Saturday, March 06, 2010

Blitzer Apologizes for "Any Confusion Caused" by "Department of Jihad?" Chryon.

I spoke yesterday about my disgust at Wolf Blitzer giving credence to Cheney and Kristol's smearing of lawyers who defended people accused of terrorism.

Apparently many others have complained about this section and Blitzer has offered an apology of sorts:

Blitzer: I want to give our viewers a note. As we were going to a commercial break yesterday around this time we had a graphic on the screen that said "Department of Jihad?" followed by a question mark. Many of you tweeted me, said you found that graphic to be offensive. I agree. It was.

The graphic referenced a video that Liz Cheney's organization Keep America Safe. Their video features those words on screen questioning the loyalty of Justice Department attorneys who have previously worked on behalf of Guantanamo detainees.

CNN had no intention of suggesting that the Justice Department supports terrorism. Lawyers at the Justice Department are patriotic Americans, and we certainly regret any confusion that may have been caused by our graphic.
Blitzer is being disingenuous if he imagines that this was the only offensive thing about that particular segment. That viewers suffered "confusion" over that one graphic. For CNN also flashed the words, "Are Justice Dept. lawyers disloyal?" onscreen.

But what was actually most offensive was the fact that Blitzer debated the charges as if they might possibly be of merit, even though it had been revealed that the Bush administration had also employed lawyers who had previously defended Guantanamo detainees.

Blitzer's failing here was that he allowed this McCarthyism credence. He allowed Liz Cheney to smear the reputation of good men and women "unsupported by proof or based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence"; which is the dictionary definition of McCarthyism.

What was offensive to many was much, much, more than a graphic. It was as Atrios noted, the fact that "right wing lunatics can still push anything into the puke funnel." And that people like Blitzer will imagine that it merits "intense debate".


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Rachel Maddow reports on the number of conservatives who have found Liz Cheney's accusations as offensive as those of us on the left found them.

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