Is Salon’s Editor in Bed With MoveOn?

On Sunday, NewsBusters published an article about Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh voicing displeasure with CBS anchor Katie Couric's "softball," "puff piece" reports from Iraq last week.

Moments after the piece was published, I received an e-mail message from MoveOn civic communications director Adam Green providing me with a video posted hours prior at YouTube by his organization, and forwarded to me so that I could see "Katie Couric's lapdog journalism" I was "defending."

Tuesday morning, Walsh amazingly responded to my article, and defended her views of Couric by embedding in her piece - wait for it - the YouTube video MoveOn had created and sent to me on Sunday (emphasis added throughout):

I was on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday debating Couric's Iraq reporting with Michael Medved, and boy, the boys at Brent Bozell's "Newsbusters" weren't happy with me. When the right wing is defending Couric, whom they've always derided as a liberal shill, you know she's doing something wrong.

But the Couric coverage was a template for the overall media approach to the Petraeus P.R. surge. MoveOn did a great video summary of Couric's Iraq trip, with close attention to detail, which also distinguished its ad in the New York Times (although it was marred, in my opinion, by the right-baiting play on Petraeus as "Betray us").

Pretty amazing. So, the editor of one of the leading ezines in the country is actually defending her position concerning Couric, Petraeus, and the war in Iraq by using a video created by an extreme leftwing organization like MoveOn the day after it published an ad in the New York Times so disgraceful that many Democrats came out against it.

How delicious.

*****Update: As Walsh uses MoveOn to defend her positions, Democrats' decry Monday's New York Times ad. This from

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, also called on the Democratic leadership to "denounce's attack on Gen. Petraeus." Lieberman has been supportive of President Bush's efforts in Iraq.

Congressional Democrats showed an eagerness to distance themselves from the ad.

Asked early Monday if this was the right message for his party to send, a member of the Democratic leadership, speaking on background, curtly answered, "No."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, called the ad "over the top."

"I don't like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country," said Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and a decorated veteran.

"I think there are a lot of legitimate questions that need to be asked, a lot of probing that ought to take place; there's a lot of legitimate accountability that needs to be achieved. It ought to be done without casting any aspersions on anyone's character or motives," he added.

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote the following Tuesday: "This latest ad by MoveOn, however, shows that the left's goals and the party's goals are not always in coordination."



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