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Another Bullet in the Old Grey Lady’s Ass

Actually, this might end more like a shotgun blast.

Thanks to bloggers, the media’s response to Trousergate (first coined in the blogosphere) is under a level of scrutiny like no previous Beltway imbroglio ever has faced. The reporting of this story, happening amidst the hyperdriven passions of the Presidential campaign, is putting all the major newspapers and television news outlets on notice and under an unheard of level of observation. And the NY Times is Target One under the microscope.

Democrats are going to try to spin this to their party’s advantage by calling it an innocent mistake, and the story going public an example of Republicans playing dirty pool; that’s a given, but it’s going to be a much tougher sell than ever before. The Republicans, unless they are dumb from the neck up, are going to use it to bludgeon the Kerry campaign, since Berger was until recently a national security adviser to the wannabe President, as was the discredited and disgraced Joe Wilson. A large part of the media scrutiny will be not what outfits like the Times reports, but what they leave out, and whose spin they put forward.

Mickey Kaus threw a gaunlet down when he noted how the Times initially treated the story:

A-16: Even cynical New York Times-bashers must be astonished that that is where the paper ran the news of the Sandy Berger criminal investigation. … I guess they wouldn’t want to bump that late-breaking piece on untucked shirttails from the front page. … P.S.: Page A-16 in the NYT’s national edition, but A-17 in the New York edition, apparently. .. .

Kevin over at Wizbang has already compiled a list of story points the Times currently have ignored, spun in a manner which can easily be interpreted as partisan, or have not bothered to question at all. Kevin came up with a quick list of pertinent questions that so far no one seems to be asking.

The Washington Post is also under the gun on how they handle this story, especially after the way they were snookered by Wilson. So far, they aren’t looking too good in how they are presenting the story.

And so we go into Day Two of Trousergate. Buckle up! It looks to be one hell of a ride.

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