|How fine is the line between ignorance and mendacity? NPR?s Morning Edition on Wednesday, March 11, 2007 ran a piece by David Schaper called, Fitzgerald's justice ranking rankles Chicagoans.
What public behavior, accessible to NPR's David Schaper, might have earned U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald a mediocre rating? Amongst others:
The NPR reporter mapped none of this out for listeners, and used sound bites that accused the President of "partisan" policy without giving examples of what might have been sensible policy after all.
- His fixation on the White House so strong he never pursued the actual leakers who may have undermined the prosecutor?s case against Libby.
- His failure to admit he chased Libby after Libby bested Fitzgerald by winning a Clinton pardon for his client Marc Rich.
- His eight-hour hounding of Libby in the grand jury with Libby having no access to his notes.
- His accusations unsupported by evidence given during his Libby indictment press conference.
- His abetting, before Judge Tatel, Meet The Press host Tim Russert's dissembling affidavit claiming press privilege when Russert had already talked to the FBI.
- His unethical perjury traps set while maintaining a false pretext of investigating a "leak" when he knew on the day of his appointment that Richard Armitage was Robert Novak's primary source.
- His closing statement in the Libby trial alleging charges unsupported by any admitted evidence in direct violation of prosecutor standards and that earned the judge?s rebuke.
In other words, not only Patrick Fitzgerald, but the NPR reporter may deserve a mediocre rating.
News is anything that helps one improve one's mental map of reality, the better to make decisions. Everything else -- such as this perhaps factual but irrelevent and dissembling piece -- is not news. In fact, it's worse than news because it misdirects people in two ways:
- It suggests that because Fitzgerald is popular he isn't mediocre.
- It suggests that partisan policy can't be sound policy.
What reputation, then, does a piece like this earn NPR?