | April 10, 2006 06:47 PM

Wow. A well-deserved 24 h flamefest about an ed piece fit for a Stürmerkasten. My Old European liberal surrender monkey soul rejoices. But what comes next except a 'shrug' from the editiorial board??

('s hoping that Berlusconi is shown the door and a free entrance to some court appearances.)

Posted by: El Tonno | April 10, 2006 06:50 PM

Re: A Good Leak (Editorial, Sunday, April 9, 2006; Page B06)

Dear Mr. Hiatt:

Your latest editorial is an excercise in deceit. For example, you write: "...the administration handled the release [of classifed intelligence] clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling." Oh, Arlen Specter is a Democrat? Your charge is a proverbial straw man, and avoids the real issue of the Bush administration's abuse of power.

"Mr. Cheney's tactics make Mr. Bush look foolish for having subsequently denounced a different leak in the same controversy and vowing to 'get to the bottom' of it." The crux of the problem is not that these tactics make Mr. Bush look foolish; they make him look like a liar and hypocrite, with good cause.

I could spend all day correcting your lies. Here is a partial attempt:

1. Joe Wilson never claimed that Dick Cheney "sent him" to Niger.
2. The CIA denies that Valerie Plame-Wilson ever "recommended" Joe Wilson to investigate allegations regarding Niger and Iraq.
3. Valerie Plame-Wilson WAS an undercover employee of the CIA.
4. Your assertion that Mr. Wilson's investigation supported the debunked claim that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger is utterly baseless.
5. The Iraq-Niger story was spawned by forged documents created and spread by SISMI, the Italian intelligence agency; there was never a scintilla of credible evidence to support claims that Iraq had ever sought uranium from Niger.
6. Mr. Bush authorized the leaking of classified intelligence supporting erroneous claims that Iraq harbored or sought WMD; yet conveniently, none of the numerous countervailing caveats and substantive disagreements contained in that intelligence were leaked.

Your editorial assails readers with a temptest of distortions and lies.

Please read your own paper's new article, "A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic" (Sunday, April 9, 2006) for some factual material.

Your editorial is slanted to the point of knavery.

Posted by: Marc S. Lawrence | April 10, 2006 06:55 PM

BUSH: Yes. No, I -- this is -- there's an ongoing legal proceeding which precludes me from talking a lot about the case. There's also an ongoing investigation that's a serious investigation.

I will say this, that after we liberated Iraq, there was questions in people's minds about -- you know, about the basis on which I made statements. In other words, going into Iraq.

And so I decided to declassify the NIE for a reason. I wanted to see -- people to see what some of those statements were based on, so I wanted to see -- I wanted people to see the truth. And I thought it made sense for people to see the truth. And that's why I declassified the document.

You can't talk about -- you're not supposed to talk about classified information. And so I declassified the document.

I thought it was important for people to get a better sense for why I was saying what I was saying in my speeches. And I felt I could do so without jeopardizing, you know, ongoing intelligence matters. And so I did.

As far as the rest of the case goes, you're just going to have to let Mr. Fitzgerald complete his case. And I hope you understand that. It's a serious legal matter that we've got to be careful in making public statements about it.

Posted by: getalife | April 10, 2006 07:04 PM

Okay, now the "incompitence" of the Bush administration is seeping. Ick. How could a major American newspaper feature a page one account of BushCo's duplicity while in the same issue run an editorial that contradicts the entire thrust of the page one account? It's preposterous. It's silly, really. It's incompitence of the highest order - right in line with what's going on in the White House.


PS: I don't really believe it's incomitence so much as diversionary tactics from the WH. Which is it at WaPo?

Posted by: vandrop | April 10, 2006 07:29 PM

I know exactly why you published that editorial, Fred. From ThinkProgress ...

White House Uses Washington Post Editorial To Defend Bush Leak
This weekend, the Washington Post wrote an editorial defending President Bush’s smearing of Joseph Wilson. The Post editors mangled the facts and failed to note — as their political writers did — that Bush deceptively leaked intelligence information despite knowing it had been disproved months before. (Read a thorough debunking of the editorial).

One might be tempted to dismiss the effect that a mere 575-word editorial can have on the public debate. But it is already being peddled peddled by the White House to misinform the public. Here’s the product of the White House’s efforts –

Kelly O’Donnell, NBC White House correspondent, this morning on MSNBC:

To further support the White House view that the president was simply acting within his legal authority — he is able to declassify material at any time — the White House today is circulating some favorable editorials saying what the president did was perfectly fine and they also say what was disclosed was historical in nature and that it had no harmful effect on national security.

Joseph diGenova, former Reagan administration lawyer, on NPR this morning:

I think the Washington Post said it best on Sunday when it said that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Scott McClellan, this afternoon in the White House press briefing:

[Bush] did authorize the declassification of the National Intelligence Estimate. I think you’ve seen editorials and other comments over the weekend talking about how that was important because it was in the public interest.

And slowly but surely, with an assist from the Washington Post, the White House attempts to turn a falsehood into conventional wisdom.

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 07:35 PM

I am so ashamed of what the Post has become.
You have degenerated into the worst kind of propaganda rag. What a pity.
I have canceled my subscription.

Posted by: Former reader | April 10, 2006 08:00 PM

Bush Vows To Fire Leak Criminals!

Posted by: The Big Lie | April 10, 2006 08:08 PM

Wasn't April Fools Day was a week and a half ago?

Posted by: Me | April 10, 2006 08:09 PM

It's clear that Washington Post editorial board has become the water carrier for the GOP.

Congratulations are definitely in order.

Posted by: lib | April 10, 2006 08:19 PM

A "Concerted Effort" to Discredit Bush Critic
By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
The Washington Post

Sunday 09 April 2006

Prosecutor describes Cheney, Libby as key voices pitching Iraq-Niger story.

As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" - using classified information - to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

Bluntly and repeatedly, Fitzgerald placed Cheney at the center of that campaign. Citing grand jury testimony from the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Fitzgerald fingered Cheney as the first to voice a line of attack that at least three White House officials would soon deploy against former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Cheney, in a conversation with Libby in early July 2003, was said to describe Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger the previous year - in which the envoy found no support for charges that Iraq tried to buy uranium there - as "a junket set up by Mr. Wilson's wife," CIA case officer Valerie Plame.

Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for denying under oath that he disclosed Plame's CIA employment to journalists. There is no public evidence to suggest Libby made any such disclosure with Cheney's knowledge. But according to Libby's grand jury testimony, described for the first time in legal papers filed this week, Cheney "specifically directed" Libby in late June or early July 2003 to pass information to reporters from two classified CIA documents: an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and a March 2002 summary of Wilson's visit to Niger.

One striking feature of that decision – un-remarked until now, in part because Fitzgerald did not mention it - is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before.

United Nations inspectors had exposed the main evidence for the uranium charge as crude forgeries in March 2003, but the Bush administration and British Prime Minister Tony Blair maintained they had additional, secret evidence they could not disclose. In June, a British parliamentary inquiry concluded otherwise, delivering a scathing critique of Blair's role in promoting the story. With no ally left, the White House debated whether to abandon the uranium claim and became embroiled in bitter finger-pointing about whom to fault for the error. A legal brief filed for Libby last month said that "certain officials at the CIA, the White House, and the State Department each sought to avoid or assign blame for intelligence failures relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

It was at that moment that Libby, allegedly at Cheney's direction, sought out at least three reporters to bolster the discredited uranium allegation. Libby made careful selections of language from the 2002 estimate, quoting a passage that said Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium" in Africa.

Maybe Fred should try reading his own paper. As editor, I would think he WOULD HAVE already for the Sunday edition, ya know?

Posted by: DH | April 10, 2006 08:27 PM

I love all this speculation A la Hiatt as to whether Saddam met with Atta, Whether they sought Uranium etc. We've been occupying the coutry for 3 years with our military intelligence free to follow up on all this. That deafening silence you hear is the ultimate rebuttal. No uranium, No Al Quaida

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 08:29 PM

Bend over Tricky Dick, I've missed kicking you!

Posted by: | April 10, 2006 09:02 PM

What is going on with Fred Hyatt? The entire country is starting to see what a charlatan Bush is and Hyatt’s stripes remain frozen in place—still a shill for the Republican party. How in the world did he get control of the editorial board of your once excellent paper?

And does he yet have even even tiny regrets for supporting this absurd, stupid and terrible war?

We don’t need three conservative papers in DC.

Posted by: James of DC | April 10, 2006 09:14 PM

How much did they pay to post that crap?

Posted by: greed | April 10, 2006 09:25 PM

Thanks WAPO! Now I know I can completely ignore you, which will open up some time for more reality-based news.

Posted by: fojammi | April 10, 2006 09:25 PM

I just got into an argument with someone who was comparing this Washington Post Editorial, "A Good Leak" with Pravda's coverage of the old Soviet Union. I left the debate by telling the other guy not to smear Pravda, by comparing them to the Post.

Posted by: Ron Russell | April 10, 2006 10:34 PM

Well, I can now say this is the best english translation of Pravda I have read in years.
It is so good to know Dear Leader is well and all his loyal children are safe.
I hope you keep publishing wonderfull party editorials like this, we will surely enjoy a great revolution.
What was even more heartening was seeing the seed you planted for Dear Leader and his wonderfull Appointed Spokesman as well as the Loyal Executive Reinformation Officers sprout and start to grow.
Editorials such as the one written in Sundays Paper in such glorious and blissfull Truthiness are seldom seen now that those lesser mortals of the MSM try and reclaim that lost art of fact based reality.
Luckily, this planted propoganda in support of Dear Leader brings the legitimacy and cover we need to make this story become the less than one day event it has become. None other than the great High Priest of Dear Leaders Loyal Executive Reinformation Officers himself, Squire Scott McC, quoted your wonderful comments as proof Dear Leader is justified in his actions. WOW! I am impressed. And I look forward to the day when our children learn that the truth was just to messy for us to continue living by it.
Well, Dear Comrade Editorial Writer (unsigned) I have gushed enough. I must go and prepare for the revolution to come and place those "W" placards I saved back in the yard so the tide rolls past my house and gathers up all those pesky truth seeking liberals.

Posted by: liberties death | April 10, 2006 10:38 PM

there is no pravda in the WaPost or izvestia in the NYTimes

Posted by: Tovarisch | April 10, 2006 10:42 PM

You guys might consider imitating the NYtimes move, let those that are hyped about your editorials pay for them. That would liberate me from reading BS. Unfortunately when it's free I can't stop reading the Post, or I mean an institution that's a little under the Enquirer's standards. Good job guys. El Loco

Posted by: El Loco | April 10, 2006 11:54 PM

Mr. Hiatt: I was managing editor of a newspaper for 15 years and now teach college students how to be journalists. Your Sunday editorial puts me in a tough position: how can I urge them to read Sunday editorials in major newspapers when yours was rife with factual errors, leaps of illogic, and wholesale assimilation of administration talking points? Your words reflected everything I try to teach them NOT TO DO. The most important lesson I try to teach them is to own up to their mistakes. Why don't you make up for your Sunday errors by leading by example and setting things right?

Posted by: former MSM journalist | April 10, 2006 11:59 PM

What's really sad is that no one seems to care about getting the readers the facts. Ms. Howell doesn't seem to care. She writes a column about obituaries! I mean, this is weird. All the issues that have come up the last couple months regarding the Post, and she thinks it's time for a column about obits? (And she didn't even say anything interesting or new.)

Truth is, if we want an actual discussion of journalism in the Age of Bush, we aren't going to get it from newspapers or newsweeklies. I would love to hear what the political reporters think about this editorial... but we never will. Kurtz acts like it's okay to say anything in an editorial, that there's no need to represent the truth. Howell needs to deal with those obituaries!!

Thank goodness for real media watchdogs like EP and Jay Rosen and Media Matters.

Posted by: walleyed pike | April 11, 2006 12:14 AM

If I hadn't read it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have ever believed it! From Monday's "online chat with the readers," Howard made it clear that Fred Hiatt's recent editorial represents "the view of the paper." Twenty-two words; clear as a bell! Can I cancel my subscription online or will I have to talk to some poor underpaid fool who just happens to work for the shill factory that used to be a great paper?

Washington, D.C.: Another angle on "A Good Leak": wouldn't its author have been better advised to run it as a bylined editorial?

Howard Kurtz: That's not a bad idea, but does not seem to be the editorial page's style. ***** The argument is that an editorial has more force when it's represented as the view of the paper, not just one writer. *****

[asterisks are mine]

Posted by: Ben | April 11, 2006 01:58 AM

When will Deborah Howell be having an online chat with the readers? I have a question or two I'd like to ask.

Posted by: Philip | April 11, 2006 02:23 AM

Gosh, the feedback from WaPo is refreshing. I'm encouraged that a big paper like this listens to their readers. Heck of a job brady. You are doin us ALL proud.

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 02:52 AM

Donald Graham owes it to his mother to fire whoever was responsible for that editorial.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | April 11, 2006 02:57 AM

When will Fred Hiatt retract his "Good Leak" editorial?

Posted by: John Casper | April 11, 2006 03:11 AM

If this leak was such a damn good idea -- and so clearly within the scope of the president's power and so clearly done in the interest of the public's right to know, why the expense of an investigation?

Stephen Elliott over at Huffington Post makes the excellent point that even those folks who are drinking the kool-aid about the legality of the president's ability to spontaneously declassify, like your lunatic editorial writer, have got to be wondering why a president with that kind of power has allowed a costly investigation of a leak to proceed.

After all, if what he was doing was declassification in the interest of the public's right to know, he could have saved the taxpayers millions simply by stepping forward sooner.

And now, two years into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity, with millions of dollars spent on investigating this serious breach of public trust, after reporter Judy Miller spends 80 days in jail, after George W. Bush promises to reckon with anyone in his administration responsible for the leak, we're told George Bush is actually responsible for the leak after all.

So why have the investigation? Why this egregious irresponsible use of tax money from an administration so adamant about tax cuts? If the information was declassified and the president authorized it, what were we investigating? This administration is so used to not being held accountable that it means nothing to them to waste millions of tax payer dollars investigating a leak that they knew all along was their own.

Posted by: AJ | April 11, 2006 08:17 AM

Note -- I tried using html tags in the post above and it didn't work. To be clear, the last two paragraphs above are quotes from Elliott's column at Huffington Post.

See how easy it is not to plagiarize Ben?

Posted by: AJ | April 11, 2006 08:20 AM

After reading these comments I see that I was not alone in my disgust with the Post's terrible "Good Leak" editorial this past Sunday.

After reading the editorial on Sunday I was so mad at the factual discrepancies that I sent the following email to the editor (see below). I'm glad that this blog gives me another opportunity to say it all again!

Hi. I just read the editorial -- "A Good Leak" in today's Washington Post. I didn't know that the WSJ editorial page was now part of the Post? When did that happen?

Your editorial is absolute drivel and certainly not up to the high standards that I have come to expect from the Post. I hope the distorted viewpoint exhibited by the editorial page writers concerning the Bush authorization to leak partial national security information does not creep into the Post's news reporting. I also hope that the editor will recognize that some vacation time for the editorial staff is badly needed. They obviously need time to recharge their batteries so that they can get a better grasp of the facts.

Thank you.

Posted by: pmorlan | April 11, 2006 10:08 AM

after I sent Ms. Howell a quick message chastising her for letting 2 nosey, snooping reporters undercut that editorial with actual embarassing facts, she replied that she indeed might pen a column this coming Sunday about the situation. Dear Froomkin pointed out that there's always a firewall between the news and editorial sections of the paper and it's never been truer.
So look forward to the Ombudsman's Column coming up...

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 11, 2006 10:58 AM

What a sad place we have gotton to, that the WAPO editorial staff promotes blatantly false propaganda for use by the White House in its attempt to spin its
actions. Does being used feel good???

"A Good Leak". Yeah, and night is day and up is down. Say goodby to your last shreds of integrity WAPO editorial staff.

Posted by: Susan, Minneapolis | April 11, 2006 11:14 AM

Thanks for improving the search function. It pains me, though, that I have begun using the Washington Post -- a paper I have been depending on for journalistic integrity for more than 30 years -- as an example of propaganda prose. You really may as well be reprinting White House press releases.

And I am amazed by how much this hurts me. It's more than simply ignoring the facts -- it's ignoring the history of the presidency, the history of this president. You have begun ignoring the glaring and blatant inconsistencies from the White House. And the "new journalism" you practice is hurting our country.

I am really, very deeply sad.

Posted by: Nina Parrish | April 11, 2006 11:39 AM

Stop insulting our intelligence.

Some people in this country are watching and reading about this failed administration.

Retract this spin!

Posted by: insult | April 11, 2006 11:42 AM

Hey, people at the Post, have you read today's editorial in the conservative Chicago Tribune? It's called holding those in power to account. It's called taking seriously your responsibility to your readers, to the public at large, and to our democracy.

Posted by: Joel | April 11, 2006 11:53 AM

How long will it take for the Post to retract Fred Hiatt's "A Good Leak?"

Posted by: John Casper | April 11, 2006 01:23 PM

I'm not sure I could add anything original to the outrage over "A Good Leak," (talk about double speak) but I really thought Ben Domenech and Deborah Howell signified hitting rock bottom.

Posted by: Sara B. | April 11, 2006 02:01 PM

I have never been so upset at the Post. How can a major newspaper, even in an editorial, publishes such lies? This is an embarrassment. Will this idiotic "A Good Leak" be retracted? It seems unimaginable that the paper who broke watergate and who reports so clearly on the lies and deceit of governement bigwigs, would lie so easily and for such ugly reasons. There is no public service in this editorial. It is pure propoganda based on lies. What a sad day for this organization!

Posted by: Sharon | April 11, 2006 02:22 PM

You guys sure are stacking it deep and piling it high.

After the incredible "good leak" op-ed, we now have Steno Debbie repeating verbatim Bush's spin on his own leaking abilities.

Without one word about Bush's previous statements - "I don't know of anyone in my administration who has leaked classified information" - or about how he, Cheney, and Libby cherry-picked from the NIE to give what amounted to misleading information to Steno Judy.

