Day comes to pass

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 11:09 am

From beyond the grave, former president of The Washington Post Company and liberal icon Katharine Graham offers sound journalistic advice:

I believe the benefits of full disclosure far outweigh any possible adverse consequences. I believe the harm of restricting coverage far surpasses the evils of broadcasting even erroneous or damaging information.

American democracy rests on the belief, which the centuries have proven true, that people can and do make intelligent decisions about great issues if they have the facts …

It is a slippery slope when the media start to act on behalf of any interest, no matter how worthy—when editors decide what to print on the basis of what they believe is good for people to know. It’s dangerous if we are asked to become a kind of super-political agency …

I say this: News is the lifeblood of liberty. If the terrorists succeed in depriving us of freedom, their victory will be far greater than they ever hoped and far worse than we ever feared. Let it never come to pass.

Graham’s speech was delivered in December, 1985. Sounds like she may have been in favour of publishing certain cartoons.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/28/2006 at 02:41 AM
    1. Hmmm, pity someone couldn’t send it to the Washignton Post and get their take on it in relation to a recent cartoon controversy….  ask ‘em if anything has changed with the thoughts above???

      i guess they would all stand up cheer these sentiments from behind their comfy desks and fat salaries…  a couple might even be prepared on the odd occasion to spend a few hours/days in a comfy cell to validate and uphold their journalistic principles of how bravely they act on our behalf…

      but just let the merest rumour of a bit of argy bargy arise, and how quickly they can rewrite their raison d’tet…  suddenly it now seems they’re here to protect and defend freedom, as long as it doesn’t offend a particular vociferous minority….  that’s now what is best for society…  and coincidentally probably for their ongoing health….

      Posted by casanova on 2006 02 28 at 03:15 AM • permalink


    1. …raison d’tet…

      Ouch!  “Raison d’être”

      Anyway, everything Mz Graham said is true, BUT…

      “Freedom of speech should be married to a sense of responsibility… we are not “deciding what the people should know”, rather, we are presenting the facts, (in the case of the obviously disrespectful cartoons, describing them in printed language), in a way which informs without offending…”

      ET (*yawn*) CETERA.  1985 was a long time ago, political correctness-wise.

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2006 02 28 at 04:09 AM • permalink


    1. that “d’etre” looks like a french poofy way of saying it with all those squiggles and apostrophes and stuff…  or latin or whatever the damn root of the phrase is….  i like my way much better…

      anyway u got the message Zep!!!! :o)

      they change the script, and insert high falutin’ phrases, whenever it suits them…  particularly when their own rear ends might somehow get in the firing line…

      Posted by casanova on 2006 02 28 at 04:18 AM • permalink


    1. that “d’etre” looks like a french poofy way of saying it

      The fact that it is French may have something to do with that.

      Posted by PW on 2006 02 28 at 04:45 AM • permalink


    1. it could well do….

      Posted by casanova on 2006 02 28 at 04:50 AM • permalink


    1. The WaPo probably published something they wanted to, and were defending it with a large principle.

      Another large principle can go the other way whenever they want.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 02 28 at 04:58 AM • permalink


    1. The current media attitude is like asking if Id like my food pre-chewed for me.
      Give me the facts as well as you can gather them, print it, and if you make a mistake correct it as soon as possible.
      Not that hard really

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 02 28 at 05:06 AM • permalink


    1. On the tenth anniversary of the Howard ascendency, it looks like the new tactic is “well, if he has ridden a wave of economic buoyancy, let’s try to puncture it”.
      The Australia Overboard push continues. The ABC and the ALP are both hard at it.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 02 28 at 05:47 AM • permalink


    1. #8 – The ALP and the ABC may still be hard at the “he’s fallen in the wartaah” bit (att: Spike Milligan circa 1957) and they still have a lot left to say. Er, but they never say anything right.

      Doncha hate directional words with double meanings? Port, starboard?

