Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Presstitute of the Day: Howie Kurtz

For relentlessly flogging the Republican effort to Swiftboat Jack Murtha. His Media Notes Online article is front paged on the WaPo website today, giving life to a story that a real journalist would have ignored and let die its own pathetic death. But Howie is a presstitute through and through.

A Swift-Moving Story

Howie whines in response to Murray Waas's criticism of his original article:

I would welcome a deeper examination, as I had three hours to write the story on deadline. But I provided the needed context about Cybercast -- which was formerly called Conservative News Service -- and I'd note that the military, after all, decides when to hand out the medals.

Howie: If you didn't have time to research the story adequately, you shouldn't have submitted it for publication. Why were you in such a rush, anyway? Was Mrs. Kurtz, Sheri Annis, Republican operative, on your case? Maybe I should buy your cell phone records to find out.

The real story on Murtha is on the op-ed pages of the New York Times today, by "James Webb, a secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, [] a Marine platoon and company commander in Vietnam."

Purple Heartbreakers

The accusations against Mr. Murtha were very old news, principally coming from defeated political rivals. Aligned against their charges are an official letter from Marine Corps Headquarters written nearly 40 years ago affirming Mr. Murtha's eligibility for his Purple Hearts - "you are entitled to the Purple Heart and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Purple Heart for wounds received in action" - and the strict tradition of the Marine Corps regarding awards. While in other services lower-level commanders have frequently had authority to issue prestigious awards, in the Marines Mr. Murtha's Vietnam Bronze Star would have required the approval of four different awards boards.

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