Monday, October 31, 2005

60 Minutes of Shoddy Journalism

The 60 Minutes Wednesday Air National Guard memo thing aside, I have always been a fan of 60 Minutes, but I found last nights piece on the Wilson (now Libby) controversy an example of rather shoddy journalism. They basically accepted Wilson's whole "martyr for telling the truth" story at face value without even doing the most basic attempts at journalism, and then just added some overly dramatic hyperbola for good measure, even going so far as comparing Valerie Wilson's situation with one of a CIA agent who spent 30 years in jail after being caught spying in China. The last I checked Valerie was not deep behind enemy lines, although I suppose a strong case could be made that Langley is behind enemy lines...

I found the most amusing part of the whole thing was when they went on in depth about the danger of exposing people who used to run spies for the CIA by... Interviewing and identifying two former agents by name... Who used to run spies for the CIA! Is there going to be a special agent appointed to investigate this? How many people will die due to the compromised intelligence operations that those two people used to run?

Then 60 Minutes interviewed Wilson where he dramatically, and without question, proposed that his life was being threatened because of this whole thing, by whom I have no idea. Wilson also lamented the end of his privacy, although oddly enough 60 Minutes made no mention of his book tour, photo spread in Vanity Fair, or work for the Kerry campaign. I just wish some reporter, although this is never going to happen except in the unlikely event that Robert Novak interviews him, would ask Joe Wilson the question. "Joe, if the identification of your wife as working for the CIA was so dangerous that it puts her life at risk, then why did you write a controversial editorial for the NY Times about a government trip that you went on that she helped set up, knowing that any scrutiny into this trip would unveil her role in it and thus her identity?"

Are there any reporters out there with the guts to ask real questions?