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 02 28 at 06:54 AM • permalink


    1. liberalism = hypocrisy, treachery and cowardice. Therefore, if Graham was a liberal icon, London to a brick, she would now be against publishing the cartoons, and would be just as vehement in opposing publication as she previously was in denouncing self censorship of the press.

      Posted by hooligan on 2006 02 28 at 07:06 AM • permalink


    1. I somehow doubt the Washington Post would have published cartoons – they would of course have scopped the Gray Lady by publishing these so-called plans of defence of Baghdad German BND agents supposedly procured for the US.

      Then again, few people credit the BND with such chutzpah and it is unlikely one single map existed of battle-plans for a city…….that would be sort of stupid when you fight in sectors.

      Posted by Voyager on 2006 02 28 at 07:24 AM • permalink


    1. It’s nice to think of the Post publishing the cartoons in the (dare I say crusading) heyday of Jason Robards, err, Ben Bradlee.  But Graham was prepared for a few omissions of her own, when it suited the Post’s agenda of “Mass With Class”.

      Posted by Ed Driscoll on 2006 02 28 at 07:33 AM • permalink


    1. To liberals, principles are always flexible in the first person (“my principles” or “our principles”). It’s only in the second or third person that principles are commandments only evil hypocrites would break.

      “people can and do make intelligent decisions about great issues if they have the facts….”

      Have liberals ever believed that? I doubt it. When Commies win elections the first thing they do is cancel subsequent elections.

      Posted by Monroe Doctrine on 2006 02 28 at 10:33 AM • permalink


    1. o/t Unbelievably (not) strongest support in a Cnadian poll for toppling Sadam,came from Iraq -74%. So says perceptive sbs.O wait…

      Posted by crash on 2006 02 28 at 10:51 AM • permalink


    1. Ah, but you’re forgetting the last line of her speech, which true progressives always hear, whether it’s spoken or not…

      “Except for Republicans, the fascist bastids…speak untruth to power!”</i>

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 28 at 11:00 AM • permalink


    1. OT: Lord Rove graciously acknowledges his blogservants!

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 2006 02 28 at 11:11 AM • permalink


    1. What the likes of Clooney always forget is that many actors of opinion and political activism in the past had some genuine real world accomplishments to point to.

      Reagan, for example, was a skilled union negotiator, well know even by his opponents for the ability to distill a complicated argument down to its essentials.  And while everyone likes to point and laugh at his instructional films in WWII, he was also significantly involved in the program to develop the Combat Information Center concept for the Navy, a command and control system still in use sixty years later.

      George Clooney has nothing comparable on his resume, nor do most of his peers.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 28 at 11:33 AM • permalink


    1. To which I add, the ability to read a press release and respond with outrage may get you a job as a Democratic senator, but it’s no qualification to lead a country.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 28 at 11:34 AM • permalink


    1. It is more than ironic that the MSM, which owes even its livelihood to freedom of speech, is the first to repudiate free speech – even bowing to a Religion, of all things, while at the same time incessantly obsessing over “separation of Church and State” issues.

      Nor is the MSM acting in the public’s, or the individual’s interests in any way whatsoever.  Worse, this affirmative abdication of its responsibility to inform amounts effectively to committing acts of treason – bowing to speech control and doing it selectively in a way which disempowers us and empowers our enemies who want to destroy us and our freedoms.

      The cartoon war tactic with its threats of violence is actually a declaration of war upon all free-thought entities and States which see free-thought as morally and functionally essential to being human and having a State.  It’s a tactic of terrorism with which the MSM has been complicit.

      The MSM “press” having abdicated its role as necessary to the essence and survival of any free State and its citizens, all such States should briefly flood their airways with the cartoons, and the rationale for this move.

      And the MSM should be held accountable for its abdication of its duty, its censorship, appeasement, and conspiracy with our avowed enemies.  We shouldn’t let this one just fade away.

