Last week watching the coverage of the Libby verdict I wondered how it was possible for so many in the media to completely ignore Joe Wilson’s credibility problems in their reporting. This week, I was even more perplexed watching the media cover the story of the Bush Justice Department firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. How is it so many in the mainstream media think they can get away with deceiving their audience by ignoring the 1993 firings of 93 U.S. Attorneys by Bill Clinton?
The fact that few media reports included a reference to the Clinton firings is a much more important story, in my opinion, than the current firings themselves. The breathless reporting of the eight firings was presented in such a way to give the impression that a horrible and unprecedented crime had been committed. Most in the mainstream media actively misled their audiences by leaving out relevant information and context by refusing to reference similar activities of the previous administration
I learned back in 1993, when he took office, that it was no big deal Bill Clinton fired 93 U.S. Attorneys, including at least one working on investigations into his dealings in Arkansas. So when I heard about the recent eight firings, that was the first thing that came to mind, and I made judgments about the current case taking the previous one into consideration. I also could not help but think of the firing of the White House Travel Office by the Clintons to make room for a cousin and of the smearing of Billy Dale. (For those too young to remember Travelgate, check out the late Barbara Olson's book, Hell to Pay.)
I would not be surprised to find that I am in the minority and that most hearing of the recent firings this week would not recall the Clinton cases. One reason is that most are not political news junkies like me, and another is that the Clinton firings were not portrayed the same sinister way in news reports as the current ones have been. I was still surprised, though, that none of the reporters currently covering the story seemed to recall the 93 Clinton firings in their reporting. Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center's "Reality Check" reported the following: