Friday, September 08, 2006

The APosaurus

The more I read from the AP, the more I realize that they really are dinosaurs – the APosaurus. I say that because not matter what the facts are, they completely ignore them to print what they feel is the “word” that needs to get out.

Take for instance today’s article by the AP’s Matt Apuzzo in WaPo (you probably will have to complete a free registration if you don’t have one). While Apuzzo properly coveys the story that Armitage was the leaker in the now infamous Plamegate, he goes on to make some statements that are blatant misrepresentations of the truth. Tom Maguire over at Just One Minute has more on Armitage's first public interviews. First Apuzzo says (emphasis mine):

For almost three years, an investigation led by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has tried to determine whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame's identity as covert operative as a way to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the Bush administration's march to war with Iraq.

OK…I know. Fitzgerald’s investigation was self-limited to the White House and administration after he was fed the line about “retribution.” But in reality, Fitzgerald’s task was to find the leaker. That was it – plain and simple. By wording the sentence the way it was, Apuzzo leaves the impression that it was all but settled that the leak came, on purpose, from the administration. He implies that Fitzgerald was appointed solely to find out who in that group leaked. That was not true. But it gets worse (again – emphasis mine):

He said he did not realize Plame's job was covert.

Since this is not a direct quote, but a paraphrase, we do not know if this is exactly the wording that Armitage used during his interview. Maguire's article covers more of the exact details of what was said and suggests that the word used was "operative." The problem is that even Fitzgerald has backed away from the claim that Plame was covert, opting instead for classified. If Apuzzo was trying to report fairly, that very important caveat would have been included. But, the APosaurus made the claim early-on the Plame was covert, and not even the facts are going to stand in the way of them actually admitting they were wrong. The way the word was used here clearly is an attempt, yet again, to say that Plame was covert. Not very unbiased reporting. The final section that got to me was (emphasis mine):

Armitage's admission suggested that the leak did not originate at the White House as retribution for Wilson's comments about the Iraq war. Wilson, a former ambassador, discounted reports that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger to make a nuclear weapon _ claims that wound up in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

Once again the APosaurus is at work. As everyone except the AP apparently knows, the information provided by Joe Wilson on the Niger situation, is at best suspect, and quite possibly outright lying (how could he debunk the forgeries when he had never seen them, as he told the WaPo?). The fact is that Wilson’s piece of the pie was only a small slice of all the intelligence gathered on Hussein’s attempts to buy “yellowcake.” And, as everyone who has the ability to read, listen, or comprehend (leaves out the APosaurus apparently), Bush’s words in the SOTU address did not specifically point to attempts to buy “yellowcake” in Niger, but Africa in general. You remember – the continent where several countries mine uranium.

So we come back to the original claim that the AP is a dinosaur. Looking more and more like it may be the case…..