Saturday, 7 June 2003

Count the number of on-the-record quotes in this story

This New York Times op-ed news story alleges that some analysts think the mobile bio-weapons labs aren’t mobile bio-weapons labs; instead, they think Saddam Hussein used them to produce hydrogen gas for use weather balloons. This apparently because you need clandestine mobile facilities to make hydrogen for weather balloons, stationary factories being unsuitable for the task.

Only two people are quoted by name, neither of whom have anything to do with the investigation. So, until proven otherwise, any rational observer should consider the rest of the quotes to have been made up by Jayson Blair—er, “Judith Miller and William J. Broad.” By the way, “Miller” allegedly was in two places at the same time (“Iraq” and “Kuwait”) while writing the story, while “Broad” was supposedly reporting from “New York.” To top it all off, the article also reads the minds of unnamed “critics” instead of bothering to find any to quote (on background or otherwise). It’s all typical, Pulitzer-quality (or at least Sulzburger-quality) Times journalism. Sign me up for a subscription!