May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Sept. 6, 2006
/ 13 Elul, 5766
Chum in the water sets off media feeding frenzy
Now is the time to ask: What do John Mark Karr and Joseph Wilson have in common? Wilson is no more a would-be pedophile than Karr is a former diplomat. But they are both attention-seeking liars who deliberately helped launch criminal investigations that should never have gone as far as they did. Moreover, they launched media feeding frenzies that wasted everybody's time.
It's this second point that interests me more than the first. Ever since it was reported that Karr wasn't the right guy, the media cable news networks in particular have been taking a beating by the professional fingerwaggers. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz declared that the Karr episode "instantly goes down with the greatest media embarrassments in modern history."
In fairness, the fingerwaggers have a point. A woman who flew on the same plane as Karr, for example, was interviewed as if she had survived the downing of the Titanic. The Karr family baby sitter was filmed in shadows for her interview, as if she were in witness protection for ratting out Vincent "the Chin" Gigante.
"The problem is that the New York Times devoted in one of their articles ... 13 reporters to John Mark Karr. They don't have 13 reporters in Iraq. That's the embarrassment," exclaimed media writer Neal Gabler on Fox News.
But when it comes to the Joseph Wilson story, the wagging fingers shudder to a full stop. Wilson's allegations were all outright lies or, at best, deceitful insinuations. At least when Karr lied, he put the blame on himself. In Wilson's telling, he could do no wrong even as he was a one-man sprinkler system of false accusations accusations that launched an absurd investigation, cost the vice president's chief of staff his job, put a journalist in jail and threatened to do likewise to many more, and hurt America's image around the globe.
As it turned out, Wilson's accusation that President Bush lied in his State of the Union speech about Iraq seeking "yellowcake uranium" was debunked by the Senate Intelligence Committee. As was Wilson's repeated denial that his wife didn't help him get the Niger assignment. His suggestion that Dick Cheney sent him to Africa and that Cheney deliberately ignored Wilson's shoddy report was pure Wilsonian conjecture. And, of course, his self-lionizing speculation that the White House launched a vengeful campaign against his wife never had any basis in fact. Indeed, there's good reason to believe Wilson himself leaked the information that Plame was an undercover agent.
But that didn't stop the press from going hog wild. The New York Times led the clamor for an independent prosecutor (who, once appointed, put the Times' own reporter, Judith Miller, in jail). And unlike the journalists who insisted that John Mark Karr was innocent until proven guilty, the Times' mob of liberal pundits worked from the opposite assumption when it came to Karl Rove et al. Paul Krugman suggested Rove should receive his medal for ruining America from a jail cell. Maureen Dowd insisted, "The issue is the administration's credibility, not Joe Wilson's." And, of course, the left-wing blogs spewed bile about "treason" all day long.
Now, I'm not saying the press shouldn't have investigated Wilson's allegations. Even if we now know he isn't a serious man, the charges surely were. But I don't think it was wrong for the press to cover Karr exhaustively (as opposed to excessively) either. The press has been in the true-crime business for centuries. The JonBenet Ramsey murder was a huge story, and a man with a reported record of interest in underage girls confessed to the crime in Bangkok a Mecca for perverts The Karr story was unfolding in real time, and the news is supposed to cover, you know, news. Most important, unlike Wilson, Karr was in a position to know the truth of the matter.
Kurtz wrote this about the Karr story: "Facts don't matter in frenzies; what matters is camera-ready speculation, where opposing lawyers and ex-prosecutors can argue on one talk show after another." Just replace lawyers and ex-prosecutors with spinners, pundits and consultants, and the same holds true.
I don't know if the Wilson fraud will instantly go down with the greatest media embarrassments in modern history. However, the press doesn't seem to mind beating itself up when it overindulges the public's passions. But when its own self-indulgence is the issue, there's never any need to feel embarrassed. Indeed, there's no need to say anything at all.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column
Jonah Goldberg Archives
© 2006 TMS
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K