Sorry, Gotta get this bad taste out of my mouth!

Posted by: Ryan from Logan, UT | April 11, 2006 04:00 PM

All the President's Leaks

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006; Page A21

What's amazing about the defenses offered for President Bush in the Valerie Plame leak investigation is that they deal with absolutely everything except the central issue: Did Bush know a lot more about this case than he let on before the 2004 elections?

But first, let's offer full credit to the Bush spin operation for working so hard and so effectively to change the subject.

The news was the court filing by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald reporting that Bush, through Vice President Cheney, had authorized I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to leak sensitive intelligence information in July 2003 to discredit claims made by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Wilson had fired a direct shot at the White House's rationale for the war in Iraq by saying the administration had distorted intelligence concerning Saddam Hussein's supposed efforts to obtain nuclear materials. The threat that Hussein might go nuclear was an emotional centerpiece of the administration's case for war. Condoleezza Rice, then Bush's national security adviser, made the case with great dramatic effect on Sept. 8, 2002: "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

The president's defenders want you to think that when it comes to leaking, every president does it. Why should Bush be held to a different standard? Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) told CNN on Sunday that the Bush administration was innocently asking itself, "How do we get the full story out there?"

Besides, since the president can authorize the declassification of anything he chooses to declassify, he can't be involved in anything untoward. "This was not a leak," Joseph diGenova, a top Republican lawyer, told the New York Sun's Josh Gerstein. "This was an authorized disclosure." Ah, yes, it depends on what the meaning of the word "leak" is. That sounds familiar, doesn't it?

These arguments merely distract attention from why Fitzgerald's disclosure was so important. When a fuss was kicked up in the fall of 2003 about the leaking of the name of Wilson's wife, former CIA operative Valerie Plame, to the media earlier in the year, the president spoke and acted as if he knew nothing and was incensed that any leaking was going on in his administration.

In its issue of Oct. 13, 2003, Time magazine quoted Bush as saying: "Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information." Then the magazine's writers made an observation that turns out to be prescient: "Bush," they wrote, "seemed to emphasize those last two words as if hanging on to a legal life preserver in choppy seas."

The key words here are classified information. Did Bush at the time he made that statement know perfectly well that Cheney and Libby were involved with the leak, but that it didn't involve "classified information" because the president himself had authorized them to act? Talk about a legalistic defense.

Could it be that Bush -- heading into what he knew would be a difficult election -- was creating the impression of wanting the full story out when he already knew what most of the story was?

Which leads to another question: What exactly did Attorney General John Ashcroft know when he recused himself from the leak investigation? Did he know the investigation was getting dangerously close to Bush, Cheney, Libby and White House senior political adviser Karl Rove?

In announcing Fitzgerald's appointment on Dec. 30, 2003, Deputy Attorney General James Comey said that Ashcroft, "in an abundance of caution, believed that his recusal was appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances and the facts and evidence developed at this stage of the investigation." What were the "facts" and the "evidence" on which Ashcroft acted? Did the administration consciously consider if passing off the investigation to someone else would delay the day of reckoning to beyond the 2004 election? And, yes, what exactly did Bush tell Fitzgerald and his staff when they questioned him on June 24, 2004? What had Cheney told Fitzgerald earlier?

The most heartening sign that all the spin in the world will not allow the administration to evade such questions was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter's statement on Fox News Sunday that "there has to be a detailed explanation precisely as to what Vice President Cheney did, what the president said to him, and an explanation from the president as to what he said so that it can be evaluated." Specter, a Republican and a former district attorney in Philadelphia, is just the right man to take the lead in breaking the spin


Again, Freddie, READ YOUR OWN PAPER.

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 04:05 PM

On the Subject of Leaks, a Talkative President Runs Dry

By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, April 11, 2006; A02

President Bush was generous of word yesterday when he took questions from a group of students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

"I'll be glad to opine on it," he said on the topic of immigration.

"Kind of rambling here," he observed after giving a lengthy discourse on the benefits of freedom.

"I'm getting wound up," he confessed on the subject of protectionism.

"I'm not going to filibuster, I promise," he said, midway through an 865-word answer to a question about governing philosophy.

But then a second-year master's student asked about "Prosecutor Fitzgerald" and White House leaks to punish a critic. You could practically hear the zipper sealing the president's lips.

"Yes, no, I, this is, there's an ongoing legal proceeding which precludes me from talking a lot about the case," the president finally managed to say. All he could answer, Bush said, was that he declassified a National Intelligence Estimate because "it made sense for people to see the truth."

That answer neatly encapsulated the White House's response to the CIA leak imbroglio: No comment and non sequitur.

As for the non sequitur, it's true that Bush declassified the NIE, on July 18, 2003. But this was after vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had done his leaking -- with Bush and Vice President Cheney's blessing, Libby has testified. And the NIE said nothing about administration critic Joseph C. Wilson IV and his CIA-employed wife, whose unmasking started the whole scandal.

Nor is the White House's no-comment ending the questioning. Bush had no problem commenting on an ongoing legal proceeding when he said he believed that Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), the indicted former House majority leader, was innocent. "Presidential prerogative," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said then.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, recommends that Bush exercise his prerogative again. "I think that there has to be a detailed explanation precisely as to what Vice President Cheney did, what the president said to him, and an explanation from the president as to what he said so that it can be evaluated," Specter said on "Fox News Sunday."

The White House, evidently, is unmoved by Specter's suggestion. McClellan referred 16 times in his briefings yesterday to the "ongoing" leak case as his reason for not commenting -- as when CBS News's Bill Plante tried to plumb the timing of the leaks.

"You're getting into questions about an ongoing legal proceeding," the spokesman warned.

"No, it's a timing question," the reporter corrected.

"We are not going to comment on it while it's ongoing," McClellan persisted.

"I'm not asking about the investigation," Plante pointed out.

"We're not going to do anything that would jeopardize an ongoing matter," came the inevitable reply.

As the questioning continued, McClellan offered that he would like nothing more than to dish about the leak case. "It's not a question of whether or not we would like to talk more about it," he pleaded.

The silence on the leaks is quite at odds with the president's increasingly garrulous public personality. His Iraq speeches are growing more frequent, and more confessional. "We have learned from our mistakes," he confided to the SAIS crowd, which answered each of his usual applause lines with silence.

Students signed and circulated an anti-Bush petition before the event, but the president, his jacket open, stepping away from the lectern, retained good cheer even punting difficult questions.

"I don't mean to be dodging the question, although it's kind of convenient in this case," he said when referring to the Pentagon a question about Iraq military contractors.

"I get protested all the time," he said cheerfully when asked about his "polarizing" presidency.

Asked about prostitution and human trafficking, he offered: "I will be glad to call Condi."

When a student rose and said he was studying "international energy policy," Bush, anticipating an energy question, interjected: "Oh, good!"

But it was not good. The student asked about Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's filing claiming "evidence of a concerted effort by the White House to punish Joseph Wilson."

The president hitched up his suit pants by the belt. He took a sip of water. He stepped away from the podium, then leaned on it with his left elbow.

He put his fingers to his heart when he spoke about declassifying the NIE. "I thought it was important for people to get a better sense for why I was saying what I was saying," he reasoned.

That was preceded and followed by the no comment. "You're just going to have to let Mr. Fitzgerald complete his case," Bush said.

By that standard, Bush may not have to comment until sometime after 2008.



Posted by: | April 11, 2006 04:09 PM

Re: "A Good Leak"

Very little else to say:
It really is difficult to believe this editorial appeared in The Washington Post.

What happened to journalistic editorial responsibility?

Much more of this and the administration WILL BE attacking Iran. Does the Washington Post editorial board support that, too?

Stop the rubberstamp presses!

Posted by: Tom Perry | April 11, 2006 04:09 PM

by Joel Achenbach

Posted at 06:48 AM ET, 04/11/2006
Brass Knuckle Politics and Lit Crit

We know that politics is a brass knuckle sport. It favors the rise of people with nicknames like The Hammer. I assume everyone saw the remarkable Peter Perl piece in Outlook, "Delay's Next Mission From God," demonstrating that Tom Delay is hardly finished with his crusade to make America a "God-centered nation." (Perl: "DeLay's America would acknowledge that the Constitution was inspired by the Bible; it would promote prayer and worship, and would stop gun control, outlaw abortion, limit the rights of gays, curb contraception, end the constitutional separation of church and state, and adopt the Ten Commandments as guiding principles for public schools." Delay: "People hate the messenger. That's why they killed Christ.")

The Plame case is another example of kick-in-the-teeth politics. Joe Wilson attacked the White House and the White House hit him hard with everything they had, and with some stuff they just pretended to have. Gellman and Linzer have described (and have, at last count, 169 Technorati links to demonstrate the importance of their story) how "multiple people in the White House," including Cheney and Libby, sought to discredit Joe Wilson with "evidence" that had been revealed as a hoax months earlier. Today we have E.J. Dionne framing the conversation on the Bush leak, quoting the president's 2003 remark, "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."

It does appear at this point that the president searched for the leaker in his Administration with the same fervor that O.J. searched for the real killers.




Posted by: | April 11, 2006 04:11 PM

Hey, great comeback brady. You are an inspiration and a credit to WaPo.

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 04:33 PM

When will James Brady give an online talk about his role in the organization? When will Brady respond to commenters who wonder what the point of having comments is if no one from the post reads them?

Posted by: Where's Brady? | April 11, 2006 05:23 PM

Sorry, but in many ways the point of having comments here is twofold: one, it gives readers the illusion/delusion that somebody the Post actually cares; and two, it provides mental mastabatory activities for online readers.

You see their actual 'activity' when the feces strikes the oscillating blades over the last few months in action here yet again: stonewalling from the actual guilty parties (Hiatt, Brady), along with trotting out old reliable, Howie Kurtz, for gratuitous and enthusiastic fanny coverage and lapdogging.

The only other usual trick in their arsenal, turning off commenting when the heat gets to be too much, hasn't been implemented just yet, possibly because Miss Touchy, aka Debbie Howell, isn't directly involved in this one.

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 05:40 PM

Morning has broken.

The sun has set.

Night has fallen.

It's not your father's Washington Post anymore.


Posted by: Lloyd Thomas | April 11, 2006 07:28 PM

Ok-- still the same old stale post, Mr. Brady.

But guess what? Another lie was printed by your untrustworthy paper today. Seems that VP Cheney pitched a dirt ball at the Nat's game today. That part you guys got right. Bravo! The rest of Nakamura's description, not so truthful. Cheney was booed from the moment he stepped on the field, not just after he threw the dirt pitch. Please inform the powers that be that it is on tape. Check it out and print a large correction asap. (I will not hold my breath.) I am so sick of the wapoopoo's inability to serve as anything but a mouthpiece for the administration. Start serving up a bit of truth and doing your job!

Posted by: angie | April 11, 2006 07:58 PM

despite the inaccurate coverage of the Post about Cheney getting booed after he flubbed a pitch, another section of the Post actually has the video: see for yourself!
The Post can't seem to keep its lies straight anymore...

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 11, 2006 08:27 PM

Is it true Cheney hit the second baseman with his pitch?

Posted by: cadejo4 | April 11, 2006 08:38 PM

After inadvertantly hitting the second baseman in the face with his pitch, the vice president declared that today was the second worst day of his life. Former aide Mary Matalin leapt to Cheney's defense, saying the second baseman should have announced himself and that Cheney, who was pitching into the sun, couldn't see him over the pitcher's mound.

Posted by: cadejo4 | April 11, 2006 08:48 PM

Could you guys at least pretend that you aren't pawnd by the Administration?

"The first pitch of the Washington Nationals’ second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider. For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon."

Listen to YOUR OWN VIDEO. He was being boo'ed loudly and long before the pitch.

Posted by: Jeff Boatright | April 11, 2006 09:20 PM


I have some questions for David Nakamura about his recent story "Cheney Booed After His Errant First Pitch"

Were you at the baseball game?
Or did you just watch it on TV or tape?
Or did you just read about it?
How did you learn that the crowd booed Mr Cheney in response to his (now legendary) bad aim?
Did you just guess?
Did you come up with the idea on your own, or did someone suggest it to you?
Or did your editor put it in between writing and printing?

I'm only partially being snarky here. I really am curious about how the newsiness process works!

Posted by: Brian Jenkins | April 11, 2006 09:32 PM


An embarrassing move this afternoon from CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. In his now-famous court filing in which he said that former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby testified that he had been authorized to leak portions of the then-classified National Intelligence Estimate, Fitzgerald wrote, "Defendant understood that he was to tell [New York Times reporter Judith] Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

That sentence led a number of reporters and commentators to suggest that, beyond the issue of the leak itself, the administration was lying about the NIE, because the African uranium segment was not in fact among the NIE's key judgments. For example, in a front page story on Sunday, the Washington Post reported:

At Cheney's instruction, Libby testified, he told Miller that the uranium story was a "key judgment" of the intelligence estimate, a term of art indicating there was consensus on a question of central importance.
In fact, the alleged effort to buy uranium was not among the estimate's key judgments, which were identified by a headline and bold type and set out in bullet form in the first five pages of the 96-page document.

A few hours ago, however, Fitzgerald sent a letter to judge Reggie Walton, asking to correct his filing. The letter reads:

We are writing to correct a sentence from the Government's Response to Defendant's Third Motion to Compel Discovery, filed on April 5, 2006. The sentence, which is the second sentence of the second paragraph on page 23, reads, 'Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium." That sentence should read, "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, some of the key judgments of the NIE, and that the NIE stated that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."
Never mind.

Posted by: Caro | April 11, 2006 09:33 PM

Did Jim Brady "edit" Nakamura's description of the Nat's fans booing Cheney?

Posted by: John Casper | April 11, 2006 09:39 PM

They're running this paper as if they believe their readership is locked in a dark closet with the WaPo being their only link to the world. What do they think? We have no eyes? No ears?

Posted by: Mac Rostic | April 11, 2006 09:39 PM

News reporting sure does change a lot in 30 years.

Posted by: eric | April 11, 2006 09:44 PM

Man, I thought this kind of propoganda went away with the end of the Soviet Union. Pretty astounding to see, I watched the video off the press feed and saw the boing start once the Mr. Cheney walked onto the field. Everything seems so 1984 lately ...

Posted by: awater | April 11, 2006 09:44 PM

Oh, for heaven's sake! You would think after this past weekend's debacle of editorial vs. front page article that you would try a little harder to correctly report a scene that was obvious on tape. The VP was boo'ed from the time he stepped in front of the crowd - it had absolutly not one thing to do with a bad pitch.
Please try a little harder - you are really embarassing yourselves.

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 09:45 PM

I watched this video on your site and was offended to read this Post article “The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider.
For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon.”
It is more than clear in the video that the very loud pronounced booing of Vice President Dick Cheney began as he walked onto the field and not because of a low pitch he later through. Is the Post so undignified to misinform wanton and with relish. This matter is not a trifle but one of great importance as the public forcefully announces it’s true sentiments of this government and the Post pitifully subdues it.

Posted by: ppp | April 11, 2006 09:45 PM

Pravda had nothing on the Post. Perhaps Cheney will have had a standing ovation by the print edition tomorrow.

Posted by: trifecta | April 11, 2006 09:47 PM


-Crowd to Dick.

Posted by: Chris | April 11, 2006 09:47 PM

"....For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon."

Is that right? Then how come I hear the boos before the pitch? Something wrong with the video?

Posted by: Hume | April 11, 2006 09:54 PM

Here is a quote from a story in your paper on April 11th, 2006.

"The first pitch of the Washington Nationals’ second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider. For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon."

Cheney was not being booed for the PITCH. He was being booed for being Cheney and his involvement in the Bush Administration. The American public's displeasure with the way Bush and Cheney are running this country into the ground was the source of the boos.

Watch the video! You'll see and hear that the booing starts the moment Cheney walks on the field. NOT in response to the pitch. What interest does the Washington Post have in diminishing the reporting of the public's displeasure with Cheney?

Having to even write this infuriates me. Even a monkey could hear the boos starting when Cheney walked on the field.

Me to the Washington Post.


Posted by: | April 11, 2006 09:55 PM

Can you WaPost folks get any story straight?

When was Cheney booed, folks? C'mon, editors, I know you'll eventually get it right. I'll be searching for your correction soon.

Posted by: Frequent reader | April 11, 2006 09:56 PM

I find myself asking,,,, Why do these people continue to pin bullseyes on their backs?

The video clip of Cheney getting booed is all over the place for anyone with eyes and ears to see and hear! You continue to insult the Publics' intelligence while you insist on behaving like petulant children.

Beyond me to figure out!

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 10:00 PM

As a proud Wyomingite, I am very upset by your emasculating coverag of VP Cheney's first pitch at the Nationals game. I saw it, and he wasn't booed because he throws like a girl, he was booed because you East Coast liberals are soft on terror, torture, and shooting people in the face. We like ourselves some Cheney out here, and we like him good and evil. Fear inspiring. Awe inspiring.
I wish he'd throw all your liberally biased lot into Gitmo for insinuating that he can't get a good boo unless he throws a limp wrister.
P.S. I didn't mean that part about Gitmo, unless you are also muslims.

Posted by: flounder | April 11, 2006 10:00 PM

Can you guys type without Karls lips moving?

Posted by: Oilfieldguy | April 11, 2006 10:00 PM

During the past several days, some of your stories have been so blatantly oblivious of the actual facts that people have to wonder what is really going on. I don’t believe it’s ever been quite this bad. I must admit that it certainly takes some guts to do what you've been doing these past couple of days. Do you really believe that we are this completely insane and idiotic?

Posted by: sgesmu | April 11, 2006 10:03 PM

as has oft been said: who are you going to believe? The Washington Post or your lying eyes?

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 11, 2006 10:06 PM

Your right Caro, there was a minor mistake in Fitzgerald's filing. I noticed the WP put it up right away. Lighting fast! When Scooter Libby's defense team complains (through the National Review's biggest Libby apologist Byron York) it gets handled right away, doesn't it? I know after that editorial they are eager to help Libby's team. Let's see - first Libby, then the National Review and right to the WP. Seems to me we've seen that chain before. Oh, I know! The bogus WMD information! That took TWO years to correct. And thousands of dead soldiers. But, nevermind.

