WaPo: Restricting Knowledge Is Part Of Our Commitment To You

November 21st, 2005 4:18 PM

The hed isn't snappy, but I'm trying to come up with new slogans for a paper that can't bring itself to accurately describe Rep. John Murtha. There's a slim ray of hope from congressional reporter Shailagh Murray, who in a live chat today acknowledged there was more to his background than what we've been reading in her paper:

Manassas, Va.: Why won't the Post tell its readers about Murtha's mixed record on the Iraq War? For example, he said two years ago that he'd been misled about WMD and joined with Rep. Pelosi in calling for high-level administration resignations; he accused Bush of delaying a major military callup until after the presidential election (a callup that never happened); he joined a small minority in voting against a resolution declaring the world safer for having been rid of Saddam; and voted in favor of Rep. Rangel's (in my view, bogus) resolution to reinstate the draft. He's entitled to these views -- but aren't the Post's readers entitled to know about them, as opposed to the simple "hawkish Democrat" narrative you and your colleagues are presenting?

Shailagh Murray: That's a fair point, and I think we as a paper should address it.

Unfortunately, William Branigan is conveying the same old spin in an online report on Cheney's latest speech:

His comments come amid recriminations over a call by Rep. John P. Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat known as a hawk on military issues, for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Murtha, a 37-year veteran of the Marine Corps who was wounded in Vietnam, said in an emotional speech Thursday that the U.S. military has done all it can in Iraq and that it was now "time for a change in direction."

The same goes for this morning's Bush Tries To Tone Down High-Pitched Debate On Iraq by Peter Baker and David Brown ("a decorated Vietnam War veteran and hawkish legislator.")

Any day now, folks. Any day now.