The L.A. Times this morning here really embarrasses itself in the coverage of the Joe Wilson Scandal, but by now, this is not news.
In attacking Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis Libby, the Times goes out of its way to make him appear paranoid and petty for wanting to hit back at former ambassador and Sen. John Kerry “adviser” Joe Wilson.
Three particular points left out of the L.A. Times piece indicate the reporter and the editors involved in this story are willfully deceiving their readers.
First, Wilson went public with an op-ed in the N.Y. Times that created the impression that the White House and Cheney’s office had asked Wilson to make his ill-fated trip to Niger to investigate alleged purchases there of yellow cake uranium by Iraqi agents. That was not true, and the L.A. Times doesn’t bother with these facts, and in fact reinforces the inaccurate impression.
Second, Wilson left out the little tidbit in his op-ed that it was his wife who suggested him for the trip. Again, the L.A. Times leaves that now-critical point out of the coverage.
Third, a Senate investigation into the intelligence lapses on WMD and Iraq deteremined that almost everything Wilson claimed publicly about his trip was false, when compared to what Wilson provided during his CIA debrief upon returning from Niger. Again, the L.A. Times never mentions this.
Given those three facts, who could blame Libby and Cheney’s staff for wanting to set the record straight? And it is clearly that rhetorical question that the L.A. Times didn’t want readers to come away with. We would say this is one of the most embarrassing pieces of journalism we’ve seen, but that wouldn’t be accurate. In fact, it is par for the course in covering the Joe Wilson scandal.