Does Mark Finkelstein really think there's no political motive in conservative and Bush administration attacks on the New York Times over its story on a secret financial surveillance program? Apparently so, based on his June 28 NewsBusters post.
Citing NBC's Tim Russert calling the attacks "an orchestrated campaign to try to frame this issue of national security versus the media," Finkelstein adds: "Alright, fair enough if Russert wants to suggest that politics might have played some part in the White House reaction." Finkelstein then took offense at Russert's suggestion that the administration was "going after the messenger":
But what was 'the message' here? That the Bush administration had implemented an important program to fight terrorism and protect American lives and property. A program that even the Times itself didn't claim to be illegal. There was no embarrassment factor here. To the contrary, but for the harm to the national security, the Bush administration would no doubt be pleased for Americans to know that it's working aggressively to protect them.
This is an example of the MSM being unable or unwilling to recognize that Republicans can act other than out of nefarious motives.
Similarly, in a June 27 NewsBusters post (and June 28 CyberAlert), Brent Baker singles out news coverage that "has questioned the administration's motives."
But, as we've noted, the MRC regularly assumes that Democrats act only out of political or personal motives. Why is it suddenly unfair to make that assumption about Republicans, especially when their attacks play into their longtime MSM-is-liberal talking point?