Posted by: fedup | April 11, 2006 10:15 PM

For the love of... oh forget it! There is no reason to try anymore... the WaPo is a farce plain and simple.


Posted by: ender | April 11, 2006 10:17 PM

Yes, add me


Posted by: fed me | April 11, 2006 10:18 PM

can't you people please get your heads out of your arsses for one minute to look around and see that you are helping in the deconstruction of a democracy with your riech wing hell bent little quips here and there.

When the shoe is on the other foot we will remember all the little helpings of arsenic you've been feeding the masses.

Posted by: neo | April 11, 2006 10:19 PM

The pitch is low and away and the Washington Post sinks further into irrelevancy as a source of facts.

Really, folks. Maybe you should think about putting out an edition that applies to this dimension (like Cheney being booed from the moment he stepped onto the field), because some of your "news" is obviously happening in some parallel dimension.

And that dimensional split the other day between the front page and the editorial section? Whoa.

Posted by: someone | April 11, 2006 10:27 PM


Posted by: John Casper | April 11, 2006 10:32 PM

The Post's characterization of Cheney's reception at today's Nats game is an apt metaphor for its coverage of his five-year crime spree at Blair House. It doesn't only miss the strike zone, but kicks up a cloud of dust.

Here's from me --




Posted by: West of East | April 11, 2006 10:37 PM

Mr. Brady, 1st it's "a good leak", then it is supposedly a satire, then your paper reports a fairy tale concerning the cheers v.s. boo's a the Nationals home opener. Have you considered lately changing careers?

Posted by: Patric Mahoney | April 11, 2006 10:40 PM

"The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider.

For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon. But the catcalls didn't last long before the fans cheered for the Nationals, who took the field in their white uniforms with red trim against the New York Mets." (Washington Post)

I watched the videos at the video at the Post’s own site as well as at The boos began before Cheney ever reached the grass in front of the pitcher's mound and didn't stop until after he left the field. I doubt the pitch had anything to do with the jeering. I wonder why it is the Washington Post chose to write about this as if this were about baseball. It was about Cheney, the vice-liar in residence. This is perfectly clear. I hope your sports pages are more honestly written in the future. The shilling this paper does on behalf of the Bush administration is blatant and a mockery of journalistic integrity. Have you no shame in any area of "reporting"?

Posted by: Lizzie | April 11, 2006 10:40 PM

Cheney's daughter throws or catches better than the old man weak and drunk on power.


Posted by: pitiful | April 11, 2006 10:53 PM

I second Lizzie's contention.

What is up with the shoddy reporting at the WaPo?

Are you sure it's WaPo these days? It's more like WaPoG read in reverse.

"GOP Always Wins."

That report is flat dishonest. I'd expect this kind of reporting from FOX News, not from a respectable news service.

Posted by: American for Journalistic Integrity | April 11, 2006 11:07 PM

The New York Times heard it differently:
"The afternoon began with the crowd booing Pedro Martínez — public enemy No. 1 around here for twice hitting the Nationals' Jose Guillen last Thursday — during pregame introductions. Martínez, who proceeded to wave to the crowd, received a slightly warmer reception than Vice President Dick Cheney, who was jeered before and after short-hopping the ceremonial first pitch."


Posted by: John Casper | April 11, 2006 11:09 PM

Well, once again the Post elicits a well deserved round of BOOOOOOOS! How does Mr. Hiatt do it? He's delusional.

Posted by: Patrick in Chicago | April 11, 2006 11:10 PM

The evidence is damning of the WaPo article.

Let's see Deborah Howell skirt around this one.

"It is quite clear in the video tape that the fans are just 'oooohhh'-ing in awe of the Vice President." -Deborah Howell, 4/16/06

Posted by: American for Journalistic Integrity | April 11, 2006 11:14 PM

It is not even amusing anymore. Do facts mean anything to you people at WaPo?. If it is just state sponsored news , tell us at least that way we will not expect more from you . The new Pravda same as the old Pravda. Was this just another VNR from our government to our ears. No journalism necessary.

Posted by: ac-n-nc | April 11, 2006 11:15 PM

Washington Post -- all you have is your credibility.

You've pissed yours away making nice to what history will record as the worst administration ever.

Nice going!

Posted by: Mark Lawson | April 11, 2006 11:15 PM


Totally gratuitous propoganda for Cheney. Why?

And the editorial about the leak?


Fred Hiatt ought to be fired. He's an embarrassment.

Posted by: | April 11, 2006 11:16 PM

Fred Hiatt's column was pure rubbish. I'd be embarrassed to be associated with the paper after that trashed was printed.

Posted by: American for Journalistic Integrity | April 11, 2006 11:21 PM

So sad to see a once proud bastion of news sink to the level of a Pravda for the Bush administration.

Did they even watch the game where Cheney was booed, loudly and as soon as he came on the field? Does the WaPo's left hand even know what propaganda the right is spewing any more?

Posted by: CaroCogitatus | April 12, 2006 12:02 AM

ummm... the crowd was booing before Cheney threw the ball. Please get back to work doing journalism rather than carrying water for the corrupt administration. You should be on America's side,not theirs.


Posted by: child | April 12, 2006 12:18 AM

Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War
Administration Pushed Notion of Banned Iraqi Weapons Despite Evidence to Contrary

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 12, 2006; Page A01

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

U.S. officials asserted that Iraq had biological weapons factories in trailers, even after a Pentagon mission found them unsuited for that role.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

The authors of the reports were nine U.S. and British civilian experts -- scientists and engineers with extensive experience in all the technical fields involved in making bioweapons -- who were dispatched to Baghdad by the Defense Intelligence Agency for an analysis of the trailers. Their actions and findings were described to a Washington Post reporter in interviews with six government officials and weapons experts who participated in the mission or had direct knowledge of it.

None would consent to being identified by name because of fear that their jobs would be jeopardized. Their accounts were verified by other current and former government officials knowledgeable about the mission. The contents of the final report, "Final Technical Engineering Exploitation Report on Iraqi Suspected Biological Weapons-Associated Trailers," remain classified. But interviews reveal that the technical team was unequivocal in its conclusion that the trailers were not intended to manufacture biological weapons. Those interviewed took care not to discuss the classified portions of their work.

"There was no connection to anything biological," said one expert who studied the trailers. Another recalled an epithet that came to be associated with the trailers: "the biggest sand toilets in the world."


I think I know of a bigger toilet than that now.

Say, Freddie... reading your own paper yet, 'editor'?

Posted by: | April 12, 2006 12:18 AM

Freddie, your reporters are doing their jobs. WHY are you just making stuff up in your editorials?

Posted by: | April 12, 2006 12:20 AM

Who owns the all-time record for being struck on the chin by balls?

Fred Hiatt, 2000-06, by the Shrub administration.

Posted by: Chippy | April 12, 2006 12:52 AM

Oh yeah, I forgot.


Posted by: Chippy | April 12, 2006 12:55 AM

Beyond left and right interpretations are the empirical facts. Please communicate these 'facts' to the public (your reading audience). That is your job.




Posted by: Concerned | April 12, 2006 01:23 AM

As I am sure you are well aware, there was a time when the WP could have surpassed the Times as the paper of record. What a missed opportunity. Now it seems the WP wishes to be even more disgraceful and ridiculous than the Times (the plagiarist-blogger fiasco, Deborah Howell, Woodward, Fred Hiatt's leak editorial, the ridiculous piece on Cheney off the mound today). In the race to the bottom, you might have a bit of a lead at the moment.

Posted by: D.M. | April 12, 2006 02:01 AM

Liars. Every. One. Of. You.

You are a disgrace to journalism. Every. One. Of. You.

You disgust me.

Posted by: dave | April 12, 2006 03:05 AM

I assume you are counting on those 18% who still approve of Dick Cheney as your target market to move the paper? I mean, why else would you further tarnish your already tattered reputation with such a blatant lie to protect Cheney's image?

Well, sorry to break this to you, but I have bad news. Very few of those 18% live in DC -- and I don't think you'll be selling many copies in Mississippi, Utah, or Idaho.

You still have many outstanding reporters who actually care about objective facts and about the plain-spoken truth -- and some of them are incredibly good at their jobs. But the gang of Bush Republican partisans that has taken over control of the editorial board, as well as of most of the national politics beat (Hyat, Kurtz, VandeHei, Howell, Schmidt, Brady, Willis, etc.) is dishonest and an insult to your readers, to the Post's traditions, to journalism, and to truth itself.

Posted by: mz | April 12, 2006 03:12 AM

Why dont you just run under the tagline "All the News we see fit to make up"? Then at least all your readers will know its fiction.

Posted by: Xenophanes2 | April 12, 2006 04:03 AM

craven liars.

fellating power used to be so easy before those dern bloggers!


Posted by: ethan | April 12, 2006 04:30 AM

Booing in RESPONSE to the VP's bad pitch?

What are you guys smoking?

Posted by: Ivy Freeborn | April 12, 2006 06:26 AM

I don't know if this is the place to complain, but I'm doing it anyway. It has become obvious that a faction within the post feels obligated to work as a PR arm of the current administration.

The Cheney baseball experience for example, was covered as if his performance on the mound caused the crowds reaction. The reality is he was booed the moment he appeared on the field. You should be exploring why he was booed rather than trying to construct false impressions. But then you know this. It's galling to see these guys coddled day after day when their incompetence serves to tighten the screws on the rest of us.

Not that anyone at the post cares, but this administration has created a nation of great discontent, you may well find yourselves sucked under when the damn finally breaks.

Posted by: patience | April 12, 2006 06:56 AM

I'm really interested in whether the writer of the Cheney/baseball/booing piece wrote what came out in the paper. Did he originally write what happened? Was he fearful of is bosses reaction and falsified it himself? Or was it falsified for him?

Posted by: | April 12, 2006 07:44 AM

Lying about Cheney's appearance at a ball game? Really pitiful, Washington Post, and insulting to your readers.

Posted by: Karin | April 12, 2006 07:49 AM

Did the post reporter interview anyone in the crowd at the Nationals game before he wrote his article? Or was he just reading minds when he wrote that the crowd booed simply because the VP made a bad pitch?

As if that is the only reason to boo this wildly popular and personal VP. Seriously.

Posted by: phasis | April 12, 2006 08:18 AM

personable VP, that is.

Posted by: phasis | April 12, 2006 08:19 AM

They're not booing, they're saying "booooo-urns"

Come on, this is just plain insulting.

Posted by: Tom | April 12, 2006 08:22 AM

Are you guys really so afraid of an old trigger happy chicken hawk liar named Dick that you can't report a simple ball throwing event accurately? My God where is you integrity?

Posted by: | April 12, 2006 08:52 AM

Oh by the way

Posted by: ED Beckmann | April 12, 2006 08:54 AM

The Post underpays its mail workers -- please support to efforts to get a fair deal from the Post:

Posted by: David | April 12, 2006 08:56 AM

Wouldn't it have been a MUCH more supportive report if you had said that the Veep was CHEERED from the moment he appeared?

Posted by: Liz_Dexic | April 12, 2006 09:01 AM

Is the Post experimenting with it's readers? Are they conducting test’s buy lighting obvious swamp rousing lies.

Crowds booed Vice President Cheney as he entered the field and continued booing until he left the field as clearly viewed on the video. Has the Post lost all scruples, not once but twice reporting misinformation about the Nationals opener crowd showing their unmistakable strong disapproval of Vice President Cheney. It is of utmost importance to report truthfully events as they occur when said events evolve the Vice President.

Posted by: ppp | April 12, 2006 09:05 AM

"The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider.

For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon. But the catcalls didn't last long before the fans cheered for the Nationals, who took the field in their white uniforms with red trim against the New York Mets." (1st Washington Post draft)

"When all the fans settled into their seats under the sun, long after Vice President Cheney had skipped his ceremonial first pitch into the dirt in front of Washington Nationals catcher Brian Schneider -- and received boos on his way off the field -- there was still none of the juice, none of the spine tingles, that came at this point last season" (Revised Washington Post story)

While the revised Cheney story in Sports is now technically accurate (and received boos on his way off the field....He did receive boos on his way off the field) it still gives readers the impression that the boos were the result of the pitch.

It is pretty clear from the video that the fans were booing long before Cheney threw the pitch and continued to boo as he left the field. Is it the Post's contention that the boos prior to the pitch were for something else other than Cheney? If so, what were the fans booing as Cheney stepped onto the field if not Cheney himself?

I hope that this story gets revised again to more accurately reflect what happened. Third times a charm!


Posted by: pmorlan | April 12, 2006 09:08 AM

Isn't it time that the prevailing narrative actually reflected reality? Bush is a very *unpopular* president. And Cheney is even more unpopular.

I recommend a field trip outside the Beltway to research what Americans really think of the current junta^H^H^H^H^Hadministration.

Posted by: Spartakus | April 12, 2006 09:18 AM

"For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon"

If it weren't so sad it would be funny. How dumb do you think people are? You folks do realize there's video for this right?

Posted by: Spiney Norman | April 12, 2006 09:25 AM

I don't care about the game--I'm still really, really shocked about Sunday's editorial which asserted falsehoods that support the White House's increasingly unbelievable explanation of the NIE and Valerie Plame leak.

How can you print outright, easily fact-checked, falsehoods in the Sunday main editorial??!

Posted by: post reader | April 12, 2006 09:25 AM


Posted by: John Casper | April 12, 2006 09:25 AM

BOOOO @ Cheney
BOOOO @ flubbed pitch by Cheney
BOOOO @ Washington Post for inaccurate reporting
BOOOO @ Fred Hiatt's unsigned editorial

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 12, 2006 09:30 AM

What's with you guys anyway? Putting a positive spin on events is one thing, lying is another. Cheney booed because of a girly-man type throw? Come on. Who are you trying to fool? Does the Bush administration have everyone at WaPo on their payroll?

Posted by: Truth Fan | April 12, 2006 09:46 AM

I finally figured out the WaPo approach to editorials:

Some people cheered Cheney, hence there wasn't any booing.

A couple folksy-looking people support Bush, hence he's a popular president.

Bush says he's right, hence he's right!

Posted by: PoWa | April 12, 2006 10:12 AM

Now who's right, all the news agencies or WaPo? Was Cheney booed because he's a lousy pitcher or a lousy VP? Is WaPo deliberately falsifying the news or was this just "inartful wording"?
Another case for the ombudswoman. Ms. Howell, it's your chance to disappoint us again!

Posted by: Gray | April 12, 2006 10:18 AM

Jeez, not much to add but my name to those thoroughly amazed/disgusted with the Post.
Sad, sad, sad....

Posted by: wm. soeldner | April 12, 2006 10:24 AM

here in the UK - which has its fair share of lazy, hackneyed sub-tabloid reportage - the WaPo is now a joke.

unfortunately, no-one's laughing...

Posted by: lachlan | April 12, 2006 10:29 AM

The lies by the WaPo Re: Cheney boo'ed are nothing.

I remember listening to the Brewers game on the radio a few years ago when Emperor Shrubius threw out the first pitch. You could clearly hear the loud and sustained boooos on the radio.

Later that night on TV there was an obviously overdubbed cheering inserted into the video of the event.

I do not believe that the liars think we believe their lies. Nor do they care.

They are writing for the history books that our grandchildren will read. What great honest and honorable heroic men were our Bush and Dick. Ayup, that's gotta be it.

Posted by: Scott the BS Detector | April 12, 2006 10:37 AM

Simply unbelievable. Now for two days in a row your reporters insist that up is down and black is white. It is obvious to us all that the booing at the VP began the moment he walked onto the field, not after his flubbed pitch – with the obvious implication that the catcalls were aimed at the VP, not as a result of his pitch. Your paper’s repeated characterization otherwise is embarrassingly disingenuous – especially in light of the fact that eyewitnesses and video available widely catch you in your lies.
Your inaccuracies (lies) on this topic are unfathomable, both in that the topic is somewhat (though not entirely) trivial, and that the execution is so transparent and easily refuted. Thus this attains certain features of a pathologic type lying, though clearly also in the service of a right-wing political agenda, a sort of bumbling Orwellianism. Your standards seem to have fallen so far that you’re now not even lying well.
Perhaps, as this sort of dishonesty further marginalizes the Post, and your peper’s effectiveness as a White House mouthpiece be further compromised, there may be hope for the Republic yet.

Posted by: Michael Tasch | April 12, 2006 10:50 AM

Oh, come ON!

Politicians don't get booed for bouncing a first pitch in the dirt. They get booed because they're unpopular. Besides which, YOUR VERY OWN VIDEO FOOTAGE (sensing a pattern here?) demonstrates that the VP was getting booed from the moment he set foot on the field. Why lie about it? Especially a lie that's so petty and so easily debunked?


Posted by: Chris Green | April 12, 2006 11:19 AM

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. "Stay the course" is a plan. Selective leaks for purely political reasons is a "good leak." A Republican lobbyist scandal (Abramoff) is a "bipartisan" scandal. Prevalent booing both BEFORE and after a Cheney sissy-pitch is not a reflection of his 18% approval rating.

Orwell left out a few slogans, as we can see, but the Washington Post has been kind enough to bring them to our attention. Thank you, Wash[INGSOC]ton Post, you are a veritable Ministry of "Truth."

Oh yeah, you forgot another slogan of doublespeak: The Washington Post is a stellar example of journalistic integrity.


Posted by: HolyMoly | April 12, 2006 11:26 AM

I was a fan of the Washington Post for many many years. I am deeply disappointed into what it has turned into. Shame on the Washington Post. Shame.

Posted by: Joe Albanese | April 12, 2006 12:38 PM

You guys are almost as funny as The Onion! Keep up the good farce!

Posted by: hapkidokid | April 12, 2006 12:56 PM

are you guys really that worried that Copy Boy Bob (aka - Mr. Robert Steno Woodward) won't have any access for his republican PR treatises - er, "non-fiction" books?

the basic journalistic tenet is truthful reporting. anyone who saw the video on the telly knows your reporter, and editor, and everyone else connected to this story, was more concerned about painting a rosy picture of a well-deserved public verbal lashing of Cheney than reporting THE NEWS.

your paper is no longer a "paper of record" unless you count shills and dictation experts as reporters.

