Funny, we thought NewsBusters cared about getting the facts straight. Apparently not.
A June 20 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein -- instead of praising "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski for talking to the White House to get the facts on exactly what President Obama has done on the Gulf oil spill, the subject of numerous false claims made by Rudy Giuliani a few days earlier on the show -- attacks Brzezinski for contacting the White House in the first place:
Cut out the middle-woman and install Obama's teleprompter on the Morning Joe set . . .
Give her high marks for candor: on today's show, Mika Brzezinski admitted that she has been "working with the White House" on oil spill talking points. But that still leaves the issue of the journalistic propriety of someone in Brzezinski's position serving as such a blatant shill for the president.
If Brzezinski believes Giuliani had his facts wrong, have her book a White House official to straighten things out.
Has Finkelstein never heard of the concept of reporting? You know, when you contact a source for information? That's what Brzezinski did. Why is that a bad thing?
Finkelstein is not unfamiliar with such a thing -- only he didn't call it working with the White House on talking points. No, Finkelstein's little 2006 junket to Iraq was called getting the "real news" -- yes, the bug accompanying his NewsBusters posts on the subject read, "The real news from Iraq." The "real news"didn't involve him writing anything criticial about the Iraq war -- indeed, Finkelstein likely wouldn't be going on the trip if there was even the slightest possibility he might. And indeed he didn't -- each blog post was a fluffy profile of what he encountered.
In other words, in doing his fluffy little reports, Finkelstein was doing the White House's bidding, whether he admits it or not. By contrast, Brzezinski merely obtained information from the White House to counter false claims made by Rudy Giuliani -- claims neither Finkelstein nor any other MRC employee have admitted are false. Further, neither Finkelstein nor any other MRC employee have contradicted the information Brzezinski obtained from the White House.
So, Mr. Finkelstein, which is worse -- obtaining information from the Obama White House to counter false claims, or going on a junket in order to serve as a PR agent for the Bush administration? You tell us.