Friday, September 14, 2007

Boy, how partisan are Washington Post reporters and headline writers?

The headline of today's article today, on the Volcker report of the World Bank is "World Bank Unit Close to Wolfowitz Cited for Reform", giving the impression that there were problems with this particular unit (and Wolfowitz by association). One doesn't usually propose 'reforms' for a group that isn't broken, right? What's the point of fixing something that ain't broke?

Yes, as the article reports, Volcker said changes were necessary to end unnecessary conflicts with the bank's staff...". But Volcker didn't fault the unit, he faulted the targets of the World Bank's anti-corruption unit for opposing the unit's efforts and for a culture that rewarded pushing money out the door more than making sure the money was well and properly spent. And the proposals Volcker put forth included elevating the stature of the head of the department, by making the position a full Vice President... not exactly the type of proposal one would expect if the department was as screwed up as the headline and story would suggest, right?

So just why would the Post give the impression that the problems were with the anti-corruption unit? Why wouldn't they have used a headline along the lines of "World Bank faulted for resisting anti-corruption programs?" (or something like that, as I admit I don't do headlines). Why wouldn't the story have made it clear that the Volcker report was an endorsement of the group and their efforts?

Well, the answer might lie with the Post's inclusion of Wolfowitz's name in the headline and the story. The Post reporters and editors have long hated Wolfowitz and they seized on this opportunity to further dirty his reputation. That, in order to do so, they had to totally twist the conclusions of the Volcker report didn't bother them in the least... for, as is this case with any good liberal, the truth is less important than trashing the other side...