Posted by: kspacey | April 12, 2006 01:24 PM

Why do the comments have better reporting than the actual articles? Grow a pair, Traditional Media, or die!

Posted by: RanDomino | April 12, 2006 01:25 PM

VPOTUS was booed BEFORE the first pitch. Just so you know... we know.

Posted by: WIJG? | April 12, 2006 01:48 PM

Good grief! Can't you folks get anything right? VPOTUS was booed from the moment he stepped onto the field. Such a shame that the Washington Post should be renamed the Washington Times.

Posted by: jkohms | April 12, 2006 02:03 PM

The biological trailer story is not "reckless reporting".

I suggest you go back and look at all the lies spewed by this failed administration and print them.

We should all learn from this failure and never give them complete control of anything!

Posted by: getalife | April 12, 2006 02:11 PM

Admin: 9/11! Boo! Iraq! Boo! Iran! Boo! Brown people! Boo!

Citizens who are paying attention: BOOOOOOOO

Posted by: E. "Greg" Ious | April 12, 2006 02:15 PM


Posted by: Beth | April 12, 2006 02:30 PM

These political chats hosted by the Post are a hoot. The reporter-hosts are making a big deal about the separation between the news and editorial divisions, like we readers somehow don't get the distinction.

But the point is that they work for a paper whose editorial staff has published a editorial using information their own reporters have discounted.

So -- the issue is not the separate functions. The question is whether or not the reporter really wants to work for an organization in which that kind of editorial behavior is condoned. An organization in which opinions are supported by, well, non-facts treated as facts.

Would a doctor continue to work in a medical practice if he was aware of malpractice? Even if he was a GP and the malpractice was among his OB-GYN colleagues?

And I love the wingnuts that have started showing up to praise the Post's coverage after years of referring to it as a liberal rag.

Posted by: AJ | April 12, 2006 03:16 PM

I guess a "Good Leak" would be if I put your editorial section on the floor, and urinated.

Posted by: chuckbush | April 12, 2006 03:27 PM

VPOTUS was jeered on and off the field. I saw the footage at crooks and liars.
So what are you all smoking at the washington post that makes you all so divorced from reality? Cus you know, i'd like some of that stuff.

Posted by: brendan | April 12, 2006 03:38 PM


That was the sound BEFORE Cheney made his walk to the mound and pitched!


That is the sound from me to this reported lie from your paper, and to the leak article by Fred Hiatt.

Come on now, lying for these guys is not worth it. They will blame you for whatever they want anyway...


Posted by: Tharin | April 12, 2006 04:04 PM

Since you guys are such big believers in "good leaks", can't we get a few good leaks out of Don Graham's office? Or Len Downie's?

Surely there has to be some internal controversy at the Post over the tenuous relationship with reality exhibited by the editorial staff.

Inquiring minds want to know.

It's like Gellman and Linzer live in the reality-based community and your editorial writer (my money is still on Woodward) has set up housekeeping in some bizarro-land parallel universe.

Posted by: AJ | April 12, 2006 05:26 PM

So now we're supposed to believe that baseball fans care about the quality of a politcian's pitch? And they were booing prior to the pitch cause they knew it would be lousy. Try newspapering (you used to be good at it) instead of cheerleading!

Posted by: chuck martin | April 12, 2006 06:12 PM

Must be real nice for the few legitimate journalists at the Post to have had to watch Donald Graham and Fred Hiatt try to plant a wet, sloppy, nasty one on Dubya's sphincter last weekend and then see Scott McLellan try to trash the Post today at the press conference.

Posted by: Philip | April 12, 2006 06:47 PM


Posted by: | April 12, 2006 10:49 PM

Anybody know what Mark Helprin's been smoking? His editorial today is quite, how do you say it, imaginative.

Posted by: shingles | April 13, 2006 01:01 AM

shingles -- just went to take a look at Mark Helprin's column.

Damn, whatever it is he's smoking, it's some strong sh*t.

Basically, he wants to open a land corridor into Iraq from Israel through Jordan, to give the US military a free hand to blow up whatever it wants in Iraq and (of course...) Iran over years to come without having to worry about getting the Turks, Egyptians or Saudis upset. Dude, I want some of that sh*t he's smoking.

Why is the Post so eager to publish this endless freak-show of Dr. Strangelovian characters?

Posted by: mz | April 13, 2006 01:40 AM

I'll take a stab at your question, mz:

Maybe the Post knows for a fact that there will never again be a Democratic President in the White House or Democratic control in Congress.

Does anyone know if the company or its officers have financial ties to Diebold and the other electronic voting machine companies?

Posted by: Philip | April 13, 2006 03:18 AM

Philip - Gosh, that is cynical even for me. On the other hand, power in this US theocracy is in the hands of a well chosen few. We are in trouble as a country when we have enabelers like WaPo.

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 05:24 AM

Now I am scared.

We already know Bush gets his environmental ideas from novelists.

And his foreign policy from a reading of Revelations.

And now it looks like his non-proliferation policy could be swayed by today's very creative editorial.

Good thing the administration is mad at the Post about that trailer report. Maybe they'll boycott the Post for a few days and Bush won't get any more bright ideas from questionable sources.

Posted by: AJ | April 13, 2006 10:11 AM

Ah, I see - Helprin is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute:

Not only is William J. Bennett its "Washington Fellow" (which sounds kind of silly) but its "staff" is composed of a veritable Who's Who of delusional thought: Volokh, Hinderaker, Victor Davis Hanson, etc.

Pat Sajak is on its Board of Directors too.
I think that alone says it all.

Posted by: shingles | April 13, 2006 10:21 AM

Washington Post's Fred Hiatt fails to read his own newspaper, again
by John in DC - 4/13/2006 08:48:00 AM

What must have been yet another Fred Hiatt editorial in Thursday morning's Washington Post tries to strike fear in the heart of every American over Iran getting nukes in MAYBE JUST A YEAR!!!!!!

Of course, Iran getting nukes in a year is not what the experts in our government say - they say it's gonna take ten years, and that's if Iran gets lucky - but far be it for Hiatt to rely on a sane analysis when we can scare people into yet another unnecessary disaster of a war.

My favorite part of the editorial is the following:

Some in Washington cite a U.S. intelligence estimate that an Iranian bomb is 10 years away. In fact the low end of that same estimate is five years, and some independent experts say three.

Uh, not according to your own newspaper, Fred.

In fact, the Washington Post reported that the low end of the estimate is TEN YEARS, not five years. The Post also reported that the estimate in question says it's unlikely Iran will even be able to develop nukes in ten years - ten years is only if EVERYTHING goes right and if Iran goes full blast towards building nukes, and everything reportedly never goes right in these cases.

So where did Hiatt get this ridiculous notion that the "same estimate" says five years? He's probably confusing the previous - now discredited (gee Fred, who did you learn that trick from?) - estimate of five years that the US government had long believed was the time necessary for Iran to develop a nuke. That five year estimate was superseded by the ten year estimate just last year when the entire US intelligence community prepared a new National Intelligence Estimate - the NIE is the US intelligence communities BEST ESTIMATE, period.

Fred would have known all of this had he simply read his own newspaper, and I quote:

Until recently, Iran was judged, according to February testimony by Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, to be within five years of the capability to make a nuclear weapon. Since 1995, U.S. officials have continually estimated Iran to be "within five years" from reaching that same capability. So far, it has not.

The new estimate extends the timeline, judging that Iran will be unlikely to produce a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient for an atomic weapon, before "early to mid-next decade," according to four sources familiar with that finding. The sources said the shift, based on a better understanding of Iran's technical limitations, puts the timeline closer to 2015 and in line with recently revised British and Israeli figures.... The timeline is portrayed as a minimum designed to reflect a program moving full speed ahead without major technical obstacles.

As for Hiatt's contention that "some experts" say it could be only 3 years, or even ONE YEAR before Iran gets nukes, I'd like to know why we should trust "some" experts when even the hawkish we-really-want-to-blow-up-Iran Bush administration can only muster a best estimate that says Iran won't be able to produce nukes for at least ten years?

Oh Fred, you're such a bore .

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 11:56 AM

I'm not going to re-hash the commentaries on Howie the Hack & Jill Carroll or Fred "I Don't Read the Post" Hiatt, except to say that if you ever want customers to come back to the Post, you're going to have to fire Jim Brady and hire a real news team.

Posted by: Another Post Customer Pissed Off | April 13, 2006 01:28 PM

For anyone who wants a comprehensive, insightful analysis into the mistake that "A Good Leak," was, I invite you to read Jane Hamsher's, "Does Fred Hiatt even read the Washington Post?"

Posted by: John Casper | April 9, 2006 05:51 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Check it out. It's an excellent analysis. Good leak-- my big fat butt!

Posted by: cluelessnomore | April 13, 2006 01:33 PM


The Post's editorialists bought the White House line in full, yet they haven't gone the mea culpa route. They flirted with accountability in an October 2003 editorial, which reads in part: "Were we wrong? The honest answer is: We don't yet know."

Well, that was two and a half years ago. Do we know enough now to admit the mistake? When asked that question, Hiatt responded, "I'm not getting into that subject...I guess what we have to say about that I would say in an editorial."


Posted by: Beth | April 13, 2006 01:49 PM

What a surprise! Today, Hiatt wrote yet another mendacious editorial that directly conradicts a news piece by Lizner.

Are these two working in concert? Or is Hiatt just a Bushie airhead?

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 03:17 PM

Let's see if I have this right!

Jim Brady is deaf!

Deborah Howell is dumb!

David Nakamura is blind!

Freddie Hiatt is deaf, dumb, and blind!

What is Don Graham's problem?

Posted by: Publius | April 13, 2006 05:04 PM

Greg Sargent (The American Prospect on line)


The big news organizations need to come to terms with their role in spreading White House misinformation -- and their failure to dig out the truth -- in the run-up to the Iraq war. Because if they don't, they risk making the same catastrophic mistakes again in the run-up to the possible conflict with Iran -- and those mistakes could have even graver consequences. Bill Keller understands this. Fred Hiatt doesn't.
The fact that some powerful media figures still won't accept accountability for their pre-war blunders is awfully discouraging -- it suggests that they're fully prepared to commit those blunders all over again. Case in point: Today's Washington City Paper has an extraordinary interview with Hiatt, in which reporter Eric Wemple notes that the Post editorial board hasn't yet apologized for its role in spreading the Bush administration's pre-war deceptions, and asks Hiatt if they'll ever issue a mea culpa. Says the piece:

The Post's editorialists bought the White House line in full, yet they haven't gone the mea culpa route. They flirted with accountability in an October 2003 editorial, which reads in part: "Were we wrong? The honest answer is: We don't yet know."

Well, that was two and a half years ago. Do we know enough now to admit the mistake? When asked that question, Hiatt responded, "I'm not getting into that subject...I guess what we have to say about that I would say in an editorial."

In other words, take your demand for accountability and shove it deep into your posterior.

Over at The Times, meanwhile, Keller has shown himself to be far more responsible and professional than Hiatt. He's taking questions at this week, and this is part of what Keller said in response to queries about Judith Miller (scroll down):

[T]he best answer to bad reporting is good reporting...the experience last year has certainly raised our editorial vigilance and underscored the importance of the checks and balances that operate to assure fair and accurate news coverage, especially in sensitive areas such as national security, where reporters rely on sources who cannot speak for attribution. Newsrooms necessarily operate with a large degree of trust...But the operative principle is Ronald Reagan's: trust but verify.

Keller's answers are encouraging. As I noted below, he was far more churlish about the blogosphere than necessary, and The Times's handling of the Miller saga was anything but perfect. Still, the key point is that Keller appears prepared to learn from past mistakes, a refreshing trait which is oddly absent among his media establishment colleagues.

Keller, I'm sure, is well aware that his legacy may rest largely on how he handles the run-up to Iran -- just as his predecessor Howell Raines's legacy was tainted partly by the paper's handling of the run-up to Iraq. What's more, given America's degraded international relationships and all the talk about nukes, this time the stakes are arguably higher -- The Times and other big news orgs simply have to get it right, or the consequences could be dire. In a way, the lead-up to a possible war with Iran is really a big opportunity for the media -- a chance for the big news organizations to redeem themselves for their disastrous failings last time around.

Bill Keller seems to understand this. Fred Hiatt, sadly, doesn't -- or if he does, he couldn't care less.

--Greg Sargent

Posted by: Publius | April 13, 2006 05:14 PM

Jim Brady BOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo!!!

Deborah Howell BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooo!!


If they won't act like professionals, we should we?

Posted by: BOOO!!! | April 13, 2006 11:00 PM

Last night my wife and I were reconsidering our cancellation of our Post subscription -- she really misses her Sunday coupons -- but after one look around the Post Blog and Kos to see what's up, we still cannot in good conscience pay for a GOP mouthpiece rag. I mean, isn't that what the Washington Times is for?!

Posted by: Necromancer | April 14, 2006 08:05 AM

You could throw a young virgin into a volcano.

You could cut out a young man's heart on the altar in Aztec fashion.

Fred Hiatt could write another of his editorials.

You could do all this in the name of your "God of Truthiness" and some people will never believe you've become conservative enough, WaPo. Scott McLellan slagged you in a press conference recently. Smelling fresh kill, Rush Limbaugh piles on:

Summary: Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that after "the left-wing fringe threw a hissy fit" about The Washington Post's hiring of Ben Domenech to write for a conservative weblog on the newspaper's website, the Post "concocted some phony excuse that the guy that they had hired was a plagiarist" and "he was gone inside of two weeks." In fact, on the day of his resignation -- four days after his blog for the Post began -- Domenech admitted to using other writers' work "inappropriately and without attribution."

How much longer will you try to appease these people before you realize they all eat your donuts you bring in on fridays but they still hate you?

And that stock price of yours? Even the market "loves" you as you try to climb out of the toilet:

I'd wish you luck, but you know it's been said: "You make your own luck!"

Posted by: Philip | April 14, 2006 02:50 PM

The Left, Online and Outraged
Liberal Blogger Finds an Outlet and a Community

By David Finkel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 15, 2006; A01

"What's notable about this isn't only the level of anger but the direction from which it is coming. Not that long ago, it was the right that was angry and the left that was, at least comparatively, polite. But after years of being the targets of inflammatory rhetoric, not only from fringe groups but also from such mainstream conservative politicians as Newt Gingrich, the left has gone on the attack. And with Republicans in control of Washington, they have much more to be angry about."

Wake up, Mr. Finkel. The "right" is still angry!

Mr. Finkel could've presented a more balanced article by pointing out that the country is still plagued by conservative speakers, writers and bloggers who, given the opportunity, would decorate the countryside with the bodies of liberals hanging from trees by rope.

Posted by: Ben | April 15, 2006 09:36 AM

Deborah Howell, the ombudsman for the Washington Post, addresses Fred Hiatt's outrageous Post editorial last weekend, "A Good Leak", in her column today at the Post website:

Howell, as she demonstrated when she peddled the lie that Abramoff had contributed to democrats (and then whined about being called out on it), is about as much an ombudsman as I'm an astronaut. The women is an incorrigible hack.

Readers of the Post detected various factual misrepresentations in Hiatt's pathetic editorial, including (i) Hiatt's claim that there was nothing unusual about the way Libby was granted a limited authorization to disclose certain portions of the NIE (in fact Libby testified before the grand jury that the arrangement was "unique in his recollection"), (ii) Hiatt's contention that Fitzgerald had not presented any evidence in support of Joe Wilson's claim that the White House had sought to punish him for his criticism of the Administrations claims about yellowcake and Niger (in fact Fitzgerald referred specifically in his court filing last week that the White House had engaged in precisely such an attempt to punish Wilson), and (iii) Hiatt's claim that Wilson had asserted he'd been sent to Niger by Cheney (Wilson never made any such claim).

Howell never addresses any of these issues, and instead characterizes the controversy thusly: "The passage in the Post editorial that sent war critics round the bend was this one: ' . . . Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.'"

Were critics of Hiatt's editorial "outraged" or "concerned" or "critical"? No, they were "around the bend." Deb again overtly demonstrates a shocking hostility towards her paper's readers. Even worse, however, she absurdly mischaracterizes the response to Hiatt's editorial. There were over 600 comments posted at the on Hiatt's crap editorial, and they touched on various factual misrepresentations by Hiatt, including the ones I cited above. To reduce these detailed and informed criticisms to a single sentence of Hiatt's editorial, as Howell has done, is egregiously misleading. But it obviously served Deb's purpose to divert the controversy from Hiatt's various factual trespasses.

Howell turns her column on the controversy into a technical discussion of the wall between the editorial and news departments by quoting a letter from a reader that asked "Do the Post editorial writers read the Post articles before publishing their opinions?" She then proceeds to argue that Hiatt's editorial had been written before Gellman and Linzer's front page story that debunked various of Hiatt's claims in the editorial. There are two very big problems with Deb's approach: first, the bigger problem with Hiatt's editorial is not that it contradicted the Post's reporting, but that it contradicted various statements made by Fitzgerald in his court filings (the fact that Hiatt's editorial got it so wrong while the Post's reporters were accurately reporting these matters was merely irony); and second, the reader inquiry asking whether "Post editorial writers read the Post articles before publishing their opinions" WAS NOT MADE. Deb just made it up. I know because I'm the guy she cites as asking the question. Here is the e-mail I sent to Howell, which she requested she be able to cite in her column:

"Are we to believe Geller and Linzer's reporting or the Post's lead editorial? They are irreconcilable. The Post's already dwindling reputation for credibility is seeping away with the continued silence from the editorial board and the Post's ombudsman. I hope you appreciate how
grave this situation is for the Post."

But Deb wanted to write a column that avoided the factual deficiencies of Hiatt's Bush propaganda and focus instead on details regarding the Post's internal housekeeping and so she fabricated a reader inquiry!

This woman has absolutely no shame. I urge everyone to read her ombudsman column and ask yourself: is this the job of an ombudsman, to denigrate her readers by suggesting they are "around the bend", and then to neatly sidestep numerous misstatements of fact in a Post editorial in order to rationalize brazen pro-war propaganda?

