Friday, June 17, 2005

Spoke Too Soon

My optimism about the mainstream media's reaction to Congressman Conyers's DSM hearing yesterday may have been a bit premature. The Washington Post's only coverage of the event is a snarky piece by Dana Millbank. I won't dignify it with an excerpt. In a letter to the writer, the editor and the ombudsman of The Post, Congressman Conyers responds:

The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats "pretended" a small conference was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.
...

The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn't make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

For real journalism on the subject of the hearing check out The New York Times.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... maybe that's because Dana Millbank and the Post have heard the quotation that the UK and the US are "two nations divided by a common language" and aren't prepared to embarass themselves by alleging that a member of the senior British leadership would use "fixed" in the way a Chicago gangster would, instead of according to it's more traditional English meanings (including, according to Dictionary.com, to determine with accuracy, ascertain)

I would guess that anyone who had actually spent some time in England (even a minimal amount, such as say a semester abroad during college) would realize this. Since Wild Rider apparently hasn't, maybe he should seek out someone who has.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For real journalism maybe people should read the AP's report on how people inside the Democratic National Committee were distributing anti-semetic literature while Conyers was holding his cute little forum, AND how that forum included antisemetic testimony (something Howie Dean is now running away from like a scalded dog. hehehe):

Story Here

I'm sure the American public would like to know why an antisemite was allowed to testify at Conyer's hearing (maybe Congresswoman Cynthia "it's all the Jews fault that I lost my seat" McKinney invited him), along with how, with all the additional security measures in place, someone was able to just carry this garbage into the DNC and start distributing it. Unless of course the material came from WITHIN the DNC ...

6:35 PM  
Blogger TWB said...

Hahaha. This is good stuff. I love the benefit of the doubt you give to the administration. Where was this generosity in the 90s? The context of the line in the Downing Street Minutes is clearly the "fix" of the Chicago gangster sort. Who has educated you so on the intricacies of the various uses of the word fix in England vs. America? Condoleezza Rice and Chris Matthews? Look, the hearing was unofficial only because the Republicans wouldn't allow it to be official. And instead of reporting that, Milbank simply decided to snarkily and unprofessionally (if he's a journalist working for a premiere newspaper, which he is -- not if he's a blogger, snark is our bread and butter) deride the forum. I think your steady rational mind can see my problem with that.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The context of the line in the Downing Street Minutes is clearly the "fix" of the Chicago gangster sort. Who has educated you so on the intricacies of the various uses of the word fix in England vs. America? Condoleezza Rice and Chris Matthews?

Dictionary.com, actually ... where the decidedly Americanized, gangster definition of the word "fix" is number 11 out of 11 possible definitions.

Then again, coming from people who defended the fradulent CBS Bush National Guard memos, only to fall back on a novel "they're fake, but accurate" argument ...

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The context of the line in the Downing Street Minutes is clearly the "fix" of the Chicago gangster sort. Who has educated you so on the intricacies of the various uses of the word fix in England vs. America? Condoleezza Rice and Chris Matthews?

Actually, Dictionary.com ... where the Americanized gangster-style use is number 11 out of 11 possible definitions.

It doesn't take a Henry Higgins to figure out that the chances of a highly-educated member of the English government using that term in it's Americanized form, instead of one of the other, more prevelent/normal uses, is exceedingly slim.

Of course, it didn't take a trained document forensics expert to see that the CBS/Bush National Guard documents were forgeries either ... (not going to try the old "they were fake, but they really were accurate" defense, are you?)

6:49 AM  

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