Salon Editor Bashes Katie Couric’s Reports From Iraq

September 9th, 2007 1:47 PM

"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric couldn't possibly expect to be criticized by a fellow, female, liberal journalist when she went to Iraq last week to report firsthand what was going on in that embattled nation.

Yet, on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh ripped the leading member of the media sisterhood for "lobbing kind of softball questions," and not "working terribly hard to go beyond that kind of puff piece drop in for a few days kind of journalism."

In fact, Walsh demonstrated what happens when a discernibly liberal press representative dares to do an impartial, balanced report which doesn't exclusively bash Republicans, the president, and the war:

I was disappointed in Katie Couric to be honest with you. I disagree with Michael. I don't think she's been shrill. I think the real issue for Katie is coming across as a hard newswoman, and I think that this was designed to do that. And, I don't think it really worked. I think that she was perceived, and quite accurately, as lobbing kind of softball questions. She did step outside of her persona at one point and say, "Well, I am only seeing what the military wants me to see." But you never got the feeling that she was working terribly hard to go beyond that kind of puff piece drop in for a few days kind of journalism. So I was disappointed.

So, unless Katie completely toed the Democrat Party line about what conditions are like in Iraq, she's throwing softballs in a puff piece. Amazing, wouldn't you agree?

Even host Howard Kurtz thought Walsh was off-base:

I don't know how you can say puff piece. I mean, she talked to Iraqi families, she talked to, uh, uh soldiers, some of whom were not all that positive on the war.

But, regardless of what Kurtz or his other guest, conservative radio host Michael Medved, stated, Walsh was having none of it:

I have enormous respect for her to go there. I think it was important that she went. But I would say, Michael, the real thing that I saw was a kind of tentative, yes, she had to say the situation is not that much better. But, she really didn't use the facts that other people were using. There was a huge debate last week about the GAO report. She didn't really use the details of that. She didn't really confront either Petraeus or General (indiscernible) with the kinds of things that you were hearing in Congress. And, I thought that was problematic.

Fascinating. So, in Walsh's view, Couric should travel thousands of miles to Iraq, putting her life in jeopardy, only to report what was being discussed in Washington?

Fortunately, Medved pointed out the stupidity of Walsh's argument:

With respect, the GAO report is a Washington story, and she was going to Iraq to do Iraqi stories firsthand, to do her own reporting.

Here was Walsh's absurd response:

But, she can't see everything. She did that, but she can't see everything so having, marshalling statistics that are, compliment Iraq, but were being discussed in Washington, I think she could have done more of that.

Amazing. See how the liberal media mind works?

First, we shouldn't believe what Administration officials are saying is going on in Iraq because they're not there. Now, we shouldn't believe what a liberal reporter is saying from there because folks in Washington have a different take.

In the end, what Walsh told viewers is that they should only believe negative opinions about Iraq regardless of where they emanate, and that media members should exclusively be reporting that which supports troop withdrawals.

Sadly, for many folks like Walsh, this is what journalism is all about.

How disgraceful.