Posted by: Thomas C | April 15, 2006 10:27 AM

From Deborah Howell's Sunday column:

"Some readers think it's a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other..."

The real scandal is the way Mrs. Howell, the ombudsman for The Washington Post Print Edition, treats the readers as second graders when they ask legitimate questions and express concerns, and at the same time defends editorialists who write as if they never graduated second grade.

By the way, I think I remember reading her state her focus would be more on the D.C. Metro area, which I assumed meant writing about shopping mall openings, current culture, movie and restaurant reviews, etc. Why is she concerning herself with the Libby leak case at all?

Posted by: Philip | April 15, 2006 10:52 AM

See todays' vicious article about angry leftbloggers. It uses all the stereotypes: the blogger smokes (she is an addict), she drinks non-alcoholic beer (she used to be a drunk), she ignores her child and her husband, she is angry (she is unhunged), etc...

Of course, the "journalist" responsible for this piece of garbage studiously ignores the violent, racist, and shrill, right-wing blogs such as RedState (of Demenech's fame), Little Green Footballs, USSNeverdock, etc... Just go and read the filth and vicious nastiness spewed on those blogs about Marla R., the peace activist who was killed last year in Iraq, Jim Carroll, and -- that is where they show the true evil of their lack of soul -- illegal immigration.

What is so interesting about WAPO having become an agent of the WH propaganda, is that the WAPO editors have hitched their wagon to a losing cause. The popularity of Bush and his government is abysmally low; retired generals publicly criticize the Secretary of Defense (and by extension the President)...

The Bush regime is on its way to collapse. Meanwhile, WAPO's owners and editors continue shilling for the losers.

I hope WAPO goes bankrupt.

Posted by: | April 15, 2006 11:04 AM

The hilarious WaPo politics trivia question is still up on the site. Go, Dick!


Posted by: Septimus | April 15, 2006 11:46 AM

"Leaks are good for journalism," states the Washington Post's Ombudsman. The Washington Post, though, has yet to acknowledge that they got one of the biggest stories of the decade wrong: Why Iraq? This questions needed to be answered before the country committed itself, before American dollars and lives were spent. It was the duty of the press - newspapers like the Post - to get this question right, to explain to the American public the truth about why we, as a nation, needed to go to war in Iraq. They failed.

The Washington Post failed.

One of the reason's they failed is because they depended upon leaks. Leaks from the Government that supported the government's own position and not the reality of the situation. Thus, a newspaper whose ombudsman declares that "leaks are good journalism" without stating the leaks lead to the Post's failure, is a newspaper that doesn't get it.

The Washington Post will fail again.

Posted by: Jack | April 15, 2006 01:33 PM

I too am outraged by the article "The Left, Online and Outraged" by David Finkel. What pure, unadulterated crap. I almost cried when I read it, really I did, become it signals an end to balance at the Washington Post. Its official, the Post is a right wing rag. I think the word "angry" was used at least 20 times in the article. To paint a portrait of a liberal blogger as some crazy smoker, ex-alcoholic, bad mother is just plain... sad. That is all I can say. The paper ignores more famous, more respected bloggers and uses (and I do mean use - this is pure media exploitation) this poor womens words against her. The average reader will pick up this article and say "All those liberal bloggers are crazy, I told you". I mean, C'MON! This is the worst type of journalism because it pretends to be balanced. And to add insult to injury, they run the story on page 1. PAGE 1!! This is purely a fluff Style piece. Is this what the Post really thinks about liberals and progressives? Is this what the Post thinks about the people who come to its website and post and chat? Why would I ever read a paper that has such a low opinion of its readership, myself included? Why should I ever pay attention to the Washington Post again?

Posted by: Avery | April 15, 2006 04:06 PM

It seems obvious to me that Finkel was commissioned by his editors, and gladly accepted, to do a hit piece on "left wing" bloggers in retaliation against blogs like Firedoglake, Eschaton, and others for their successful efforts to expose the biased and ignorant rants of WaPo editors and ombudsman.

This retaliation is a sure signal that the WaPo now understands very well how effective the left blogosphere has become as an antidote to the perversity of MSM reporting and as an alternative medium for dissemination of news and opinion.

It is a sure sign of a media in decline and that they are desperate to preserve their rapidly declining level of influence.

Posted by: the green lantern | April 15, 2006 05:43 PM

Agree with all the criticism of Finkel's negative "puffery" on "left-wing" bloggers. Readers are flocking to "left-wing" bloggers, such as FDL, because they're an oasis of old fashioned, "conservative" values, such as accountability and individual responsibility.

Posted by: John Casper | April 15, 2006 06:14 PM

Whatever the Post pays Lil Debbie for her intellectual dishonesty it is way too much, however, whatever the administration pays her to lie for them and their lackey Fred Hiatt seems to be moeny well spent.

Posted by: Greg in NY | April 15, 2006 06:57 PM

Ms. Howell,

You said:

"Some readers think it's a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other..."

Here's how that sentence would have read if you had a clear idea of your role as ombudsman for the Washiongton Post.

"Some readers think it's a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other over the facts...and they're right. Because we need to get at least the facts right on both the news pages and the editorial pages. Then we can let our editorial writers fight it out over what those facts mean ... not over what those facts actually are."

Your news and editorial pages are not having a difference of opinion or a conflict of ideas. It's not a meaningless llittle tiff we have going on here. They are in basic disagreement about a set of facts.

The job of the news pages is to set forth the facts as clearly and completely and accurately as possible. The editorial page should be using those facts to develop thoughtful and thought-provoking opinion pieces.

It is a scandal when an editorial writer ignores the facts as reported in his own paper in order to support his position. That's called fiction. Or wishful thinking. Or propaganda. Not an editorial. Editorial writers get to come up with their own opinion. Not their own facts.

Unless it is now your position, as it now appears from your column today, that the misstatement of facts is acceptable in a Washington Post editorial. If that's the case, it's quite clear that the Post editorial page is now useful only for lining litter pans or bird cages. As is the ombudsman's column.



(Also sent to Ms. Howell via e-mail)

Posted by: AJ | April 15, 2006 07:24 PM

Jane Hamsher over at watercatpond [I'm so ANGRY!!!] has some scathing remarks about Hiatt/Howell imbroglio

Posted by: Wilson46201 | April 15, 2006 08:54 PM

Thanks, Deb...and all you folks at the Washington Post for reminding me of that scene at the end of "Three Days of Condor" when Robert Redford saves America by walking into the New York Times. (yeah, right.)

There was a time when the same could be said for the Washington Post as well.

And look at all you guys now.

Nobody in their right minds would expect anyone at the Washington Post to have a conscience....or a sense of honor. Forget about a commitment to reporting the truth.

Nope. And its a damn shame, too.

Good thing that that the American Newspaper will be extinct as vinyl in five years.

Posted by: nano | April 15, 2006 09:14 PM

After reading your article about 'angry leftie bloggers',I suspect you could not print such an article about 'angry rightie bloggers'. What is allowed to stay posted on some rightie blogs is so very horrible that I have felt shocked and violated by just reading it [like obscene sexual fantasy rants about the American girl who was run over by a bulldozer in Palestine].
I doubt that the Washington Post could find a way to report on the depravity of some rightie simply could not decently repeat certain obscenities found there.

There is strong passionate anger and sometimes pointedly partisan phrases found on leftie blogs. The ones I go to are filled with substantive discussions of important issues. [my favorites are Talking Points Memo...and Mahablog, neither of which allows profanity] I have found some rightie blogs that are well written and substantive, too.
My problem with rightie blogs is this: When I have found one that shuns obscenity and seems to be written well, I have not been allowed to join the discussion if my comment diverges in the least bit from the 'echo chamber' of right-wing views. Geez.

Posted by: Donna | April 15, 2006 09:45 PM

Shorter Debbie Howell:
Editorials are to influence, so they don't have to be factual.

Posted by: flounder | April 15, 2006 10:33 PM

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake says:

Deborah Howell and Fred Hiatt: Fact Free and Loving It

By Jane Hamsher

I go back and forth on the Deborah Howell conundrum — ignorant or craven? I always find myself touching down on the Upton Sinclair quote:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

And so we find ourselves with Lil’ Debbie, failing to disappoint with this week’s excuses about last week’s Fred Hiatt column:

The Post editorially has supported the war, and the purpose of the editorial — headlined "A Good Leak" — was to support that leak as necessary to show that the president had reason to believe that Iraq was seeking uranium.

Yes, we know you have a lot invested in your warmongering. It has no doubt paid the giant cocktail weenie bill for years. But the fact is that there was no reason for the president to believe Iraq was seeking uranium at the time. Do we have to go through this again? I guess so. Joe Wilson’s oped appeared on July 6, 2003. Five days later, on July 11 2003, George Tenet had to admit Wilson was right and there was no credible reason to believe as of January, 2003 when the President gave the State of the Union address that the 16 words had any validity; indeed, that’s why Tenet said they never should have been included in the first place.

Only this last week we learned what they knew then, but what we didn’t know – the National Intelligence Council had delivered a definitive judgment in January of 2003 that the claims weren’t credible. It appeared in the Post on the same day Hiatt’s editorial did. Lil’ Debbie claims Hiatt had not read Gelman and Linzer’s piece at the time he wrote his editorial, not that it would have made any difference (her words not mine — facts obviously have no place within the bubble world of the Post’s editorial page). But by the time Howell was scribbling her excuses for Hiatt she most certainly had read it. What it said:

Tenet interceded to keep the claim out of a speech Bush gave in Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, but by Dec. 19 it reappeared in a State Department "fact sheet." After that, the Pentagon asked for an authoritative judgment from the National Intelligence Council, the senior coordinating body for the 15 agencies that then constituted the U.S. intelligence community. Did Iraq and Niger discuss a uranium sale, or not? If they had, the Pentagon would need to reconsider its ties with Niger.

The council’s reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest. Four U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge said in interviews that the memo, which has not been reported before, arrived at the White House as Bush and his highest-ranking advisers made the uranium story a centerpiece of their case for the rapidly approaching war against Iraq.

How could even she write something so staggeringly dishonest as "the president had reason to believe that Iraq was seeking uranium" when she admits in the same piece that this was staring her right in the face? I mean, WTF? What does it take to get through to these people? There were no attempts to purchase uranium from Niger and the President knew it, even by the Post’s own reporting. How much simpler can we possibly make it?

But wait, now how much would you pay:

The editorial said Bush "clumsily" handled the leak, leading to Democrats’ "hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy." (Don’t expect newspapers to editorialize against leaks.)

Don’t expect newspapers to editorialize against leaks? But that’s exactly what Hiatt did:

Rather than follow the usual declassification procedures and then invite reporters to a briefing — as the White House eventually did — Vice President Cheney initially chose to be secretive, ordering his chief of staff at the time, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the information to a favorite New York Times reporter. The full public disclosure followed 10 days later. There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that, nor is this presidentially authorized leak necessarily comparable to other, unauthorized disclosures that the president believes, rightly or wrongly, compromise national security.

Hiatt buys right into the official GOP narrative that the President’s leaks are okay but that the NSA leaks to the New York Times reporters are "unauthorized" and of a whole different beast that could endanger national security. The Justice Department is hunting for James Risen’s head in order to make him turn over his sources and Hiatt gives this the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. What does this say to people who might be thinking of whistleblowing to the Post? [Expletive deleted] you, you bunch of traitors, we’ll hand you over like a carnival prize?

Lil’ Debbie again:

The passage in the Post editorial that sent war critics round the bend was this one: " . . . Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium."

I’m sure it did. She then goes on to not address this point at all, except to get into Hiatt’s shopworn and downright wrong invocations of British intelligence at the time that the White House used to parse excuses for itself. They knew there were no attempts to buy Niger uranium. Both Howell and Hiatt keep trying to distract the argument by making it about Joe Wilson’s report, but it’s not about Wilson’s report. The administration knew, completely independent of Wilson, that there were no attempts to buy Niger Uranium.

Colin Powell:

"The CIA was pushing the aluminum tube argument heavily and Cheney went with that instead of what our guys wrote," Powell said. And the Niger reference in Bush’s State of the Union speech? "That was a big mistake," he said. "It should never have been in the speech. I didn’t need Wilson to tell me that there wasn’t a Niger connection. He didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. I never believed it."

How many new and different ways do I have to find to say this?

More Howell:

It would have been helpful if the editorial had put statements about Wilson in more context — especially the controversy over his trip and what he said.

No. No, it wouldn’t have, and I’m going to tell you why Deb. Not that it will matter, but I’m going to do it anyway.

The attempt by the Administration to smear Joe Wilson was a pure Rovian effort to distract from the fact that he was right. Any attempt to pass off those smears three years later is an utterly dishonest and reprehensible journalism practice. It isn’t journalism at all, it’s thuggery. People often ask why I don’t get into debunking the claim of "Wilson’s wife sent him to Africa." Know why? Because suddenly I’m arguing about Pat Roberts and what a hopeless hack and Bush Administration tool he is and I’m off the main point, the only point — Joe Wilson was right. There is no getting around it and any other discussion trivializes and distracts from the greater truth about the thousands of people who lay dead because a nation was lied into war. There were no attempts to buy Uranium from Niger, and everything else — to paraphrase a great man — is just an attempt to throw sand in the Umpire’s eyes.

Some readers think it’s a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other, but it’s not that unusual that reporting — particularly in news and editorial — will depend on different sources. It happened again last week when an editorial and a story gave different estimates for how long it might take Iran to build a nuclear bomb.

No, Deb, that’s not what people were upset about. What enraged them was the complete fact-free vacuum that Hiatt seems to be locked in. Even as he tries to excuse the paper’s history as supreme war pimp he does so in denial of the facts not only in the Gellman and Linzer article but of virtually all the reporting that’s been done on the topic by everyone short of the Moonie Times.

Debbie falls back once again on the intellectually lazy "well, everyone’s upset so we must be doing something right" hokum. Yes, she’s an idiot. But she’s quite useful to the Post. Anyone with even a bit more intelligence would have a hard time getting all that insufferable, senseless drivel onto the page. And as they struggle to justify the blood on their own hands, that’s an opiate for which they seem to have a relentless hunger.

Small wonder.

Posted by: Seeker of Truth | April 15, 2006 10:39 PM

Re: The Left, Online and Outraged

"We don't need no stinkin' balance!"

Who needs balance when you can repeat RNC talking points.

Posted by: shingles | April 15, 2006 10:42 PM

The N.Y. Times Editorial Board Responds to Fred [Josef] Hiatt:

A Bad Leak

April 16, 2006

President Bush says he declassified portions of the prewar intelligence assessment on Iraq because he "wanted people to see the truth" about Iraq's weapons programs and to understand why he kept accusing Saddam Hussein of stockpiling weapons that turned out not to exist. This would be a noble sentiment if it actually bore any relationship to Mr. Bush's actions in this case, or his overall record.

Mr. Bush did not declassify the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq — in any accepted sense of that word — when he authorized I. Lewis Libby Jr., through Vice President Dick Cheney, to talk about it with reporters. He permitted a leak of cherry-picked portions of the report. The declassification came later.

And this president has never shown the slightest interest in disclosure, except when it suits his political purposes. He has run one of the most secretive administrations in American history, consistently withholding information and vital documents not just from the public, but also from Congress. Just the other day, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the House Judiciary Committee that the names of the lawyers who reviewed Mr. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program were a state secret.

Obviously, we do not object to government officials talking to reporters about important matters that their bosses do not want discussed. It would be impossible to cover any administration, especially one so secretive as this, unless that happened. (Judith Miller, who then worked for The Times, was one of the reporters Mr. Libby chose for this leak, although she never wrote about it.) But the version of the facts that Mr. Libby was authorized to divulge was so distorted that it seems more like disinformation than any sincere attempt to inform the public.

This fits the pattern of Mr. Bush's original sales pitch on the Iraq war — hyping the intelligence that bolstered his case and suppressing the intelligence that undercut it. In this case, Mr. Libby was authorized to talk about claims that Iraq had tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons in Africa and not more reliable evidence to the contrary.

About a month before, Mr. Bush rushed to announce that American forces had found evidence of a biological weapons program in Iraq — trailers that could have been used to make doomsday devices. We now know, from a report in The Washington Post, that a Pentagon team actually on the ground in Iraq inspecting the trailers had concluded two days earlier that they were nothing of the kind.

The White House says Mr. Bush was not aware of that report, and was relying on an assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. This is hardly the first time we've been told that intelligence reports contradicting administration doctrine somehow did not make it to Mr. Bush's desk. But it does not explain why he and Mr. Cheney went on talking about the trailers for weeks, during which the State Department's intelligence division — about the only agency that got it right about Iraq — debunked the mobile-labs theory.

Of course, the inaccurate report saying that the trailers were bioweapons labs was made public, immediately, while the accurate one was kept secret until a reporter found out about it.

Since Mr. Bush regularly denounces leakers, the White House has made much of the notion that he did not leak classified information, he declassified it. This explanation strains credulity. Even a president cannot wave a wand and announce that an intelligence report is declassified.

To declassify an intelligence document, officials have to decide whether disclosing the information would jeopardize the sources that provided it or the methods used to gather it. To answer that question, they closely study the origins of the intelligence to be disclosed. Had Mr. Bush done that, he should have seen that the most credible information made it clear that the Niger story was wrong. (In any case, Iraq's supposed attempt to buy uranium from Niger happened four years before the invasion, and failed. The idea that this amounted to a current, aggressive and continuing campaign to build nuclear weapons in 2002 — as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney called it — is laughable.)

This messy episode leaves more questions than answers, so it is imperative that two things happen soon. First, the federal prosecutor in the Libby case should release the transcripts of what Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney said when he questioned them. And the Senate Intelligence Committee must report publicly on how Mr. Bush and his team used the flawed intelligence on Iraq. Senator Pat Roberts, the committee chairman, says the panel will meet this month to discuss three of the report's five sections. That's a step. And it has taken only two years to get this far.

Shorter: Freddie, are you out of your frezaking mind?

