In Dafna Linzer’s response to readers about the Mary McCarthy incident, this one question/answer jumped out:
Arlington, Va.: I’m sure you’ll get this one from several chatters, but why did The Post choose to leave out the political donations to Kerry and other democratic fundraisers made by Ms. McCarthy from the Saturday profile and follow-up articles? After your own Howard Kurtz blasted The Post over the weekend and in his Monday column and chat, I was expecting some mention in either today’s article or in a “clarification” from the editor. Don’t your readers deserve ALL of the relevant facts?
Dafna Linzer: You’re absolutely right – I’m getting a lot of questions about this. I disagree with Howie on this one. I think in his chat he said her campaign contributions go to motive but I don’t know yet what she’s done so I’m not sure how to assign motive here. Intelligence officers do not check their citizenship at the gates of Langley and like all government employees they are free to vote and make contributions – all of which is very much apart from their commitment to government service and to fulfilling the policies of any president.
But we are living in partisan times and people want a partisan, political motive and explanation for everything. I don’t think that’s reasonable. Should we publish the campaign contributions of every person who testifies before Congress, every person who briefs a president, every person who writes a policy paper or plays any role in government whatsoever or who is ever quoted in a story? We could, the information is public. But I don’t want to confuse readers or issues by throwing that into the mix unless I understand its relevance. We have reported that she worked in Clinton’s NSC and whom she has worked with and will continue to write about it.
Talk about a double standard. A government employee donates a lot of money to Kerry and other Democratic fundraisers, and suddenly we can’t question her motives? It’s not reasonable? This, coming from the same media that analyzes every step the Bush administration makes with a suspicious and incredulous eye. This, the same media that essentially called the McCarthy leak investigation a witch hunt by the Bush administration. Give me a break, Dafna.
UPDATE: Patterico digs into his archives:
Newspapers like Linzer’s Washington Post, or my hometown L.A. Times, simply don’t need to report campaign donations from controversial figures making politically charged allegations. For example, when the Swift Vets made their allegations, I don’t remember the L.A. Times running a story about John O’Neill’s political contributions. Do you?
Oh, right. That story.