I’m having one of those moments where I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. I checked CNN this morning and noticed the headline “White House: Iraq uranium claim was wrong.” I must be reading that wrong, I thought, but it turns out that Ari Fleischer admitted today that the whole “Iraq bought a bunch of uranium in Africa” thing was incorrect. Whoops. Anyway, in the article, I found this sentence:
A British parliamentary committee concluded that Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government mishandled intelligence material on Iraqi weapons.
The British government was cited by President Bush as having found out about the uranium sale, so that’s how he ended up making an incorrect claim. Well, it’s more complicated than that, but the article’s there for you to read, so go ahead.
As I finished the article, a sense of morbid curiosity overcame me; I wondered what the Republican News Channel would have to say about all this. So I went on over, and found no headline relating to the issue at all, two hours after the CNN story was posted. In fact, the only thing I could find was a “Video” box sited well below the fold, which contained this text:
The British parliament concludes Tony Blair did not doctor evidence to support the war in Iraq
Okay, here’s your mental exercise for the day: devise a scenario in which both these statements can be true. I came up with one, although since I refused to set up a Fox News user account—I get enough spam exhorting me to buy Ann Coulter books as it is—I can’t watch the video to see if I was right.
It isn’t that news outlets slant their reporting that bothers me. I just wish they’d be honest about it, so we could take the slant into account. In times past, newspapers were very open about their ideological leanings. Yes, many news outlets have a liberal bias, and others have a conservative bias. That’s fine. But don’t try to tell me you’re being fair or balanced when clearly neither is true, because frankly, it’s insulting.