Posted by: Bill Keller | April 15, 2006 11:23 PM

Ms. Howell:
Thank you so much for your very insightful, "Two Views of the Libby Case."
You wrote: "Some readers think it's a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other, but it's not that unusual that reporting -- particularly in news and editorial -- will depend on different sources."

Ms. Howell, I am confident that your editorial writers will very interested in the sources listed on our web site:
* Background information on the Flat Earth Society
* The Flat Earth Society's purpose - why we do what we do
* Why we don't believe the world is round
* Scientific data and measurements backing up our claims
* Dispelling common myths about "proof" regarding round earth theory
* Uncovering the conspiracy to withold the truth from the public.
We look forward to seeing your editorial.

Posted by: Flat Earth Society | April 15, 2006 11:57 PM

Re: 4/16/06 Ombudsman's column

Let me see, the readers were "confused" by the difference aims of the editorial and journalistic factions of the wapo.

Is that right?

Your readers didn't seem very confused to me.

"Editorials and news stories have different purposes. News stories are to inform; editorials are to influence."

Why, in the name of god, would the editorial board want to distort, fabricate, lie, and misinform its readers in order to influence them? Is it influence or manipulation?

Influence: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior, of someone or something.

Manipulate: The control or influence of a person or situation, cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously.

Does this statement by the Ombudsman mean that it's okay for the post editorial board to use lies, distortions, omissions, and/or fabrications to influence its readership, as long as the end of "influencing" them is achieved? Do all morals, ethics and standards go out the window as long as the desired effect is achieved? Is there no limit to the means used to achieve the end?

Opinion: 1: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter
2: belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge; or a generally held view
3: a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert

Propaganda: 1: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. 2: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect.

The editorialists seem to be engaging not so much in opinion as in propaganda.

"Editor Fred Hiatt said it is unlikely that the story would have influenced the editorial."

Then, it's clear - the facts don't matter to Hiatt. He is not bound by the facts, even if he is fully aware of them. Sounds like Bush doesn't it?

"Some readers think it's a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other, but it's not that unusual that reporting -- particularly in news and editorial -- will depend on different sources."

Now the editorialists are "reporting", not "opining" (or influencing, or manipulating, or propagandizing).

"Reporting about national security and intelligence gathering is always fraught with fraught; it is a subject I will write about again."

How much you wanna' bet they don't write about it again? They'll run away and hide their heads in the sand.

You people are all buffoons. This "opinion" is based on the facts of your reportage over the past several months.

Posted by: smafdy | April 16, 2006 12:01 AM

As I said to Lil Debbie in this email:

Dear Ms. Howell,

I am amazed at the contortions you go through to try and repair the damage inflicted by "A Good Leak". Today's article only reinforced the view that the Post Editorial Board is a Joke.

Finally, I can see that my nomination of the Post's Editorial Board as the Buzzflash "GOP Hypocrite of the Week" is well earned:

I was not suprised to see that they agreed with me and made the Post's Editorial Board, this week's winner.


Ron Russell

Posted by: Ron Russell | April 16, 2006 12:03 AM

Ms. Howell,
I enjoyed very much your article, "Two Views of the Libby Leak Case."
You wrote:"Some readers think it's a scandal when two parts of the newspaper appear to be in conflict with each other, but it's not that unusual that reporting -- particularly in news and editorial -- will depend on different sources."

I hope Mr. Hiatt will consider using me as a source for one of his editorials.

Many people cringe when they hear the words 'arranged marriage.' They cringe because it brings to mind an image of a forced union and an unhappy couple in the middle of it.

I, however, to beg to differ. As an Islamic teen, I believe strongly in the idea of arranged marriages. And I am not very enthusiastic about the subject of dating. To me, it has many drawbacks and sounds like a frustrating experience.

Posted by: Equality Today | April 16, 2006 12:17 AM

Dear Ms. Howell,

I greatly admire your deliberate thick-headedness in service of the President and his war.

If the Post editorial board can continue to tread water for this illegal and immoral invasion, who knows, we may be lucky enough to lose another few thousand American soldiers before finally exiting the same way we exited Vietnam.

Congratulations on the blood on your hands.

Posted by: M | April 16, 2006 07:29 AM

Two more nails in the Post's coffin:

(1) Deborah Howell's defense of fact-free Post editorials;

(2) New York Times smacks down the Post's "Good Leak" editorial.

The writing is on the wall. The Washington Post cannot be trusted. Woodward. VandeHei. Schmitt. Howell. Hiatt. Unethical. Liars. Bush Enablers.

Posted by: Joel | April 16, 2006 10:18 AM

And on to the next war, with The Washington Post editorial page in tow!

The Post: I will not read it in a boat. I will not read it with a goat.

-- Dave, a former post reader in Kalorama, DC

Posted by: Dave | April 16, 2006 10:20 AM

Deborah Howell's rules of order:

The is not The Washington Post, so I don't have to think about it.

The ediorial page is not the newsroom, so I don't have to think about it.

All of these criticism are from folks outside D.C. I don't have to listen to them.

Multiple e-mails on a subject means it's a bunch of screaming lefties. I won't listen to them.

Bob Woodward is unethical. I don't have to talk to reporters or experts about it.

The Post doesn't cover local, D.C. stories. I don't have an opinion about it.

Three martinis over lunch at the Post Pub. Yum Yum!!!

Posted by: Joel | April 16, 2006 10:29 AM

Re WaPo hitpiece on Maryscott O'Connor:

Inner bitter mainstream media recis: Ooh, ooh, nooo--literate librul female blogging sass 'n snark! Help! Hellp! Save ussss!

Posted by: No Blood for Hubris | April 16, 2006 12:03 PM

I thought the point of an ombudsman was to
critique, not to ass-kiss. Guess I was wrong,
cause it looks like that's what Ms. Howell has defined her job as. Maybe she's hoping to kiss well enough to land a position as a staff reporter when this gig is up?
unsubscribing as of tomorrow

Posted by: Susan | April 16, 2006 01:52 PM

Kind of Scary.
We talk here about the inanity of some of the Post's recent positions (re: "A Good Leak") but we only get a sense of being listened to by going over to the NYTimes.
See their editorial "A Bad Leak" today, which seems exquisitely aimed at you know who.
Gotcha, Hiatt.
Here's the URL:

Posted by: BBSaleeby | April 16, 2006 04:08 PM

So where did your editorial "A Good Leak" disappear to? I did a search of your site by title and date and nothing comes up but discussions and Howell's silly defense of the editorial. Not the editorial itself.

I was hoping to forward that editorial as well as today's NY Times editorial to all my friends and family members.

I think you know why.

Posted by: AJ | April 16, 2006 04:22 PM

Re: Fred Hiatt's piece "Good Leak"

I'll just repeat a maxim attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time." From all indications you are not fooling too many people. I guess that is a good thing. What is not so good is that unless it is done as satire or a joke it is not good business on the part of a paper to fool its readers. And this was done in such a ham handed way.

The fact that your reporters got the story right is diminished by your editorial. How long will good reporters tolerate that of their newspaper? How long will readers accept less than mediocrity? And quite obviously, I misunderstand the role of an ombudsman. I did not realize that role encompassed providing cover for what is on its face poor journalism. Are you guys in comptetion with the White House to see who can lose credibility faster?

Hope someone in authority at the WAPO sees what is happening to what was once the best paper in the country. More importantly, I hope they can do something to reverse this course.

Posted by: Rich McVey | April 16, 2006 04:46 PM

I read through all the posts here regarding A Good Leak. Like Ivory soap, they were 99 and 44/100 percent purely critical of the editorial. Almost all of them made salient points. And although there was plenty of attitude, I do not recall that there was much if any crass, crude, profane or even borish language.

Yet, in her response, Ms. Howell totally makes excuses for the newspaper, dismisses the many pointed criticisms, over simplifies the issue, and characterizes the blog participants as "around the bend".

My question is, "What does Debbie Howell think her job is as ombudsman? Is it to defend the Post at all costs with spin, or to represent the Post's readers and provide thoughtful, honest response to their concerns and opinions?"


A concerned, (but not "around the bend") reader.

Posted by: roberto | April 16, 2006 05:01 PM

"and characterizes the blog participants as "around the bend"."


I think they have another response this weekend:

i.e., that any progressive participants in the blogosphere, be they bloggers, posters or commenters, are "unhinged."

NOT like their golden boy, little Bennie, who said Coretta Scott King was "a commie"... not he who turned out to be a serial plagiarist and liar, no. No, he was NEVER "unhinged." No, he was pretty and he dressed nice, and he had right wing sugar daddies, and he was a Bush political appointee. So long as you're pretty and socially acceptable (or at least have a nice facade built around you), all sins are forgiven.

And those damned lefty bloggers who outed Golden Boy, they MUST be punished, by a nice, juicy hit piece, a good sliming.

Mrs. Howell, on the other hand, would be better at fetching coconuts for Gilligan. The constant mewling and fanny covering she engages in now are merely tiresome.

Posted by: DH | April 16, 2006 05:31 PM

The subtext of the Maryscott hatchet-piece: Liberals are bad housekeepers who leave dirty ashtrays around, then we smoke in front of our kids, then we smoke some more, then we startle innocent children with our vitriolic hate. Did we mention that she smokes? And while her kid is home too? Who she startles with her vitrolic hate? Sheesh!

Note how the article mentions smoking again and again and again as a way to stigmatize Maryscott. Only those who would dare criticize Bush could have such disgusting and dangerous habits! Bush supporters are clean-livin' church-types who actually breathe carbon monoxide and fart pure, sweet O2.

Some 'winger a-hole has already linked to the story, defining it as yet more proof of "moonbattery". Thanks, WaPo, guess you got us back. If we had any respect left for you, this clumsily-executed retribution might actually sting a little.

Posted by: Ras_Nesta | April 16, 2006 05:43 PM

For all of its (at times considerable) faults, one true thing about the New York Times is that it respects its readers enough to take seriously its obligation to either get it right or (at times eventually) forthrightly admit when it gets it wrong. It also has an aggressive and smart Public Editor who understands why an ombudsman is vital to holding the paper accountable to its readers. I'm not sure the Post was ever as good a newspaper, but now it's as if they aren't even trying to keep up.

Hiatt and Howell should not be cut any slack for this, but it's hard for me to actually get mad at either of them. Hiatt has an agenda and has been given free rein to express it to the world, which must be irresistible, and Howell seems WAY over her head (maybe a dictionary turned to "ombudsman" would help).

I blame the "not my problem" political reporting staff and the utterly silent non-coopted members of the editorial staff. The credibility of their paper is eroding by the day, and the reporters hide behind a false construct of "objectivity." Do they really think there is a rule of good journalism that prevents them from going up to other reporters, the ombudsman or even Fred Hiatt and saying "Your facts are wrong, and if you keep publishing false facts people will stop believing what I write as well?" There certainly is no prohibition against other op-ed writers calling out the Post. David Broder, for example, has a professional lifetime invested in the Post's credibility; why hasn't he said anything about this?

It's obvious that the Post doesn't care if readers complain; we're all angry liberals and therefore not their audience. It seems just as obvious that no one inside the paper has the courage to insist that the Post aspire to be more than the Washington Times with a worse sports section.

Posted by: Tony | April 16, 2006 09:46 PM

I just read the latest Deborah Howell column and found her condescending attitude towards the Post's readers deeply troubling.

The readers who questioned the "Good Leak" editorial were not confused and did not need a tutorial about the difference between news stories and editorials. They raised legitimate questions about why the editorial ignored well known facts. Instead of addressing those questions Ms. Howell instead chose to disrespect the readers by talking down to them.

I think perhaps the Post needs to hire an ombudsman for the ombudsman. Ms. Howell is obviously too tone deaf and too contemptuous of the readers to handle the job on her own.

Posted by: pmorlan | April 17, 2006 10:05 AM

I guess the "high wall" between the news and editorial rooms that Howell speaks of has another name -- the truth.

Howell writes "...we know a lot more now about the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq than we knew then."

No, YOU know more about the lack of weapons of mass destruction now. I knew that the Niger lie was a lie the minute Bush said in the SOTU. I pay attention to other news sources than the WaPo, and the Non-US press had already debunked the Niger lie before Bush intoned it in his speech. The supporting documents are proven forgeries, for God's sake!

I also listened to El Baradai and IAEA when they said that the aluminum tubes were for missles, thus too low-quality for atomic centrifuges. Another lie I caught in the SOTU.

If I, just a humble computer geek from Missouri, knew so much more about these very serious issues than you supposed journalists, what does that say about the WaPo's credibility? Either the journalists there are lazy and incompetent or the editorial staff are willing to subvert the truth for partisan political gain.

Either way, pathetic. Both the original crime against journalism and the current attempt to spin the whole sad affair.

Posted by: A Humble Citizen | April 17, 2006 12:42 PM

I understand from Ms. Howell's ombsbuds hit piece yesterday that I'm "confused." I don't like being confused, but luckily I also subscribe to the NY Times website where the editorial entitled A Bad Leak cleared matters up for me tremendously. Perhaps Howell, Hiatt & Brady should read the editorial as well. It may prove informative.


Posted by: Maimonides | April 17, 2006 02:20 PM

Ms. Howell writes, "The Post editorially has supported the war . . ."

Well, of course it did. Wars are great for the newspaper business. How much did the Post's circulation and advertising revenue increase during the invasion? If only there were a high wall between the editorial department and the accounting department . . .

Posted by: cadejo4 | April 17, 2006 03:06 PM


There's one passage in Howell's column which seems to highlight the flawed thinking.

"Editorials and news stories have different purposes," she wrote. "News stories are to inform; editorials are to influence."

Out of context we might figure this was just sloppiness of phrasing. But I think it demonstrates misunderstanding. The point of an editorial is to influence WITH FACTS. Connecting readers up with actual facts, what's actually happening isn't something the editorial pages leave in the hands of the news department. It's their job too. This is what opinion journalism is about -- whether on editorial pages or magazines of opinion or blogs. It's what opinion journalists do. They argue for what the facts mean, how differents facts relate to each other, how some don't.

This is all another way of saying that editorial writers come to the canvass with much of the paint already applied. They can't make up their own facts just because they're helpful to the storyline.

Posted by: From | April 17, 2006 03:13 PM

It's a total hoot that the Post is now bragging on itself about those Pulitzers (their biggest haul ever according to Howie). Like that will somehow deflect the legitimate criticism of their repeated missteps, especially those of the last few months.

You guys keep stepping in it and we'll keep pointing out how badly you smell.

Posted by: AJ | April 17, 2006 04:56 PM

Howell wrote. "News stories are to inform; editorials are to influence."

They are. But, to paraphrase Patrick Moynihan, you're entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts. That's the "trouble" we were having with the Washington Post editorial. Whoever wrote it seems to think he's entitled to his own set of facts that support his position.

Even your excuses for lousy journalism are becoming pathetic.

Posted by: Cujo359 | April 17, 2006 05:16 PM

Deborah Howell now calls false statements "views".
Howell should have realized that her last attempt to defend Fred Hiatt's editorial "A Good Leak" was worse than her lie about the Dems getting money from Abramoff". She totally ignored the fact that Hiatt made several false statement that are undisputable lies. A view is an opinion. A lie is a LIE.
To learn more about Howell's atrocious defense of Hiatt's editorial, visit this link:

Posted by: A. Perez | April 17, 2006 06:30 PM

Well, at least they have Pulitzer prize editorial cartoonists.

Posted by: getalife | April 17, 2006 06:41 PM

WaPo is a joke. BTW WPO stock is slowly sinking. Wonder why?

Posted by: | April 17, 2006 10:41 PM

Have you figured out that no one gives a damn about you, yet?

Posted by: | April 18, 2006 02:46 PM

If there were a Pulitzer Prize given for "Best Effort to Disguise Lies as Truth" I wonder who at The Washington Post would deserve it? Oh gee, ummmm, errrrr, hmmmm that's a really hard one to figure out...

Posted by: Philip | April 18, 2006 03:57 PM

Brady still has a job. So does Howell.


But I am looking on the bright side. Journalism professors are going to be using their work as object lessons in what not to do for years to come.

Posted by: AJ | April 18, 2006 09:02 PM

Dana Milbank's "Secretary of Serenity" was brilliant on Rumsfeld.

Posted by: John Casper | April 19, 2006 02:25 AM

Yet another dumb and dishonest WP editorial this morning. At least Laird and Pursley signed their names to the piece of tripe they produced.

They start from the clearly fallacious premise that this is the first time these generals have made their opinions known -- that they should have spoken up through the chain of command in the Pentagon while they were on active duty.

Except they did. And they made it clear that they had done so when they finally spoke publicly.

And when they did follow the usual channels, they were treated like idiot stepchildren by the arrogant civilian leadership at the Pentagon. A leadership that has demonstrated an indifference bordering on contempt for those who are risking their lives for this country every day, the uniformed soldier. Not to mention the Iraqi civilians who are the "collateral damage" in this criminally mismanaged war effort.

And so we have another editorial that simply ignores inconvenient facts (which I guess is only marginally less awful than "A Good Leak" which actually misstated facts to make its case.

Posted by: AJ | April 19, 2006 08:46 AM

Ms. Howell,

How about you pass this Asia Times article on to Fred Hiatt. And he can pass it on to Laird and Pursley.

(h/t to cynic librarian at Unclaimed Territory for the link)

In their editorial, these writers displayed a profound disregard for the intelligence, motivation, and character of the officer corps that has been forced to deal with the willfully ignorant civilian leadership at the Pentagon for the last 5+ years.

This article, from yesterday's paper, makes it pretty clear that the military's view on the insurgency was given pretty short shrift by the politically motivated civilians at the Pentagon.

Posted by: AJ | April 19, 2006 09:48 AM

Hello? Is this blog dead? You should remove the link off the homepage if you're not going to update in at least once a week.

Here's a suggestion for things you could write about: how about responding to all of the people who have taken time to write their concerns and questions here?

I don't know, dead blog, ignoring your comments. I think it's begining to smell in here.

Posted by: Beth | April 19, 2006 05:23 PM

"A Quiet Voice in an Age of High-Decibel Television" ? Brit Hume is a pathetic water boy.

Posted by: | April 19, 2006 06:22 PM

Great comment Beth.

Posted by: John Casper | April 19, 2006 10:04 PM

Mizz Howell is having her purge and Mr. Brady is upstairs praying to his stone deaf episcopal god.

Posted by: | April 20, 2006 12:34 AM

Dead Blog, Beth? Thinnk of this more as a print version of Letterman's "Network Timewasters" and "Stupid Human Tricks" merged together.
You didn't really believe the Post was acually interested in what its readers might have to say, did you?

Posted by: mikey | April 20, 2006 08:12 AM

let's see: our economy is tanking because the 1% just can't spend enough to kmeep the whole thing afloat; the earth is warming; our "special" president wants to start another war; and you put some of your best people on reporting (endlessly) on staff shakeups. out here in flyover country, nobody cares who the press secretary or chief of staff is: the former can only say what the decider lets him; the latter schedules the time of the people who really need to go. let's talk about policy,let's talk about ACTIONS that affect the american people; let's find out when, if ever iran really could have nuclear weapons; let's talk about real immigration reform and who stands where on it. congratulations on your pulitzers.

Posted by: kathleen | April 20, 2006 08:46 AM

So, how is this blog thingy workin out for ya now jim? Hmmm?

Posted by: | April 20, 2006 12:29 PM

I love the blank slate quality of this blog. It frees us up as posters to be bloggy or truthy or angry or artsy or fartsy.

It's shapeless.

It's formless.

It is a canvas for the artistry of the WP reader to fill as he or she sees fit.

There is a post-modern quality to this blog that worries not about relevance or logic or facts.

We can be articulate or inane. Jim doesn't care.

We can be pithy or potty-mouthed. Jim? Indifferent.

We can hammer the news section and trash the editorial side. And all they care about is that we understand that there is a difference betwen the two.

We can advertise sexual aids or area restaurants. Jim just wants us to be happy.

We can ignore the Post postings here if we want and just focus on all their journalistic missteps. Or we can point out all the ways in which the NY and/or LA Times are cleaning the Post's clock. Fine by Jim. He only drops by when he wants to leave a mash note for the readers anyway.

Heck, if we wanted to we could own this blog. Just take it over. People, this is our blog. It's not the Post's blog anymore really. It is the people's blog.

Use it in good health. Get out your frustration. Vent your rage. Be silly or sappy or sarcastic. Don't hold back.

Posted by: AJ | April 20, 2006 03:45 PM


Anyone want a puppy?

But seriously, has there ever been anything sadder (besides Where the Red Fern Grows) than this one-sided conversation with the Post? Besides Howell's occasional love notes to tell us we're confused, what kind of conversation is Jim having? If it's the one I suspect, he needs to get off the phone with Karl and take this blog seriously.

In other news, has anyone else seen Media Matters ad ?

Pretty hilarious.

Posted by: It's Worse than that, The Post is Dead, Jim! | April 20, 2006 04:40 PM

i slit a sheet.
A sheet i slit.
and on a slitted sheet
i sit.

Posted by: smafdy | April 20, 2006 09:51 PM

A good start people.

Some humor.

Some art.

Some commerce.

So far so good.

Power to the People's Blog!

Posted by: AJ | April 21, 2006 12:17 PM


How thick do your blinders and earmuffs have to be to ignore all the facts and produce the kind of editorial Charles Krauthammer spit up this morning?

Posted by: Carmen | April 21, 2006 07:35 PM

I don't know but M. Krauthammer's editorial was indeed not too hot. Luckily there is better commentary on Slate or at The Economist.

Apparently the politicians must be unassailable by critics from the military side and can run the show to its bitter conclusion no matter what. Otherwise we detect 'factions' (the horror!).

And since when is the leadership of the Pentagon decided on Election Day (whatever that is)?

"In our system of government, civilians fire generals, not the other way around."

That's right. So it's up to the civilians to know when a change of guard is in order. Do they?

Posted by: El Tonno | April 22, 2006 01:16 PM

Pore wittle bwog.

Posted by: AJ | April 22, 2006 09:09 PM

Just dropping by the scene of the crime.

Posted by: AJ | April 23, 2006 01:09 PM

When will Deborah Howell realized that the job of the ombudsman is to respond to the newspapers readers? Her column today makes it seem like her role is to be a cheerleader for the post. "Goooo Post!" I could hear her cheer as I read her column.

Honestly, we already knew the Post won a couple of Pulitzers. How about writing about something we don't know. If you can't think of anything, there's at least 500 suggestions in this comments section alone.

Posted by: Sue | April 23, 2006 01:47 PM

Dear Ms. Howell,

I don't think the word ombudsman means what you think it means. You wrote: "For a day, there were no falling circulation numbers or angry bloggers or disappointed readers."

As an ombudsman, you are supposed to represent the disappointed readers. You are supposed to be the readers represenative at the Washington Post. You seem to be incapable of that - the topic of your latest essay makes that clear.

When the Washington Post takes their disappointed readers seriously enough to hire a real ombudsman, then perhaps they'll be able to do something about those falling circulation numbers.

As far as the "angry bloggers", maybe when you realize that not all bloggers are "angry" and that a lot of them actually have valid points, real criticisms, and good advice, you'll stop feeling like they're beating up on you.

However, until you stop playing the victim and the cheerleader and start addressing the disapointed readers, you'll never be able to address the falling circulation.


Another Disapointed Reader

Posted by: Ted Wilson | April 23, 2006 02:03 PM

Great, great comment Ted Wilson.

Ms. Howell, it's not about you, or "circulation," or "bloggers." It's about the Post. It's about the Post fulfilling its mission, article by article, day by day, to keep the reader's informed with accurate news. Until the Post "gets back to basics," you can be assurred circulation will continue to "decline" and bloggers will continue to be "angry."

Posted by: John Casper | April 23, 2006 04:51 PM

Hey, debbie. You poor thing. I'm sorry for you. But, as they say; it's life in the big city.

Posted by: | April 23, 2006 11:13 PM

The Lonely Planet Guide to the Post blog.

No sights to see.
No food to eat.
Nothing to drink.
Nothing to buy.

But some of the wildlife holds interest. Actual facts lurking in the comments. Valid critique available off the beaten track. And the snark is always worth a visit.

And lax law enforcement.

Posted by: AJ | April 24, 2006 08:35 AM

Hey AJ -- In the spirit of making this blog our own: Saw your 'blogginess' diary sometime back, but much after the fact, when doing a tag search. Left a belated comment, but looks like you're not over there much these days. I love the popular takeover theme... We should organize some May Day event, maybe even parade. That'll give the Lonely Planet guide something to write about.

Posted by: mz | April 25, 2006 03:58 AM

Ok, this is now a public blog, but not completely private. So this one's for the people at the Post.

Since it seems that appealing to your moral sense just doesn't get us anywhere... Psst... Take a look at this:

President Bush - Job Rating

FOX News (4/18-19/06)
Approve 33 - Disapprove 57 - Undecided 10

CNN (4/21-23/06)
Approve 32 - Disapprove 60 - Undecided 8

These are nation-wide numbers. I'll let you guess what they might be among your D.C. readership. When you lie about simple and unambiguous facts (carefully reported in your own pages) in your editorials in order to give political cover to the Administration, what do you think that's going to do for your circulation numbers and that all-important bottom-line?

Posted by: mz | April 25, 2006 04:13 AM

Oh, just one more from the CNN poll on Bush:

"Is honest and trustworthy"
Applies 40 - Doesn't Apply 55 - Unsure 5

I think I figured out why The Post feels such an affinity for the Bush Administration (cocktail parties and Republican operative wives aside). The Post is now to the readers like the Bush Administration is to the citizens. They mostly think that it is run at the top by dishonest people who are doing a really lousy job and running the place into the ground -- but they are stuck with it for the time being. The Bush Republicans face the threat of political disaster at the polls, The Post faces the threat of financial disaster from its readers finding alternative ways to get their news.

Posted by: mz | April 25, 2006 04:33 AM

Excellent notion, mz.

I was thinking maybe a May Day snark hunt.

Or -- even more elusive than the snark -- how about a hunt for

Deborah Howell's job description?

Jim Brady's integity?

Fred Hiatt's brain?

Len Downie's outrage?

Don Graham's balls?

Or we could organize a field trip along the editorial page/news division firewall ... just to see if it could be scaled.

Posted by: AJ | April 25, 2006 10:10 AM

Remember the rally to stop the genocide in Darfur -- this Sunday at 2:00 in fron of the US Capitol.

Please show up if you can.

Posted by: AJ | April 25, 2006 05:29 PM



Good morning blog!

Nice to see that there's room in here to spread out with the morning coffee and the New York Times.

Posted by: AJ | April 26, 2006 08:42 AM

I guess about this time next year The Washington Post will be celebrating after receiving an award for "blogginess" or something. I look forward to Deborah Howell's column on that.

AJ, be sure to catch those lights on your way out.

Posted by: Philip | April 26, 2006 09:02 AM

You know I just can't turn out those lights until I find the missing WP story on the CIA chief in Europe who told 60 Minutes that the administration cherry-picked intelligence to build a case for invading Iraq.

It's got to be around here someplace.

Posted by: AJ | April 26, 2006 02:16 PM

And speaking of missing stories...

Where's the story on Larry Franklin's political contributions?

And I seem to remember the Post having misplaced some other items. Like the evidence that Abramoff directed tribal funds to Democrats.

Fred Hiatt's reading glasses. Where did they disappear to?

Well -- it's a big blog. I'm sure we'll be able to track them down eventually.

Posted by: AJ | April 26, 2006 03:38 PM

I'm thinking of changing the furnishings in here. Maybe go with a more modern, streamlined blog style. I'm thinking Kandinsky or Delaunay prints. I saw a great rug in chartreuse, gray, white and black. Add some shelving for books by Markos and Greenwald and Kevin Phillips and the Founding Fathers (no Woodward in this collection). And good lighting of course. I hate all those dark corners in here where things seem to go missing.

And a wine rack and expresso machine. And a fridge.

Posted by: AJ | April 26, 2006 08:20 PM

AJ, I think you're more likely to spot a leprachaun riding a unicorn than any of the things you propose hunting for. Still, if the WaPo doesn't want to make use of it, perhaps we should.

Here's an idea. I wonder if anyone at the WaPo has read Executive Order 13292, which defines how classification of information is to be done by the Federal government. It's here, by the way:

Section 1.7 clearly states that it is illegal to classify information to hide an illegal action, or to prevent embarassment of a person or organization. And yet, even though the Bush Administration has violated this rule at least once, if not several times, the WaPo has not had anything to say in its editorial pages.

This is particularly interesting in the case of the black site network that Dana Priest wrote about. This is an illegal activity according to the War Crimes Act of 1996 (18 USC 2441). Alberto Gonzalez, who was in the White House Counel's office at the time, mentioned this in his memo concerning how the subject of torture and "rendition" should be handled legally back in January 2002. They knew this was illegal, and they classified the program. Yet the people who are being punished over this aren't the government officials who made the decision, but the people who "leaked" information that was illegally classified to cover up a crime.

You'd think a real newspaper would back up its Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with a scalding editorial about this grotesque abuse of power. It would explain that the power to classify information, and thus hide it from its citizens, is a trust that only the most craven would deliberately violate. Instead, we have some nameless GOP shill writing about "good leaks" that are the very essence of this abuse.

Posted by: Cujo359 | April 26, 2006 09:03 PM

Cujo -- I think you are onto something here. Going with a substantive blog style makes sense in these times. And a nice change from the Post's emphasis on simply maintaining a blog-like appearance.

The classification question -- and the issues that flow from it -- are extremely important. It has been clear for quite some time that this administration sees classification as just another political weapon in their arsenal.

Sadly, it is apparently impossible to shame the WP into covering these issues on the editorial side. Have you tried the NY Times?

By the way, I at least got a response from one of the WP reporters (a business reporter as recall) on some concerns I had about the contracts awarded to the Lincoln Group (you know them -- 100 million dollar Pentagon contract for PR work award to two guys with zero PR experience). I have been trying for months to get information on the awarding of that contract through Senator Allen's office but Allen not having any better luck than I am.

Probably classified. For no good reason.

Stick around. Have a beer or a double expresso.

Posted by: AJ | April 26, 2006 09:46 PM

I've made up my mind, I'm running for the vacated positions of Executive Editor, Ombudsman, moderator, and janitor of I'll play the devil's advocate. I'll be the government shill. I'll drop in every now and then to see how things are going.

With the pace of this blog nowadays, I think that 10 votes would put me over the top. The same number would remove me from office and have my name replaced in all official records with the phrase, "that filthy criminal".

Let the voting begin.

Oh, yeah...did I mention the tax cuts?

Posted by: smafdy | April 26, 2006 10:11 PM


Not sure if it will help, but I'd suggest looking at the EO section I referred to. It says what you'd think the law ought to say: that classifying information for the purpose of hiding illegal acts, incompetence, waste, or fraud, or preventing embarassment, is illegal. It may not apply to your circumstances, since you don't know if the Lincoln Group information is actually classified, but it's good to know. There are also procedures for requesting declassification. I'm not familiar with them, but there are people who use the FOIA fairly often to obtain such data. Good luck. It would be nice if someone could hang this Lincoln Group thing around the appropriate necks.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for that leprachaun to bring me my espresso.

Posted by: Cujo359 | April 26, 2006 10:27 PM

smafdy - As far as I'm concerned, if you can get rid of that ad for penis enlargement, the job's yours.

Posted by: Cujo359 | April 26, 2006 10:30 PM

...early returns show Smafdy in the lead in the election. With 10% of the vote counted, is projecting that Smafdy will win in a landslide. If you haven't voted yet, don't bother - go back to bed. If you have already voted, feel free to vote again. It's all over but the yelling!

Note to my loyal constituent:

In addition to standing by our advertisers, the supports large penises (if you don't believe me, check the salaries of our editorial board).

Posted by: smafdy | April 27, 2006 12:57 AM

smafdy -- if it starts looking like you might fall behind in the count, I can to organize a mob to stop it. Just wink. Of course, I expect a cushy and profitable appointment once you're in charge (and I might even get to replace Karl Rove as deputy chief of staff some day, just like Joel Kaplan!)

Posted by: mz | April 27, 2006 01:47 AM

AJ -- Ah! Delaunay prints, beer and espresso... now you're really making me feel at home.

Unfortunately I'm already committed to getting smafdy, ahem, 'elected' to the positions of Executive Editor, Ombudsman, moderator, and janitor (I fully expect it to be a personally very profitable association).

But I think we should create the position of The People's Blog Most Gracious Host. I vote for AJ, of course. Not that that my vote matters. By then smafdy will be in charge and all you need is one Supreme C... I mean one Ombudsman vote.

Posted by: mz | April 27, 2006 02:01 AM

Jim Brady, You're an INCOMPETENT IDIOT!!!!!

Posted by: | April 27, 2006 05:56 AM

gimme an S...
gimme an M...
gimme an A...
gimme an F...
gimme a D...
gimme a Y...

Whadda ya' got?

Who knows, but it's slightly better than nothing!

C'mon folks - I'm offering you a NEW New Deal here.

AJ can be Vice Everything (after all - that's where the Real power is).

Note to AJ: Please take Brady hunting. I know this ranch in Texas...

Campaign Promise: if you vote for me, the will be a free service. Type all you want - someone else will pay for it.

My fellow bloggers: Intelligence has it that the Post is harboring Weapons of Mass Deception. You vote for me will result in a preemptive strike against Global ignorance.

Posted by: smafdy | April 27, 2006 07:09 AM

Posted at 02:32 PM ET, 03/22/2006
Publisher's Note
This is the first in a series of periodic conversations I'll be starting with our readers. Perhaps regularly. More likely, I'll write when I have something interesting to say. (Or at least when I think I have something interesting to say.)

I keep checking back to see if there are any new entries on this blog. Sadly, the last "conversation" with Mr. Brady was posted on April 6. It is now April 27. It sure seems like a long time to go without any entries from the Post. Does this lack of input from Mr. Brady mean that he does not have anything interesting to say or that he thinks that he has nothing interesting to say? If that is the case perhaps it would be a good idea if the Post uses a guest blogger who could fill in for Mr. Brady while he tries to come up with something interesting to discuss? Just a thought but it sure would make this blog more interesting if someone from the Post actually participated.

Posted by: pmorlan | April 27, 2006 08:46 AM

Looks like that expresso bar is packing 'em in. I may have to start serving baked goods.

Smafdy -- you have my endorsement ... and my vote. But I don't want the tax cuts as much as I want a new stereo system in here.

And --I don't know -- those penis enlargement ads add a certain "je ne sais quoi" to this site ... perhaps because that equipment seems to have been conspicuously lacking in the previous management of the blog. At least to judge by their failure to demonstrate even the remotest ability to face the music playing in here.

Cujo -- I'll call Senator Allen's office today and mention the classification issues and the relevant law and see if that lights any fires. Thanks for the tip.

Anybody listen to NPR this morning? The way the House and Senate Republicans are talking about the NSA and secret prisons leakers reminds me of the way McCarthy used to holler about Communists in the State Department.

Posted by: AJ | April 27, 2006 09:02 AM

Why not more coverage of the Ned Lamont campaign for Senate in Connecticut? Go to "Connecticut Bob" at for video and info on this challenge to Joe Lieberman's endless reign of "sucking up to daddy W".

Posted by: Bob Adams | April 27, 2006 09:23 AM

April 27, 2006
Atherton, James (t/dir) 1943-1987) U.S. b. Montgomery, AL, Apr. 27, 1943;
d. St. Louis, Nov. 20, 1987: MET: DĂ©but: Oct. 17, 1977 [Simpleton] Boris
Godunov (1977-85) 277 perf., 18 works.

Blegen, Judith (s) U.S. b. Missoula, Montana, Apr. 27, 1941; MET: DĂ©but:
Jan. 19, 1970 [Papagena] Die Zauberflöte (1970-89, 1991) 284 perf. 21 works.

