Saturday, July 14, 2007

Liberal abc 'Hit Piece' on Harry Reid

In a post yesterday, Think Progress whined about an alleged 'Hit Piece' by abc News for asking Senator Harry Reid "to speculate on post-withdrawal from Iraq."

Think Progress decried Jake Tapper's persistent questioning, despite the fact that his question wasn't answered.

Tapper rightly noted the truth, that Reid

“refused to discuss whether the United States had a moral obligation to secure the country for Iraqis or even answer questions as to whether withdrawing troops would make the country safer for the tens of millions of Iraqis.”

The post finally goes on to contend that

Numerous military and diplomatic analysts argue that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would in fact “prevent Iraq’s multiple sectarian conflicts from spreading beyond its borders and gives Iraq and its neighbors the right incentive to help resolve Iraq’s internal conflicts.”

Apparently, this is a position that Reid is not even willing to take. And for good reason.

What do Iraqis think? Their ambassador to Washington for one, has said withdrawing now "would open the floodgates to even more violence."

The Iraq Foreign Minister, Hishiyar Zebari has said: “This could produce a civil war, partition of the country and a regional war. We might see the country collapse.”

From the same report, the Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, said: "We understand their worry about not seeing much political progress in Iraq. But the problem is: who will fill the security vacuum if these forces withdraw?”

Actually, as Hot Air pointed out a New York Times survey back in May: "Most Iraqis, military leaders predict chaos if U.S. pulls out."

Interestingly, Think Progress had absoultely no problem categorizing Tony Snow as "Stonewalling" the media during a press conference in which "reporters peppered Tony Snow with questions about Cheney’s possible involvement" that Snow declined to answer.

Not a 'Hit Piece?'

Hmm... I see that there is a double standard.

Update: Daily Kos has now run with the story: Is ABC trying to out-Fox Fox?. They have their foot in their mouth too.

Update: This just keeps getting better and better. The author of the "uber-conservative" abc 'hit piece' on Harry Reid, Jake Tapper, gets tossed around by Hugh Hewitt on his own show. Tapper refuses to list which Presidents he has voted for in the past, and refuses to say if he ever voted for a Republican President, but then admits that he has voted for a Republican candidate for some office at least once. Why cherry-pick answers to questions about your voting record?

Yet, Tapper defends his report on Harry Reid:

Just yesterday, we did a report on World News where we ran an exchange between me and Majority Leader Harry Reid, talking about what happens to the Iraqi people after the U.S. troops withdraw. What happen? Will they be safer? Harry Reid refuses to answer the question.


JT: Wait, but we put it on my blog, we did a dot com story about it, we put it on World News, we’re about to put the video on World News. Now why is, how is that liberal? I’m just trying to get an answer to a question.

So where does this leave the issue? Think Progress and Daily Kos ferociously hold up this incident as mainstream media conservative bias. Uh, right. Wasn't it found that MSM journalists have donate to Democrats by a margin of 9-1? And didn't Zogby find that 64% of Americans percieve a liberal bias in the media? Hugh Hewitt and others mark it as an occasional liberal dalliance into responsible journalism and exposition of hypocrisy.

Tapper's report on Harry Reid may be called persistent journalism, aggressive, inquisitive, responsible, or skeptical. But it's rare. To describe it as a 'hit piece' implies the reporting or inference is false or misleading. This is not the case. Just ask Harry Reid... but he probably won't answer your question.

Update: Think Progress posted today about another abc segment:
Through the lens of an embedded reporter, ABC followed several U.S. soldiers for two weeks in May, watching them encounter roadside explosions that kill their fellow soldiers and embark on often futile hunts to root out “insurgents.” Watch the segment.

Wait... is this the same abc that perpetrated the 'hit piece' on Senator Reid? I'm confused.

Update: The Influence Peddler points out a contradiction in the argument among those who would have us pull out:
I find it ironic to speak of a 'moral obligation to the Iraqi people,' when the essence of the plan seems to be 'Iraq is hopeless, so wait for the civil war and genocide to shake themselves out and then deal with whoever's left standing.'

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