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Now that the the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on pre-war intelligence and the UK's corresponding Butler report both point to the uncomfortable conclusion that Joe "Restore Honesty" Wilson lied about his wife snagging him the Niger gig and the efforts of the Iraqis to buy uranium there, you would expect the mainstream media outlets that gave Wilson his bully pulpit would be issuing retractions, or at least covering the collapse of his story.
NBC was the most aggressive Wilson promoter on TV, beginning with a Meet the Press appearance on July 6, 2003 hyping Wilson's original breakout in a New York Times op-ed. On July 22, Katie Couric promoted a Today interview: "Still to come this morning on Today, a man who says he's become the target of a White House smear campaign for blowing the whistle on the president's State of the Union address." Wilson appeared on Meet the Press again on October 5.
NBC also gave the warmest reception for Wilson's book, with three days of bookings on Saturday Today, Meet the Press, and Monday's Today on May 1, 2, and 3. Couric promoted Wilson again on May 3: "Another book critical of the Bush administration hits stores today, this one by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. He says he told the truth about the evidence against Iraq, and his wife paid the price."
So now that Wilson has been caught in a lie, how much Wilson coverage is there on NBC? None, as of this writing. That's too bad, since Wilson misled Tim Russert on October 5:RUSSERT: Was there a suggestion that this was cronyism, that it was your wife who had arranged the mission?
WILSON: I have no idea what they were trying to suggest in this. I can only assume that it was nepotism. And I can tell you that when the decision was made, which was made after a briefing and after a gaming out at the agency with the intelligence community, there was nobody in that room when we went through this that I knew.
Tim Graham has plenty more in his piece at NRO on the media failures surrounding l'affaire Wilson. Instapundit has more links in the midst of his well-earned gloating, especially to Tom Maguire, who has done a great job following this story. (And note who Glenn discovers as the owner of Wilson's web site ... none other than Honest John Kerry!) Also, my friend Patterico is all over the LA Times, as usual, for burying the stink emanating from Wilson.
Some people wonder out loud why the Bush administration did not defend itself in a more muscular fashion earlier in this supposed scandal. One reason, I'm sure, is that some of the necessary resources may have been classified, and for good reason. Another may have been because, knowing the full story all along, they decided the best way for it to come out would be through independent investigations, giving the data more credibility than had they trumpeted it themselves on Meet The Press. Plus, the sandbag strategy has the extra elegance of smearing egg all over the Kerry/Edwards ticket after allowing them to bloviate all of the paranoid "Bush Lied" slogans.
It makes you think that perhaps the Bush team knows its stuff more than people give them credit ...Sphere It View blog reactions
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