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September 14, 2006

Leonard Downie Proudly Unveils Pitch-Perfect Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling Impression

Here's a story from page A17 of the Washington Post today, September 14, 2006:

Paper on Nuclear Aims Called Dishonest

U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest" and offering evidence to refute its central claims...

"This is like prewar Iraq all over again," said David Albright, a former nuclear inspector...

Here's a story from page A18 of the Washington Post exactly four years ago this week, on September 19, 2002:

Experts Question if Tubes Were Meant for Weapons Program

A key piece of evidence in the Bush administration's case against Iraq is being challenged in a report by independent experts who question whether thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes recently sought by Iraq were intended for a secret nuclear weapons program...

Here's the Washington Post's Iraq mea culpa from August 11, 2004:

Prewar Articles Questioning Threat Often Didn't Make Front Page

..."The paper was not front-paging stuff," said Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks. "Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challenged the administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday"...

In retrospect, said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., "we were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration's rationale. Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was a mistake on my part."

Here's the famous Dudley Moore-Peter Cook sketch "The Frog and Peach":

INTERVIEWER: Do you feel you've learnt by your mistakes here?

SIR ARTHUR STREEB-GREEBLING: I think I have, yes, and I think I can probably repeat them almost perfectly.

Edited for clarity.

Posted at September 14, 2006 02:50 AM | TrackBack

Hey, we've gone from page A18 to A17. Only 16 more quagmires to go!

If I were a billionaire like Soros, I'd take out front page ads printing the newspaper's own A17 stories.

Posted by: Cal at September 14, 2006 03:55 AM

I just read that story a few minutes ago, online, and was feeling a bit hopeful that maybe this time around, people would realize how little there was to go to war on. But I hadn't noticed the article was buried in the print version. Perhaps the big difference this time around will be the immediate elevation of this story by blogs such as yours. I hope this is the case.

If you read this story, the story in today's NYT about the corruption in the Interior Department, and the stories about the efforts on the White House's part to gain complete authority to spy on whomever they please, you have to wonder why anyone trusts the current regime in anything. They absolutely know what they are doing and they have no intention of being honest or democratic or effective.

Posted by: Aunt Deb at September 14, 2006 05:33 AM

Can you add a spotlight link to this post? This is exactly the sort of dung that should be flung back in their face.

Posted by: Green Man at September 14, 2006 06:04 AM

Scott Ritter was screaming until his face turned blue a year before 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' kicked off. Having the truth out there doesn't make a difference.

Posted by: Lloyd at September 14, 2006 07:07 AM

Ha Ha. The "Frog and the Peach" was so great, I had to go looking for more. This video is must watch:

Really, take the time. It is not only terribly funny, but politically timely, as well. Thanks for the lead, Jonathan. Ha Ha.

Posted by: Realrealgone at September 14, 2006 10:04 AM

Kinda what Lloyd said. Reporting it as a news won't make a difference: IAEA said this, the US House committee said that, Tony Snow said something else. What does it all mean? Who knows.

What should be on the front page is political commentary that would accuse politicians of lying, explain why they keep lying and how to stop them.

But the US media is not designed for that.

Posted by: abb1 at September 14, 2006 12:18 PM

I searched alot Us news sites i,e yahoo, msnbc, cnn, abc, to see if I could find the IAEA disagreement but to no avail. Finally I typed in IAEa on google news and was able to find it. Most foreign sites do have the info. What a surprise.

Posted by: JL at September 14, 2006 02:43 PM

News flash: The WaPo has added Mikey Gerson to its opinion page line-up.

Posted by: Lloyd at September 14, 2006 09:10 PM