Valerie who? The New York Times seems to need a reminder.

It really wasn't so long ago that the Times found it a question of vital importance exactly who told columnist Robert Novak that anti-war ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

Now we know, thanks to "Hubris," a new book by Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff and left-wing writer David Corn of The Nation -- someone who bears much responsibility for puffing up the Plame non-story in the first place.

Writing at TCS Daily, Glenn Reynolds wonders about the net effect of the exposure of the fact that fake news is more common than previously supposed:

In a democratic polity -- or even one that's driven by things like "world opinion" -- faked news poses a real threat to decent decision-making. Worse yet, the likely outcome of widespread fakery will be a tendency on the part of people to simply dismiss news that they don't want to hear. (And we already see enough of that phenomenon as it is). [...]

Once again, as I've said in previous columns, it boils down to whom you can trust. And although it seems that Big Media outfits, which want to make money and be around for the long term, would have a sufficient investment in their credibility not to fake news themselves, or to pass along fake news except in extraordinary circumstances, the evidence of recent weeks is that journalism is rife with fakery, and that we're seeing more of it now mostly because it's easier to spot now that lots of people can examine the evidence and compare notes. [...]

Context is key. And one of the lessons of these various affairs is that neither the photo, nor the purveyor of the photo, should be given unquestioned authority. Instead, we have to think for ourselves, and make up our own minds. Because it turns out that we can't trust, well, much of anyone.

He's right, of course. But realizing the need to think critically is only part of the solution. Despite the fact that a great many interactive web participants (bloggers, blog readers, and forum users) realize the value of not buying into everything you see, many do not. A still larger group aren't even reading blogs or forums, which presents a bit of a problem.

The front page of today's Chicago Tribune carries the headline: "Bush's vows after Katrina go unfulfilled, Critics: Washington `all windup, no pitch.'"

The principal critic cited is the dependably liberal historian Douglas Brinkley of Tulane University. "'The Bush administration, post-Katrina, has been all windup and no pitch. It's a low point in Bush's tenure,' says Brinkley."

A New York Times Editorial appears to be something of a non-CIA rendered intelligence report on what the GOP has in mind for the Fall. I say non-CIA, because it's scary to be sure.

The last thing this country needs as it heads into this election season is another attempt to push the intelligence agencies to hype their conclusions about the threat from a Middle Eastern state.

What is it about the MSM that they have to get a shot or two in, even when the news being reported is positive?

On August 10th, Yahoo! News offered us an Agence France Presse story reporting the good news that the U.S. Military is meeting their recruitment goals for the most part. The news was rather good and a bit startling since most MSM news stories seem to allude to the feeling that things are universally bad for the Military.

Have liberal journalists gotten more than they bargained for after hyping up the Valerie Plame Wilson leak "scandal?" Ed Morrissey argues that this is the case in light of yet another leak investigation, this one about CBS and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:

The media, especially national organizations, used to have a silent immunity from these kinds of investigations, but two developments changed all of that. First, the media used to understand the impact of the disclosures they made and to coordinate them with the federal government to minimize the damage. That era appears to have ended, largely with the New York Times, which has blown several intelligence programs during wartime despite the warnings of the White House and members of Congress.

Secondly and more importantly, the press brought it on themselves in the Plame leak. The New York Times, hypocritically, took the lead in hysterically demanding a federal probe into the kind of leak that they regularly publish on their front pages. Somehow the media mavens who took their lead from the Gray Lady never considered the fact that an investigation into leaks would require subpoenaed testimony from the reporters that received them.

Too late, they realized that the public storm they created would rain down all over themselves. They have tried to paint the subpoenas and the resulting contempt-of-court threats as an indication of an oppressive Bush administration, declaring war on the media. This order by Judge Ellis should put an end to that misapprehension. The media created this demand for investigations into leaks of classified information, and jus because they were too foolish to understand that all roads led back to them is no reason to feel much sympathy for their plight.

If the loony MSM were viewing Joe Lieberman's primary loss to leftist, Ned Lamont, in any more a convoluted manner, they would be crosseyed, tonguetied, and hogtied. I mean, the backflips they are making to explain this story are so magnificent that it'd make any Circ de Soleil acrobatic clown green with envy.

Here at NewsBusters, we often bring you irrational rants from paranoid lefties who are certain that Chimpy Bush McHitler is trying to become dictator of America, enslave anyone to the left of Pat Robertson, and personally assasinate Pinch Sulzberger.

Now, for a change of pace, here's Val Prieto on some real journalists who actually are living in a totalitarian government. Here's an excerpt but the entire piece is very well worth reading:

Right now there remain at least two dozen independent journalists incarcerated in Cuba simply because they dared speak the truth. Some have been locked away since 2003, still in the infancy of their 15 or 20 year sentences. Truth has made them suffer beatings, torture and malnutrition. Truth has mocked, ridiculed, and subjected them to abject horrors and indignity.

All because they bear witness to the world around them and dare describe it nakedly and without their government’s official veil.

There are many journalists from around the world in Havana. CNN is there. Reuters, the AP. They live comfortably in hotel rooms and work in comfortable in air-conditioned offices full of amenities. They have the copy machine. They have the faxes and computers and printers and scanners. They have staff and editors. What they don’t have is the security to report the truth.

I just ran across an interesting photograph on the AP wire. It would appear that this is a photograph of a Pakistani protest in support of Hezbullah and Hamas (and most likely, therefore, a protest against Israel and the United States). There is something strange about the photograph, though—notice the highlighted poster, prominently displaying what appears to be a dead child. Where did this photograph come from? It doesn't appear to match any of the civilians killed in combat so far, or at least, it doesn't match any that have come across the wires. Are there any Arabic specialists out there able to enlighten us on what the text to the right of the picture says? Is this a poster which claims to be the result of an "evil Zionist" carpet-bombing? We're left to guess, unfortunately. Our photographer doesn't seem to keen on informing us about the contents of the posters, other than a blanket statement describing the protest exactly as I did above. If anyone else has any information about this photograph or poster, be sure to let me know about it.
Caption: Women activists of a Pakistani religious party chant slogans during a rally to show their support with Hezbollah and Hamas, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006 in Karachi, Pakistan. The protestors also condemned what they see as U.S. and Israeli aggression. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

One of the interesting evidences of bias in the mainstream press is the way that all political discussions tend to be written from the point-of-view of "what do the Democrats need to do to win?" This New York Times "analysis" is just the latest example. All of the factors that you'd expect to see from a PR firm trying to help Democrats get elected are present.

Introductory paragraph framing the issue from the Democrats' perspective? Check.

After being outmaneuvered in the politics of national security in the last two elections, Democrats say they are determined not to cede the issue this year and are working to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation’s safety.

Those mean-spirited Republicans. They're all about the politics of hate. And now this! Can you imagine, calling a political opponent an "evil, authoritarian, crypto-fascist puppet master"? Wait a sec. That wasn't a Republican. It's a Huff Poster describing Dick Cheney.