The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Chalabi chutzpah over WMD lies still felling trees

It was a couple of months ago (February 19 to be precise) when I mentioned that the neocons' second favourite Middle East statesman (after the Fat Man, of course), Ahmed Chalabi, had casually admitted that the intel his people had fed the intelligence agencies of HMG and USG before the invasion was pretty much complete bollocks.

A piece on Campaign Desk today prompts me to update. Jack Shafer mentioned last week [1] the 60 Minutes (kinda) mea culpa, and, subsequently, Vanity Fair's poor excuse for one [2].

All illustrative of the point arising from comments on anonymous sourcing by the (laughingly so-called) Standards Editor at the New York Times, Al Siegal (March 9) -
I would say that there's a kind of sliding scale.
- which I interpreted as
The hornier we are for the story, the more slack we'll cut the source.

It's a version of the Parkinson's Law that says a committee will spend time on issues in inverse proportion to their importance:

A journalist or editor will spend time on checking out a story in inverse proportion to its desirability [3].

A variant, I suppose, on the theory of the Big Lie.

(Meanwhile, the Times stonewalls on Judith Miller's WMD fantasies.)

  1. The piece says it was last updated on April 13, but not when it was originated. Annoying.

  2. The VF defective defector piece is reprinted here.

  3. OK, it needs work...

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