We start with context.
This is the same Washington Post that crowd-sourced thousands of Governor Sarah Palin’s emails (and came up with bupkis). This is the same Washington Post that did an EXTENSIVE investigation with a Sunday morning front page splash into a rock Governor Rick Perry’s father painted over three decades ago. Furthermore, this is the same Washington Post that then turned that non-story into a three-day narrative about how racist Rick Perry might be.
Now, I want you to meet this same Washington Post’s own Sari Horwitz, the (try not to laugh) “investigative reporter” covering the brewing Fast and Furious scandal. This is a clip that aired the other night on Greta:
There is so much covering up, so much intellectual dishonesty, and so much palace guarding on Horwitz’s part in those few minutes that I don’t know where to begin… so we’ll begin at the beginning.
First off, this is all about when Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the Mexican gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious. On May 3rd of this year, Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee, saying, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
However, last Friday in a classic Friday late-afternoon White House document dump:
A copy of the heavily redacted weekly report posted by CBS News offers direct evidence that not only was the attorney general briefed on Operation Fast and Furious, but that he was briefed on it regularly and was well aware that the program was sending thousands of weapons into the hands of the Sinaloa cartel.
And so here we are.
Obviously, there is more than just smoke here. Obviously, something very real is smoldering and Holder has more than just a little explaining to do. If Holder lied, he’s toast. If the highest law enforcement officer in the land lied, this is the kind of story that should (and would if we were talking about a Republican administration) swamp a White House into paralysis. Because once you pull the thread marked “why did he lie?”, the whole sweater is in jeopardy.
So now that we’ve back-filled and set the stage, let’s go back and listen to WaPo’s Sari Horwitz again, and you tell me if you think she sounds anything like an investigative reporter hot on the trail in her crusade to hold power accountable. I ask because, to me, she sounds not only like a member of the DNC hoping to spin this story off the front page but like an actual creator of White House talking points.
Spin 1 — :59 to 1:30: The question of whether Holder lied under oath has nothing to do with whether or not he knew about “the tactics” surrounding Fast and Furious. The question is when he knew about the operation. Period. But if you listen to Horwitz, in a classic case of dissembling and distraction, she makes it sound as though this is a question of whether or not Holder knew about the tactics. What she’s doing here is talking about something completely different in order to to create an exculpatory statement about Holder.
But her shamelessness in covering for the White House is only beginning…
Spin 2 — 1:30 to 1:40: After trying to get Holder off the hook by saying the memos said nothing about “tactics,” it’s Greta who advises us that Horwitz can’t possibly even know if that’s true or not. Before they were released to the media, large chunks of the memos were redacted. And yet, Horwitz had just finished saying authoritatively:
They [the memos] do not get into any of the controversial tactics.
Well, not only is “tactics” besides the point, but Horwitz has no right to say the memos don’t get into the tactics because she has no idea what the entire memo says! In her own words, “huge chunks” are redacted.
Now you’re going to see Horwitz get really desperate…
Spin 3 –1:40 to 1:48: After being busted by Greta on the redacted thing, Horwitz actually says this:
But what we do see does not reveal the tactics that one would expect Eric Holder to say “Whoa, what’s going on here?”
Keep in mind that this is an investigative reporter for the Washington Post, not some White House hack. And yet, what she’s doing here is pivoting time and again back to “tactics” in order to pretend that’s the subject at hand. To say the truth, to say that it looks as though Holder read memos about Fast and Furious and therefore knew about the operation long before he told Congress he did, just isn’t in her. Maybe she’s worried it will knock WaPo’s ongoing investigative reports about Perry’s rock off the front page.
Spin 4 — 2:02 to 2:16: Now Horwitz delivers her main talking points memo that one-by-one ticks off a list of excuses for Holder’s benefit:
Assuming [Holder] received these two memos, that he read them and that he remembered them, he knew the words ‘Fast and Furious’ — it went back farther than what he said in the Issa hearing.
In a single sentence, Horwitz crafts four excuses for Holder. That has to be a world record. But after she’s done doing that, Horwitz practically chokes having to admit Holder might have known about “the words ‘Fast and Furious'” before he testified he did. But let’s pull the spin from our eyes and ask the kind of grown up question Horwitz seems unwilling to ask.
Are we really supposed to believe Holder would’ve read about Fast and Furious without knowing what it was about? Are we supposed to believe that he would read these memos and not ask about the context? Are we supposed to believe that Holder’s staff would give him a memo on a subject he knew nothing about without filling in the blanks? Furthermore, it’s worth restating that “huge chunks” of the memos were redacted and that Horwitz floating these excuses without mentioning that as as qualifier is not reporting, it’s spin.
Not only is this “investigative reporter” crafting a list of excuses for the target of her investigation, she’s creating wildly stupid ones.
And yet, we have not hit bottom. Well, actually we have. It’s just that after hitting bottom, Horwitz decided to create another bottom and hit that.
Spin 5 — 3:36 to 3:58 : Are you ready for this? Are you ready to hear the name “Bush”? I knew you were.
But one more thing that came out of these documents which is really news, is that there’s a whole new gun operation we didn’t know about called Operation Wide Receiver — which was actually in the Bush Administration and pre-dated Eric Holder.
So even though Bush hasn’t been president for 32 months, this “is really news”! Well, what a relief to finally hear Horwitz Speak! Truth! To! The! Out! Of! Power!
Obviously what she’s doing here is creating another talking point for the White House and for her palace guard media pals, and yet another talking point that allows the Obama White House to say, “Hey, Bush did it too, so you independent voters shouldn’t look at this as a reason to vote for the other guy.”
This is the same failed tactic that was tried in the early days of the brewing Solyndra scandal until it was discovered the Bush White House did just the opposite of the Obama White House when it came to approving half-billion dollar loans to failing companies partially owned by Obama campaign bundlers. And my guess is that the equivalence Horwitz is trying to weave here with Fast and Furious will fail just as hard upon closer examination. But even if it doesn’t, so what?
This isn’t about Bush and this isn’t about tactics. This is about the Attorney General of the United States possibly committing perjury. And if he did lie, why did he lie?
And this is also about an utterly shameless media that has completely abdicated their responsibilities in order to go on television and muddy the waters with distractions (“tactics”) and lies of omission (not mentioning the redactions).
There is one notable exception to all of this as it pertains to Fast and Furious, a tenacious CBS reporter named Sharyl Attkisson. She is doing superb work under intense and menacing pressure from the White House.
But she is the exception that proves that the vast majority of the media is hopelessly partisan and corrupt, and they are our fiercest opponents when it comes to holding this administration accountable and defeating President FailureTeleprompter in 2012.