Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Birmingham News' Credibility Hits Rock Bottom

In case anyone on the planet still doubts that Alabama's largest newspaper is a right-wing tool, The Birmingham News confirmed it over the Labor Day weekend.

Right there on page 5 of Sunday's editorial section was the Karl Rove column that ran in The Wall Street Journal on August 19. The Rove column does not appear to be on the News' Web site at al.com. But it was in Sunday's print edition, with this ironic headline, "Times, Post should admit errors."

The reference was to editorials in The New York Times and The Washington Post suggesting that a full investigation should be conducted into Rove's possible role in the U.S. attorney firings and the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

Rove, of course, contends that his recent Congressional testimony proves he was not improperly involved in those matters. Never mind that his testimony did no such thing. The Birmingham News was more than happy to rerun a column that was almost three weeks old--and run it apparently without any copy editing or fact checking.

The News' allows Rove to state, once again, that he gave sworn testimony, when it is well established that he was not under oath. Rove repeats his canard that Alabama attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson had not testified before Congress, when it is well established that she did just that in fall 2007.

In fact, the News ran a transcript of Simpson's testimony on October 10, 2007. And yet it runs an op-ed piece on Sunday in which Karl Rove claims that Simpson never testified before Congress?

Is anyone at The Birmingham News even awake? Is the newspaper capable of embarrassment or shame? Is the paper going to run a followup piece with this headline: "News admits errors"? Is the paper so intent on covering Karl Rove's slimy tracks that it is content to shred what little is left of its credibility?

Need more evidence of the News' "tooldom"? Here is an e-mail I sent on September 3 to columnist John Archibald, who has repeatedly in recent months stressed the importance of corruption investigations. I sent Archibald a link to an article about recent allegations that Governor Bob Riley, a Republican, had improperly (and perhaps unlawfully) tried to influence the Alabama Supreme Court on a gambling-related case:


You've written numerous columns stating that public corruption cases must remain a priority for the Justice Department in Alabama. Are you and your colleagues at The News going to look into this case? Are you going to opine that the feds must get to the bottom of this?



Have I received a response from Archibald? Nope. Of course, this is the same "journalist" who told me about a year ago that he was working on an investigation of serious wrongdoing in Shelby County, which is infested with GOP public officials. Has a word about that "investigation" ever appeared in the newspaper? Nope.

Tools, indeed.

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