Monday, January 16, 2006

Notorious House of Presstitution

This week's Notorious House of Presstitution Award goes to ..... drum roll, please ..... The Washington Post!

The Post triumphs over the rest of the fawning corporate media by having two blatant falsehoods trumpeted in its pages.

Article No. 1: On Saturday, Republican House Organ Howie Kurtz and Shailagh Murray published this little gem:

Web Site Attacks Critic of War
Opponents Question Murtha's Medals

Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the former Marine who is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, has become the latest Democrat to have his Vietnam War decorations questioned.

In a tactic reminiscent of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth assault on Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) during the 2004 presidential campaign, a conservative Web site yesterday quoted Murtha opponents as questioning the circumstances surrounding the awarding of his two Purple Hearts.

David Thibault, editor in chief of the Cybercast News Service, said the issue of Murtha's medals from 1967 is relevant now "because the congressman has really put himself in the forefront of the antiwar movement." Thibault said: "He has been placed by the Democratic Party and antiwar activists as a spokesman against the war above reproach."

Here, Republican operative Sheri Annis' husband "reports" the hysterical allegations of a right-wing propaganda machine whose most prominent client is GOPUSA, the group that owned Talon News and pimped Jeff Gannon/Jimmy Guckert into a coveted seat in the White House pressroom.

Yes, Virginia, in this article the Washington Post cites Cybercast News Service (CNS). A Republican website that works for GOPUSA.

And then the Post runs a quote from Harry Fox from 1996.

The article included a 1996 quote from Harry Fox, who worked for former representative John Saylor (R-Pa.), telling a local newspaper that Murtha was "pretending to be a big war hero." Fox, who lost a 1974 election to Murtha, said the 38-year Marine veteran had asked Saylor for assistance in obtaining the Purple Hearts but was turned down because the office believed he lacked adequate evidence of his wounds.

However, the Post leaves out the very salient fact (which was in the original CNS article) that Mr. Fox is now 81 years old and because of health reasons can no longer communicate whether or not this quote is accurate.

The Post article also leaves out the extremely salient fact that Saylor, who the now incommunicative Fox is trying to quote, has been DEAD since 1973.

Murray Waas deconstructs this steaming pile of horsepucky.

And that's not all, folks, because on Sunday the Washington Post's ombudsperson, Deborah Howell, continued the Post's Republican talking points journey.

Getting the Story on Jack Abramoff

Several stories, including one on June 3 by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, a Post business reporter, have mentioned that a number of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), have gotten Abramoff campaign money.

This is a stupid and demonstrably false statement by Howell. No Democrat received money from Jack Abramoff. They did receive money from Abramoff's clients: The Indian tribes who were ripped off by Abramoff. There is no evidence that the tribes were attempting to bribe the Democrats. There is ample evidence that Abramoff was stealing from the Indians to bribe the Republican officials to funnel the money back into the coffers of Republican-owned businesses by passing legislation to do just so. That's why Abramoff just took a plea, you idiot.

Firedoglake did the best send-up of Howell: The Naked Lies of Deborah Howell

So, for these two shining examples of naked presstitution, we give the Washington Post the coveted Notorious House of Presstitution award. For this week, at least.


Anonymous said...

Why not let Deborah Howell just know what you think of her passing along GOP slanders under the cover of her role as ombudsman? At the end of her infamous and ironically titled column is her contact info:

Deborah Howell can be reached at 202-334-7582 or

truth said...

Good suggestion. But I did that yesterday, along with hundreds of others, and the WaPo has seen fit neither to retract or correct the statement.