Breuer, Hans [Johann Peter Joseph] (t) (1868-1929) Ger. (61) b. Cologne,
Apr. 27, 1868; d. Vienna, Oct. 11, 1929: MET: DĂ©but: Jan. 6, 1900
[Steersman] Der Fliegende Holländer (1900) 19 perf., 8 works.

James, Carolyne (ms) U.S. b. Wheatland, WY, Apr. 27, 1945;

Karpath, Ludwig (bs) (1866-1936) Hung. b. Budapest, Apr. 27, 1866; d.
Vienna, Sep. 8, 1936:

Kraus, Adelbert (t) Ger. b. Aschaffenburg, Apr. 27, 1937;

Marschner, Kurt (t) (1913-1984) Ger. (71) b. Apr. 27, 1913; d. Sep. 25, 1984:

McDonnell, Tom (bs/b) Aussie. b. Melbourne, Apr. 27, 1940;

DEATH: Muhlmann, Adolf (bs/b) (1865-1938) Ger. b. 1865; d. Chicago, Apr. 27,
1938: MET: Chicago: Nov. 7, 1898 [King Heinrich] Lohengrin: House DĂ©but:
Nov. 29, 1898 [Biterolf] Tannhäuser (1898-1910) 775 perf., 39 works.

Nougaro, Pierre (bs/b) (1904)-1988) Fr. (68) b. Apr. 27, 1904; d. Oct. 26,

Reinhardt, Delia (s) (1892-1974) Ger. (82) b. Elberfeld, Germany, Apr. 27,
1892; d. Dornoch, Switzerland, Oct. 3, 1974: MET: DĂ©but: Jan. 27, 1923
[Sieglinde] Die WalkĂĽre (1923-24) 17 perf., 8 roles. Hitler's policies
forced her to leave Germany.

DEATH: SchĂĽtzendorf, Gustav (b) (1883-1937) Ger. (54) b. Cologne, 1883; d.
Berlin, Apr. 27, 1937: MET: DĂ©but: Nov. 17, 1922 [Faninal] Der
Rosenkavalier (1922-35) 414 perf., 30 works.

Tokody, Ilona (s) Hun. b. Szeged, Apr. 27, 1953; MET: DĂ©but: Nov. 7, 1988
[Nedda] Pagliacci (1988) 7 perf., 2 works.

DEATH: Willer, Luise (ms) (1888-1970) Ger. (82) b. Munich, ??, 1888; d.
Apr. 27, 1970:

PROKOFIEV: (Prokofieff), Sergei (Sergeievich) (com/opera) (1891-1953) Russ.
(61) b. Ekaterinoslav, Apr. 27, 1891; d. Moscow, Mar. 5, 1953:

Cantelli, Guido (opera/con) (1920-1956) It. (36) b. Novara, Apr. 27, 1920;
d. Paris, Nov. 24, 1956: (Plane crash) Cantelli was named Musical Director
of La Scala, Milan on November 16, 1956, but died one week later.

(1887) DENVER: Tabor Grand: Carleton Opera Co., Genée: Nanon.

LONDON: CG: (1957) Jon Vickers (t) [Gustavus III] Un ballo in Maschera.

ARNE: T. (1765) London: "L'olimpiade"

Who sings "Mein Herr Marquis" in Act II of Strauss's Die Fledermaus? (No

a. Adele.
b. Adalade.
c. Alice.
d. Rosalinde.
e. Ida.
f. Orlofsky.


Posted by: Kultur46201 | April 27, 2006 10:00 AM

Great post about Woodward's future at the Post -- kudos to the author p.lukasiak.*tches/

change * to i to access the link.

Posted by: AJ | April 27, 2006 10:31 AM

Just a reminder:

Post whatever you want, but don't forget to vote (for me).

Vote tally so far:

Smafdy: 2
Everyone else on the planet: 0

I'm a one man juggernaut.

Posted by: smafdy | April 27, 2006 12:33 PM

My blog campaign motto:

The worse it gets out there, the better it gets in here.

Candidate for vacated positions of Executive Editor, Ombudsman, moderator, and janitor of

Posted by: smafdy | April 27, 2006 12:38 PM

AJ - Looks like Paul Lukasiak's comments were rolled up into an article at Firedoglake. URL for it is:

Posted by: Cujo359 | April 27, 2006 04:04 PM

Just as things were getting cozy in here, we are packing up shop and moving to the latest post on the blog. New place ... same old absentee landlord.

Posted by: AJ | April 28, 2006 09:20 AM

By Jane Hamsher 28 April 2006
"Howie Kurtz seems to find writing talent lacking in the blogosphere, or so it would seem given all the prime WaPo real estate he hands over to Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard in his latest column:..."
For the rest go to firedoglake

Posted by: John Casper | April 28, 2006 06:17 PM

By Jane Hamsher
"Howie Kurtz seems to find writing talent lacking in the blogosphere, or so it would seem given all the prime WaPo real estate he hands over to Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard in his latest column:

'Another worry is that, as a medium, the blog does not value well-crafted writing. Except for Mark Steyn and James Lileks, it's hard to pick out even three beautiful writers from the millions of bloggers.'

Really, Howie, when you print stuff like that -- even if you lay it off on someone else -- how are we suppose to resist? ...."
For the rest visit:

Posted by: John Casper | April 28, 2006 06:22 PM

By Jane Hamsher

"Howie Kurtz seems to find writing talent lacking in the blogosphere, or so it would seem given all the prime WaPo real estate he hands over to Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard in his latest column:

'Another worry is that, as a medium, the blog does not value well-crafted writing. Except for Mark Steyn and James Lileks, it's hard to pick out even three beautiful writers from the millions of bloggers.'

Really, Howie, when you print stuff like that -- even if you lay it off on someone else -- how are we suppose to resist?...."
For those interested in reading the rest, visit firedoglake.

Posted by: John Casper | April 28, 2006 06:27 PM

You guys should also suppport RSS for your search, so ppl can be notified of more personalized search content.

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Posted by: john mike | May 1, 2006 01:25 PM

5 May, 2006


Attached please find a letter and various email exchanges between Minneapolis based author Richard Hettler and US Attorney General John Ashcroft's office. General Ashcroft, since leaving office as this nation's chief cop, founded The Ashcroft Group, LLC, a Washington, DC based lobbying firm. Ashcroft's firm is headquartered in the District of Columbia at 1399 New York Ave NW. Its telephone number is 202 942-0202.

Richard Hettler, in April of 2006, contacted General Ashcroft because of an article written by Ashcroft on judicial corruption in our national bankruptcy courts. Mr. Ashcroft, in his two page article, reported comments of his to the Second Global Forum on Fighting Corruption. Said article is attached hereto for the information of the reader.

Hettler is one of tens of thousands of victims of the US bankruptcy courts. Hettler has been trying to get his money and property returned to him now for 12 years but thus far has been unsuccessful because of judicial corruption commented upon by General Ashcroft in his article. Asking corrupt judges to act honorably and do what they have been entrusted to do consistent with their oath to uphold this country's constitution, is simply not in the cards. After Hettler reported the embezzlement of his life estate to General Ashcroft first in 2000, Ashcroft "fired" Minnesota US Trustee Barbara Stuart because of her described criminal behavior in conjunction with criminal judges who were subsequently identified as criminal by the Minneapolis FBI. Hettler, because of such corruption, has never been allowed to have his property and money returned to him after three (3) criminal bankruptcy judges banded together to take and liquidate Hettler's property because a bankruptcy debtor had fraudulently declared Hettler's property as her own on her bankruptcy schedules. Said criminal judges even filed or refused to return such property after the bankruptcy debtor confessed to what she and her cronies had done. One of her cronies was Minneapolis-headquartered Thomas Petters who put the bankruptcy debtor [his business associate] up to claiming Hettler's promissory Notes made by Petters on her bankruptcy schedules. All of this including the uncontested evidence was taken to the FBI, where after the FBI told Hettler and US Senator Mark Dayton in December of 2001 that there were many corrupt judges in the Minnesota district as there were criminal US trustee personnel as well. When the FBI made these comments, Hettler asked Minneapolis FBI Special Agent Dan Miller why, if they knew all of this, why they simply would not lock these judges up as well as the criminals who petitioned for relief in their courts. Miller told Hettler and Dayton that it wasn't easy to lock up a judge and that was that. Hettler had described in great detail how bankruptcy thugs had worked with corrupt judges to take millions of dollars from he and his deceased brother reporting also that this was not simply an isolated instance of how these thugs were destroying eh lives of innocent individuals who had never been brought under the jurisdiction of the offending courts. Not only had Hettler's property been admittedly and unlawfully claimed and liquidated, and his only involvement with Petters business associate Ruth Kahn was as her creditor. She, like Petters, had a long-term pattern of borrowing money from people and never rapaying them. Hettler related to the FBI that others known to him had advised that colleagues of theirs had been murdered by such bankruptcy thugs for challenging the actions of such corrupt judges. In one instance, they murdered a lawyer who was on his way to meet with Department of Justice officials to supply testimony on bankruptcy fraud in the San Francisco area. Ashcroft's article didn't therefore simply touch Hettler and his case- it touched numerous other venues where bankruptcy judges were left free to destroy the lives of innocent people and embezzle their property at will.

It is this perpetual tolerance for such criminal acts on the part of bankruptcy judges which has taken and continues to take millions of dollars from Hettler, Fingerhut, Stay healthy, and now most recently Polaroid Holding Company. Numerous reports on this and other swindles have been reported to the Justice Department, first on Ashcroft's watch, and now more recently the Gonzales Administration. The agencies' failure or refusal to act has left an indelible life scar on Hettler and the tens of thousands of senior citizen victims all over the world. This is why Congressmen Delahunt and Meehan initially took the lead in asking Polaroid to police its own actions by honoring the Polaroid pensions which of course Polaroid officials simply trashed because of failed follow-through by the Massachusetts delegation.

The vast majority of this travesty surfaced in 2001 after two US Senators [Paul Wellstone and thereafter Mark Dayton worked with Hettler to arrange a meeting with the Minneapolis FBI in December of 2001 which led to the FBI's assertion to Hettler and Dayton that it was well known that there are many corrupt judges and US Trustee personnel in the Minnesota District. After Hettler brought this to the attention of Ashcroft, Ashcroft "fired" Minnesota US Trustee Barbara Stuart but failed to follow-through by prosecuting Stuart as well as the band of thugs with whom she worked to pull of this massive swindle.

Because Ashcroft did nothing other than "fire" a criminal US Trustee, this left the Minnesota principal bankruptcy thug Thomas Petters free to embezzle millions from Hettler and free to continue his reign of terror by first purchasing Fingerhut with money and property embezzled from Hettler, to loan hundreds of millions of dollars in cash embezzled from Hettler to Stay healthy at 45% annual interest rates, to purchased lavish corporate toys including Petters own Boeing 727 aircraft also with swindled cash, and more recently to purchase Polaroid for $426 million, also in swindled cash.

Hettler was hopeful that General Ashcroft would recognize the damage he did by failing to act remedially on his noted corruption among his bankruptcy judges, which is why Hettler asked Ashcroft to meet with him and to further assist by recommending certain individuals or agencies who are equipped to handle the aftermath of such unprosecuted corruption.

Instead, Ashcroft told Hettler in a 5 May email [attached] that he is unable to assist in any respect and is not able to meet to further discuss matters.

Had Ashcroft followed through after he "fired" Minnesota US Trustee Barbara Stuart, all of the damage which thereafter followed by allowing the bankruptcy thugs to continue swindling people including Hettler and the tens of thousands of ex-employees of Polaroid would never have evolved. N stead, we were all left impoverished as reported by Time Magazine in its 10-31-05 article entitled "The Great Retirement Rip-off", in various issues of CFO Magazine, and in the various and numerous articles written about in the Boston Globe.

Hettler has given up on the courts because they are corrupt as Ashcroft has duly noted and now will move ahead with prosecuting those civilly who have so egregiously and brazenly took millions of dollars in property from he and his deceased brother. This grand larceny committed by Petters and others with whom Petters corroborated to embezzle property from Hettler and the tens of thousands in the Massachusetts District can only be acted upon by criminal prosecutors who thus far have chosen to look the other way and this now includes this nations; past chief cop, John Ashcroft. Hettler's case has been referred ad nauseam by and to just about every criminal investigatory agency in this country, but ahs remained uninvestigated and prosecuted because investigating and prosecuting those who have been allowed to pull of these multiple swindles would indict the many corrupt judges who are apparently insulated from attack and above the law notwithstanding the recent comments by newly appointed Justice Alito to the US Supreme Court. So what are we left with- we are left with a nation of corporate criminals who prey on senior citizens to take their money and property and when such senior citizen lenders complain of defaulted payments by Petters, Petters and his army of lawyers march into court o prosecute such senior citizens for asking for redress. This actually happened to Hettler after he suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke over this 12 year protracted matter. This is the end of civility which is precisely what the Ashcroft legacy has left us with.

The absolute worst criminal in this world is a corrupt judge- it's not Osama Bin Laden or a Ken Lay, it's an individual who is far worse than the worst vermin on earth. Corrupt judges are not thrown off the court or sent to jail, they are allowed to pontificate in perpetuity over their victims under a false cloak of propriety, while basking in the luxury of money which they took from their victims at the stroke of a pen, all under the eye of the FBI who opposes any action being sought to prosecute such criminal judges.

In these days of argued government corruption, people rarely talk about criminal judges as Ashcroft did, and when it happens, people have a tendency to simply "roll their eyes" in disbelief, but what makes Hettler's case different as the case with Polaroid, is that Hettler has supplied competent and uncontested evidence of such crimes, yet none of this has any influence on those who are supposed to protect us against corruption, now including General Ashcroft.

In Hettler's letter to Ashcroft, Hettler, anticipating that Ashcroft would refuse to act on his words, Hettler simply asked for a recommendation from Ashcroft on whom to take the matter but even that was refused by Ashcroft. Hettler wonders: is Ashcroft any better than those who he has adjudged corrupt? This will hopefully be sorted out by the many victims of Polaroid in Massachusetts who hopefully achieve redress from a national outcry for law and order.

Because Hettler's evidence is so compelling, Hettler recently went to Washington to meet with the entire Massachusetts delegation which earlier in 2002 and 2003 spearheaded an effort to "urge" Polaroid to honor its pension obligations to its many employees. This writing to Polaroid's General Counsel was signed by Senator Kerry, Senator Kennedy, and the remaining ten (10) congressional members of the Massachusetts delegation. While in Washington, not one of these people would give Hettler the time of day but did say that they were aware of it- Congressman Markey told Hettler that "he was sorry". Hettler told Markey that he didn't come to Washington for an apology- he came to Washington to get his money and property returned and that apologies were a far cry from what was expected of him by those who had been so egregiously harmed by the fabricated bankruptcy of Polaroid and its later purchase by the Petters organization for $426 million in swindled cash. Congressional apologies unfortunately do not buy groceries nor do they pay the rent.

Hettler went to Washington to get his money back offering to appear before both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and further offering to lead a civil class action in behalf of himself and the tens of thousands of Polaroid who were left penniless because of corruption in our courts which General Ashcroft so accurately described. He made these offers because the courts are corrupt. Because so many of those who have been ripped off by the Petters assault upon Hettler and the tens of thousands crippled by him in Massachusetts, Hettler asked Governor Romney to assist and commission his Attorney General and US Attorney to examine the matter and to restore money essentially embezzled by Petters and others with who he orchestrated what Time Magazine has characterized as the Great Retirement Rip-off. Hopefully, the Governor will commission those within his state to investigate and prosecute those who General Ashcroft now chooses to aid and harbor.

Government corruption is a runaway train and will destroy the very fiber of our democracy if nothing is done about it. About the only thing that we can do is demand the necessary changes in Washington that will restore law and order to a country which now appears to be both morally and intellectually bankrupt.

Richard Hettler can be reached at

Posted by: Polaroid-another Enron? | May 15, 2006 01:36 PM

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GARMIN 396...$150
Game boy latext edition......$110
Palm Zire 72 PDA-$100usd
Sony PEG-SJ33 Color CLIÉ Handheld PDA-$120usd
Sony CLIÉ PEG-UX50 PDA-$150usd
HP iPAQ Pocket PC hx4705 PDA-$160usd
Palm Tungsten E PDA-$60usd
Palm Tungsten T5 PDA-$80usd
Palm LifeDrive Mobile Manager PDA-$100usd
HP iPAQ Pocket PC HX4700 PD-$200usd
Sharp Mobilon HC-4100 PDA-$100usd
o2 XDAII MINI integrated Pocket PC & GSM phone-$300usd
o2 XDAIIS integrated pocket PC & GSM Phone-$330usd
HP Ipaq HX4700 Pocket PC -$200usd
HP Ipaq HX2700 Pocket PC ..............$300usd
Apple iPod nano 4GB:$131.50us
Apple iPod nano 2GB:$112.00us
Apple 30 GB Video iPod:$202.50us
Apple 60 GB Video iPod:$217.00us
Apple 20 GB iPod : $126.00USD
Apple 4 GB iPod Mini:$105.00USD
Apple 6 GB iPod Mini:$114.00USD
Apple 40 GB iPod photo:$110.00USD
Apple 60 GB iPod photo:$130.00USD
Apple 30 GB iPod Photo:$116.00
Apple 512 MB iPod Shuffle MP3 Player:$94.00
laptops Toshiba Satellite A75-S229 Laptop Computer---$200
Toshiba Satellite M45-S311 Laptop Computer---$390
Toshiba Satellite R15-S822 Laptop Computer---$600
Toshiba Qosmio G15-AV501 Laptop Computer---$1000
Toshiba Satellite A65-S126 Laptop Computer---$200
Toshiba Satellite P25-S526 Laptop Computer---$1000
Toshiba Satellite A45-S120 Laptop Computer---$300
Toshiba Satellite M35X-S149 Laptop Computer---$400
Toshiba Qosmio E15-AV101 Laptop Computer---$900
Toshiba Satellite P35-S609 Laptop Computer---$850
Toshiba Qosmio F15-AV201 Laptop Computer----$650
Toshiba Portege M200 Laptop Computer------$500
Pentium 4-------------------------------------$450
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Posted by: bill syxsale | August 2, 2006 10:57 PM

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