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National Intelligence Misunderestimation?

Tuesday, Dec. 04, 2007 3:51 AM

A couple of items about last week's hostage incident at a Clinton campaign office in New Hampshire.

First, there appears to be no particular significance to the suspect's choice to take hostages at one of Clinton's campaign offices. Unfortunately, the media is so caught up in their 'Inevitable Hillary' narrative that this initially drove the story (as opposed to the facts).

Second, FOX News was careless in their coverage, with a reporter on the scene providing a narrative of police activities - something most news stations avoid, due to past incidents where hostage takers have had access to television sets.

A Boot to the Head for CBS' Katie Couric, who, in a story about young voters, poses the non-question of whether or not programs like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are bringing issues to their attention - or 'mocking the message'.

Whatever that means. (Other than a falling share of the 18-25 demographic.)

Couric gets a twofer for also promoting her exclusive one-on-ones with candidates, in which she poses questions about 'real issues.'

In other words, y'all have just been making funny noises for the past year?

The latest National Intelligence Estimate states 'with high confidence' that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, and that it has not had one for years.

It raises questions about when this determination was made (some unconfirmed talk about the NIE being over a year old and Dick Cheney 'fighting to suppress its release' notwithstanding), and, if after Mr. Bush's joking reference to World War III in October, how the picture suddenly changed. Or, if made before that smirking assessment, why Mr. Bush chose to lie to the American public. (Other than the fact that he's an irresponsible lout who thinks he's destined for the pages of history.)

Of course, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley plays the 'we're still right' game, citing that concerns over the non-existant program were completely warranted, and that 'progress is being made'.

Ahem. If there was no program, you were being alarmist, and you don't get points for stopping it.

President Bush is scheduled to hold a news conference on the subject later today.

And welcome back to Don Imus, who returns to the airwaves with a thirty-second delay and 'two black comedians' on his staff.

Imus maintains that, 'Dick Cheney is still a war criminal, Hillary Rodham Clinton is still Satan,' and, otherwise, nothing has changed.

Now, I don't listen to Imus, but when he is fined and tossed off the air over a manufactured controversy (and when other personalities - liberal and conservative - aren't slapped with similar penalties), things aren't right. Enforcement must be consistent and fair.

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