Saturday, November 15, 2008

Newsweek: The Short Bus of Pardon Reporting

Newsweek seems to always have a way on being on the cutting edge of saying absolutely nothing newsworthy when it comes to presidential pardons. See its reporting on the Scooter Libby commutation, for example .... "Bush was intensely focused on the matter" ... ugh! Now Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball have produced an articles which says 1) The Justice Department is getting a lot of requests for pardons and commutations 2) there are "few signs that Bush will be open to anything resembling the last minute 'pardon party' that marked President Clinton's final days in office" 3) Bush has been "stingy" with pardons but 4) notable persons on our Watch List are applying anyway.

With respect to 1), 3) and 4), Newsweek appears to be somewhere between 1-3 years behind the curve. With respect to 2) ... Bush will not do what Clinton did ... Well, was there any person in the universe who really thought that he would? If so, what on earth was the basis of that opinion? In Newsweek's defense, Isikoff and Hosenball did use the pull they have to come up with unnamed sources here and there who were willing to say Bush may - or may not - do this or that!

Incredible. Just incredible. See further commentary on the quality of Newsweek's pardon "reporting" here and here.

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