Thursday, August 30, 2007

One Shot Is Not Enough

Early this afternoon, I read this story in the Washington Post about how the GAO's assessment of how well Iraq is meeting the benchmarks we set for it differs significantly from the White House's evaluation. I also read that the reason the GAO leaked the report was because they were afraid the White House would tamper with it (of course, that's just paranoia). After finishing the piece, I thought to myself, Hmm....I wonder how the Bush administration will spin this so that it doesn't matter?

But as Matt Yglesias points out, that's really not the relevant consideration. It's great that the WaPo decided to report this. But it's utterly meaningless unless they continue to incorporate it in their future Iraq coverage. When President Bush says something like "We're making great strides on all the Iraq benchmarks," the test is whether or not the Post's coverage immediately follows up with "this claim, however, is at odds with the independent General Accounting Office's assessment, which has Iraq only meeting three of the eighteen standards set by Congress."

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