Democrats & Liberals Archives

Friday's Trash

Like a number of other interesting pieces of ‘inside politics’ one learns by watching NBC’s West Wing, there is the notion of the ‘Friday Trash’. The news cycle that begins on Friday leading into the weekend is the period when most folks are not paying attention to the news, reading newspaper, nor a time conducive to breaking stories. Therefore, inside the Beltway, it’s the preferred time to put out press releases or stories considered inconsequential – and, those desperately needed to be disregarded, as such.

Fortunately, for the boys at RoveVision, this week they got a two-fer, an extended ‘Friday Trash’ cycle. If it were not for the media dominance of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, the press conference, followed by the cable news network pundit-fest, the Army's Report on the Prisoner Abuse Scandal would’ve gotten (and, more deserving of) the same out of proportion attention paid to Sandy Berger’s screw up.

At the hastily called hearing of the Senate Armed Service Committee, the blindsided Democrats were well within their rights to infer, if not outright accuse the Army and the Bush administration of a ‘whitewash’. Reaching this conclusion would only need as evidence, the stark contradiction of this report juxtaposed against the Army’s earlier investigation by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. (In contrast, Taguba’s report was widely praised for its frank and straightforward assessment and recommendations.)

Then there’s the matter of the National Guard payroll records of George W. Bush from late 1972. I caution those here debating from the Right, to refrain from accusing us on the Left of purposely perpetuating this story, when the record keeping of the remaining documents on Bush’s stint in the reserves, appear to be in the hands of a Cpl. Max Klinger, and not a Cpl. ‘Radar’ O’Reilly. If it were not for the suit filed by the Associated Press seeking to have this information released by the Pentagon, the White House may have had an even more ideal opportunity of dropping this puppy in the middle of next week’s Dem love fest.

This past week at WatchBlog, the most heated debate (where the Red Column Editors were more than happy to actually engage in), centered on the Sandy Berger story. Through numerous Comment thread postings, the consensus of those of us from the Blue Column was this was nothing but a ‘fishing expedition’. House Speaker Dennis Hastert offered up one of the many conspiratorial theories as to Berger’s motive, which was quickly refuted, illustrating yet again the Conservatives aversion to fact checking.

In spite of the fact that it is now five full days, and the Berger incident has run the gamut thru the court of public punditry probing, Republicans still insist on an inquiry, and I agree. If the arguing roles were reversed, they charge, we Liberals would be demanding nothing less. Yet, with a glaring absence of a devious political motive on Berger’s part, can’t we, at least, move on to more pressing issues facing this nation?

More pressing issues, than the fact that the White House continues to parcel out documents (reluctantly, and now, only after legally forced) about Bush’s National Guard service, posing possibly new damaging questions. And, more pressing issues than calling for an inquiry into the possible chicanery behind a disputed Prisoner Abuse report, that contradicts every previous military investigation?

I went through the last three months of WatchBlog Blue Column archives, searching for an entry on the subject of the revisions to the State Dept.’s ‘2003 Patterns of Global Terrorism’ Report, issued April 29. I could find no such entry, nor a lengthy Comment thread debating the correction's suspicious nature. But, as I wrote recently, we on the Left took the word of the last credible member of the present adminstration, when Colin Powell insisted there was no scheme to ‘cook the number’, but instead, explained it as the fault of a simple clerical error. We did not call for an investigation or inquiry, although a clear motive would be to help the President claim tangible success in the most crucial of campaign issues.

Oh, but that would be more hateful, Liberal trash talking and Bush-bashing, and no concern of any Conservative debaters here.

But, did you hear what that Linda Ronstadt said?

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at July 24, 2004 8:13 PM