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When the Fake Press Gets Too Frisky

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April 20, 2006

I really do hate responding to tripe, but when it appears to be reasonable hiding its inner disingenuousness, I feel compelled. The issue today is a little op-ed column penned by Jonah Goldberg, found here:

Just so we are all on the same page, Goldberg is a faux journalist. His primary body of work can be found on the National Review, which gets its marching orders directly from the RNC and the Bush Administration. Essentially, the Review is the paper and Internet version of Fox News - "The Republican Party Decides, We Report." Somehow Goldberg managed to convince enough people that he looked snappy enough in a suit that he is now a syndicated columnist, with his lies being spread to a much larger audience. At his core though he is nothing more than a shill. His opinions are told to him and his outrage is pre-packaged.

Today's outrage you ask? That the media somehow unfairly decides who is a whistleblower versus who is a leaker. In his desperation to portray the media as this leftist, demonizing outfit, he presents three cases. Linda Tripp, Mark Felt, and Joseph Wilson. Now boys and girls can you tell which of these do not belong? That's right the very one Goldberg feels should have been treated as a whistleblower, Tripp. Never mind that Tripp did not blow the whistle on anything she directly had any knowledge of. Instead, she secretly audio taped a young woman who had confided in her. She and people like Jonah Goldberg then pimped those sex tapes all over Washington in an effort to topple a presidency. Never mind that in 2001, after Tripp's 15 minutes of fame were up, she sent out a letter to beg for donations and circulated a petition to have President Bush give her a tax-payer financed "meaningful " job. The letter blamed Clinton for ending her 22 year career, when the reality was that Bush gave her an opportunity to resign when his administration came in but she refused so she could blame Clinton. Sorry Jonah, Linda Tripp was nothing more than a fly on the windshield of history because of who she was, not because of anything the press decided. She was not a whistle blower, she was a vindictive opportunist who used her friends, betrayed their trust and then thought she should be able to profit off of that. History remembers her precisely as she should be. It is too bad Mr. Goldberg is not objective enough to do the same.

Mark Felt, deep throat to America for so long should be disgusted to be mentioned in the same breath as Linda Tripp. As an FBI agent during the Nixon White House, Felt provided critical information to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward about illegal activities that went right up the presidential level. Goldberg is stretching the limits of reason to compare bringing down one the most corrupt presidencies in our history with a personal sexual indiscretion, no matter how offensive. It is a reality that can only be cooked up in Karl Rove's office where Watergate can be realistically compared with Linda Tripp strapping on a wire for Kenneth Starr to tape and betray her friend. Of course, Karl Rove can't sell that reality. He needs young men in snappy suits pretending to be journalists to do that work for him. Enter Jonah Goldberg.

Goldberg saved the brunt of his derision however for Joseph Wilson. Claiming Wilson, "burst into the limelight" by accusing the President of lying in his 2003 State of the Union shows Goldberg's inherent dishonesty. Wilson actually tried to get the administration to own up to their error, it was only months later that he felt compelled to tell the truth to the public. Goldberg goes on to blatantly lie by saying about the Niger-yellowcake fiasco that, "Wilson was wrong and Bush was right (and the White House was foolish for saying otherwise)." Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, all of Wilson's claims have been proven right and the documents behind the infamous 16 words that never should have made it into the State of the Union have been proven to be forgeries. Condi Rice even went on national TV to admit the 16 words should not have mad it into the final draft of the State of the Union, but of course Goldberg lets that walk on by. Either way, the recent revelations that it was Bush who then authorized the leak, including the identity of Wilson's secret agent wife, seemingly do not bother Goldberg.

Jonah then muddies some issues together to pretend there is some double standard at the New York Times and the mainstream media because they called for a special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame case but derided the president when he demanded the same for who leaked the information to the press about secret prisons in Europe and the illegal; wiretapping of United States citizens. This is the same New York Times that employed Judy Miller, who sold the Iraq War to America. This appears to be the heart of his argument as Goldberg feels the press decides who is a whistle blower versus who is a leaker. Allow me to educate Mr. Goldberg. A whistleblower is a government employee who is reporting on illegal and potentially treasonous activity. They should be afforded protections to ensure that they are not punished for merely telling the truth. If someone found out that our country was operating illegal secret prisons, or conducting secret renditions to other countries for the purpose of torturing people, they should feel an ethical need to tell the truth. They are a whistle blower. If someone discovered that the president was illegally wiretapping United States citizens, after swearing in public he was using the FISA courts, they should feel morally compelled to tell the truth. They are a whistle blower. Goldberg fails to mention the New York Times he so quickly derides, actually sat on the wiretapping story for a year at the president's request.

Now, if a government employee tells the press the secret identity of a CIA agent working on weapons of mass destruction proliferation issues, as a political payback for her husband correctly criticizing the government for lying about starting a war that has claimed the lives of over 2,400 US soldiers, they are a leaker. The leaker has only one motive and it is not benign. The leaker does not care about the truth; they just have their own agenda. The whistle blower's agenda is to expose the truth about abuse or excess. Goldberg furthers the silly notion that the president has the "unique authority" to declassify intelligence and provide it to the press but he refuses to address why he then lied about the leak. He does not address why Libby asked to be identified as a former Hill staffer, asking the press to lie about the source. He avoids dealing with why the president decided to "declassify" that NIE without informing the CIA. No, Goldberg does not deal with these sticky issues because they tear apart the fabric of the yarn he is selling you. He avoids it because they are not part of the talking points he is paid to peddle to you wrapped up under the guise of impartial journalism.

So what are the truthful to do when the fake press gets too frisky? Remind them who they are. Jonah Goldberg is a shill born out of the Linda Tripp tapes that dressed snappy enough to play the role of journalist, without those bothersome skills and ethics. He does not have opinions, he has marching orders and I have some advice for him. Jonah, if you are looking for a legitimate job telling the American people what President Bush wants them to believe without the truth getting in the way, there is an opening now for White House Press Secretary. At least then you will be making your living honestly.
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Anthony Wade, a contributing writer to, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies and abuses of the government. He is a 53-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple (more...)

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