Friday, May 27, 2005

Not credible

Josh Marshall points out the cynicism of the Bushies’ attacks on Newsweek:

Remember, the McClellan/DiRita attacks on Newsweek weren't simply about getting a few facts wrong or weakly sourcing a story. Their claim was that the charges were outrageous, damaging and false, when in fact it turns out they were outrageous, damaging and quite likely true. And even more damaging for the US after McClellan and DiRita spent a couple weeks heaping attention on them.

The result of the White House and DiRita's jihad against Newsweek has only been to encourage a whole new round of international outrage and embarrassment about abuses we have to hope are now being addressed. And all, obviously, to score points in the media wars at home -- which the Bush administration so often seems to consider the true central front in the war on terror.

The sole aim of the White House/DOD smackdown of Newsweek was an attempt to maximize domestic political advantage for a few days, mau-mau their presumed enemies, fire up their friends – and continue the long-term project of delegitimizing the mainstream media.

Leaving aside the human rights issue, U.S. credibility was a secondary concern at best - which is why it’s going to continue to decline around the world. There is no one defending it in an even half-believable way. One reason for that is because there is so much that is indefensible. But they could at least give it a shot.