Daily Archives: April 21, 2004

A Question Quickly Answered

In his occasional Wall Street Journal column a noted drug addict asks

“Frankly, I don’t understand why the president or anyone else in the administration who supports the war against Iraq would give Mr. Woodward the time of day. Surely they had to know that his reporting methods, and his popularity with the “beautiful people” inside the Beltway for whacking Republican after Republican, would result in the inevitable anti-Bush, antiwar screed.”

Meanwhile in Pravda the answer is almost reflexively supplied

Stephanie Cutter, communications director for Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry, said the book “raises serious doubts about the president’s planning for war with Iraq, and what his war cabinet knew or didn’t know.”
But Bush’s closest aides, who typically resist efforts to pull back the Oval Office curtains, are actively promoting sales of the book.
“We’re urging people to buy the book,” White House communications director Dan Bartlett said. “What this book does is show a president who was asking the right questions and showing prudence as well as resolve during very difficult times. This book undermines a lot of the critics’ charges.”
An official involved in the negotiations said the administration cooperated so completely that Bush asked Cheney to grant Woodward an interview, which Cheney did, although he is not named as a source. Woodward writes in the book that information came from “more than 75 key people directly involved in the events,” most of whom spoke on the condition that they not be identified.

As to the future, the New York Post testfies to the fact that there’s not going to be a Woodward shortage

President George W. Bush is slated to give a surprise interview to Tom Kelly, the 8-year-old son of the late Michael Kelly, the Atlantic Monthly editor at large who just over a year ago became the first American journalist killed in the war in Iraq.
Tom, who made a TV appearance on “Good Morning America” earlier this month reading an excerpt from his father’s posthumously published book, “Things Worth Fighting For,” will be sitting down in the Oval Office with Bush on Thursday.
Bush had expressed interest in meeting Tom and his younger brother Jack, 4, according to their mom, Madelyn “Max” Kelly. So the family arranged to drop by and personally deliver a copy of Michael’s book – with one caveat.
“Tom said he would only do it if he could interview the president,” said Max.
The president’s office agreed and set the interview for this Thursday at 3:15 p.m. in the Oval Office.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the “mainstream” things are a tad more hectic:

But with another story in the works, New York isn’t trying to cruise in The Times’ wake: It’s firing a shot across the paper’s bow. According to sources inside and outside The Times, Mr. Moss has commissioned a piece about Times W.M.D. sleuth Judith Miller.
Mr. Moss isn’t just doing the Adam Moss job, in other words. He’s also doing the Daniel Okrent job. Last month, the Times public editor ducked and rolled out of the crossfire surrounding Ms. Miller—whose prewar accounts of Saddam Hussein’s arsenal now appear to have conformed more closely to the hope of the Bush administration and exiled Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi than to the evidence in Iraq.
On his Web log, Mr. Okrent declined to make an investigation into Ms. Miller’s work part of his portfolio, on the grounds that the disputed reporting predated his assignment as public editor.
“I decided that, in the absence of more persuasive complaints than I have seen so far, I would base my assessment of Judy’s work on what she did on my watch,” he wrote.
No such statute of limitations binds New Republic associate editor Franklin Foer, whom sources say Mr. Moss has assigned to write about Ms. Miller. Mr. Foer did not return messages seeking comment about the project; New York spokeswoman Serena Torrey declined to comment about any stories that may or may not be in progress.
Ms. Miller, when contacted by phone about the New York magazine piece, excused herself and rang off, citing her own deadlines.

I see Renee Zellwinger in the movie.