I believe the Washington Post knows perfectly well that the word "censor" does not belong in the lead of today's Juliet Eilperin story, but the editors left it in (or inserted it?) anyway. The story, "Cheney Aides Altered EPA Testimony, Agency Official Says Ex-Administrator Says Official From Vice President's Office Edited Out Six Pages," begins:
Members of Vice President Cheney's staff censored congressional testimony by a top federal official on the health threats posed by global warming, a former Environmental Protection Agency official said today.
Bush and Cheney have been in office nearly seven and a half years now. That's time enough for the Post's staff and editors to get used to the fact that they were elected to run the executive branch, and thus they can alter any executive branch document, presentation or policy they darn well please. That's not censorship; it's editing, policy-setting, or both. Business as usual, when you run the government. To be fair, near the end of the story, Eilperin's piece included this quote from the White House:
White House spokesman Tony Fratto noted that White House officials in past administrations have vetted congressional testimony from agency officials.
"There's absolutely nothing unusual here in terms of the interagency review process, whether it's testimony, rules or anything else," Fratto said in an interview. "The process exists so that other offices and departments have the opportunity to comment and offer their views. There's nothing unusual about that, there's nothing nefarious about that, and there's nothing different here from previous administrations."
Exactly right. In other words, the whole thing is a non-story. Yet the Post ran it anyway. Cross-posted on the National Center for Public Policy Research blog.