Friday, May 17, 2002

Broken clocks and typing monkeys
Cynthia McKinney is still an idiot. Just in case you had any doubts. (South DeKalb County, you have an alternative.)

The only thing more embarrassing than watching the Washington press corps wet themselves over this story is watching McKinney claim vindication. I see two unpalatable possibilities: Either Washington reporters have no idea how government works, or they are pretending not to in order to manipulate public opinion. ("I'm shocked, shocked to discover that the President keeps secrets!")

I don't doubt that there were some documents suggesting Al Queda might hijack a few airplanes. Given how many Government documents there are, it's inevitable that some of them might actually contain some facts. But, without the benefit of hindsight, how do you know which are which? To suggest (as McKinney did) that the President had sure, specific knowledge of 9/11 plans and let it happen anyway is treasonous.

The appointment of Tom Ridge to the Office of Homeland Security was a response to the truth that Washington reporters are only now stumbling upon: The problem isn't that there isn't any information, it's that there's too much. Someone has to coordinate this mass of data, someone has to know what the FBI, CIA, and INS know.

But in a field where inept reporting is the order of the day, the New York Post must claim a special prize. The O'Leary Prize for Yelling Fire in a Crowded Theater, perhaps. From the Washington Post:

Fleischer yesterday called New York Post Editor Col Allen to complain about the tabloid's headline: "9/11 bombshell: BUSH KNEW." Smaller type below says: "Prez was warned of possible hijackings before terror attacks." Fleischer called the headline "irresponsible" and "a poster child for bad journalism."

Allen defended his front page, saying: "I reject the notion that the headline suggests that Bush knew about 9/11. . . . '9/11 bombshell' was there to tell people this was a story about terror."

Mr Allen: What kind of idiot do you take me for? It was there to imply that Bush knew the specifics of the 9/11 attack and let it happen anyway -- yet phrased just vaguely enough that you could wriggle away if it turned out to be untrue, as it appears to be.

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