Monday, January 23, 2006


Land of Liars: Washington Post editor caught in mendacity

Thanks to Brad DeLong for checking the record and bringing a small and necessary piece of it out from behind the Select Wall protecting the Commentariat. On April 3, 2002,the late (and brutally murdered) NYT reporter David Rosenbaum wrote this about the Abramoff scandal: In the last six months of 2001, the Coushatta Indians, a tribe with 800 members and a large casino in southwest Louisiana, paid $1.76 million to the law firm of Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist here. Last month, the Bush administration handed the tribe a big victory by blocking construction of a casino by a rival tribe that would have drained off much of the Coushattas' business. Now read this statement, from January 18th, 2006: Jeff Leen: You may be forgetting that the Abramoff scandal was broken by Sue Schmidt of The Washington Post in February 2004. Without that story, you would not have the Senate and DOJ investigations that have led to the charges and plea bargains in the case. It might be ok if Jeff Leen was some blogger. But Leen is not some blogger. He is the assistant managing editor of the Investigative Unit at the Post. Even allowing for title inflation, harmless product puffery, and the alarming tendency of paler residents of the Washington DC area to confuse cow manure for foie gras, this is out of bounds. This guy has to know of Rosenbaum's work. In fact, it is very likely what inspired some editor to say to Sue Schmidt, "Ya know, The Other Paper did something on this Abra...Abramovitz?... guy. Maybe we should, too." When newspaper rivalry arrives at the point where it erases a dead colleague from the memory banks, it's gone way, way too far. ------- Which reminds me: thanks to Phoenix Woman for bringing the DeLong post to attention.
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