The Post: Whitewashers For Petraeus
Let’s see, Fred Thompson belatedly gets into the presidential race on Jay Leno’s show, and that story is given Page One treatment by the Washington Post, because the Beltway loves to cover the horse race.
Yet a week before the Petraeus report is revealed for what it truly is, a political document presented by a political hack masquerading as a general, the Post reports in the same edition today that experts have discredited Petraeus’ claims that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq. And where did the Post editors put that story? They buried it back on Page A16.
Well, if this looks like a familiar pattern for the Post, it is. Howard Kurtz revealed over three years ago that Post editors buried stories by their own reporters that undercut the Administration’s claims about Iraq’s WMDs, while giving breathless coverage to the latest talking points from the White House about Saddam’s ability to threaten us with imminent harm. Now history repeats itself. We will hear next week that patience is needed in Iraq because 1) the surge has reduced violence; 2) the Iraqi military isn’t quite ready yet; and 3) Iran is a real threat to our forces in the Middle East. Yet once again, the Post’s editors are burying any story that undercuts the official narrative.
This story is actually worse upon closer inspection. Karen DeYoung graciously responded to my email inquiry, saying her story was actually on Page A1 of the paper's earlier editions - until it was bumped by her editors all the way back to Page A16 to make room for a front-page story on Pavarotti's death in the paper's widely-read final edition. So the editors decided that the Fred Thompson and Pavarotti stories were Page One material compared to DeYoung's piece undercutting the administration's official narrative.
And with all of this, the Post missed this story, that the Iraqi government has all but collapsed and that the State Department feels a political solution is beyond reach.