      Posted by Joe Peden on 2006 02 28 at 12:59 PM • permalink


    1. #16: Well, that explains the petition I found on the windshield of my car yesterday: “It’s Time to Award Wronwright the Medal of Freedom!” I’m supposed to sign this and send it to the White House. Whoa! “Place Stamp Here”???? No “Postage Paid” envelope?!? Yeah, I’ll just get right on it.

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 28 at 01:06 PM • permalink


    1. Graham’s speech was delivered in December, 1985. Sounds like she may have been in favour of publishing certain cartoons.

      She may have been, but someone at the WAPO wasn’t in this case
      AVENGING ANGELS [Jim Robbins]

      Mudville Gazette has a great rundown on a good news story from Iraq that the MSM has chosen to spike. Seems that Najim Abdullah Abid al-Jibouri, the Mayor of the city of Tall Afar, wrote a lengthy thank you letter to the troops of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment for saving his town from the scourge of the terrorists. He writes that the soldiers “are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The
      God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.” Tall Afar used to be a ghost town run by bad guys; now it is peaceful and prosperous. This letter has been getting wide circulation on military email lists. The Washington Post had the letter but refused to print it. Imagine that!

      The Corner NRO

      In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

      To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

      To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

      To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

      Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

      I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

      The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

      God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

      Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

      Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

      Mudville Gazette

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 28 at 01:07 PM • permalink


    1. El Cid.  They’re too busy generating polls that match their editorial bias to worry about good “news.”  Besides, I doubt if they actually consider this news since it does not fit their agenda.

      Just substitute the concept of shaping the political landscape for all of Ms Graham’s questions about whether or not to report on terrorism in that speech and you get the current mindset of the MSM.

      Will this hurt Bush?
      Will this help elect Dems in the next election?

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 02 28 at 02:02 PM • permalink


    1. 22. yojimbo

      Will this hurt Bush?
      Will this help elect Dems in the next election?


      BTW the way, this letter from this Mayor…is just as easily converted to ALL NATIONS brave men and women.

      Now Iraqi population, is it YOUR turn to become the AVENGING ANGELS. Not against your own ordinary people that have been given their counrty to mold and shape, for all, unless they are in fact part of this inhuman enemy that needs DEATH, BUT against those who, as this Iraqi mayor described…stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 28 at 02:20 PM • permalink


    1. Sounds like she may have been in favour of publishing certain cartoons.

      Call me a cynic, but this applies only because she is not here today to say her original remarks were “taken out of context”.

      Remember – Al Gore used to sound like a reasonable, moderate politician at one time.

      TV (Harry)

      Posted by Inspector Callahan on 2006 02 28 at 02:25 PM • permalink


    1. “It’s dangerous if we are asked to become a kind of super-political agency … “

      There you go – the magic weasel words that exculpate the cowards of the MSM.  Nobody asked them to hide under the bedsheets, they did it all on their own impeccable judgement.  On the other hand, if they are asked to publish (by RWDBs like, oh, the ones at this site), then it’s their clear duty not to do so.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2006 02 28 at 02:37 PM • permalink


    1. Although I do like the use of the word “dangerous” above.  Everything that liberals do is fraught with danger.  It’s what makes their lives so exciting and meaningful, all that defying of danger and stuff.

      Whooo!  Extreme journalism, dude!

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2006 02 28 at 02:41 PM • permalink


    1. It might be interesting to write up Graham’s remarks and send them to the WaPo as a letter to the editor, under an assumed name.  Wonder if they’d publish it.

      Posted by Bruce Lagasse on 2006 02 28 at 03:32 PM • permalink


    1. Whooo!  Extreme journalism, dude!

      Okay, that just made me laugh out loud.

      Posted by PW on 2006 02 28 at 03:43 PM • permalink


    1. #23 But is was for the children!  How else could the children be re-united with their parents.

      Context, if you please.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 02 28 at 04:27 PM • permalink


    1. News is the lifeblood of liberty.

      And the cartooniacs want it: life, blood and your liberty. (Praise MoHammy, POOBAH, WTF.)

      #8: It seems the ALP has a problem on its hands:

      Centralised power in the cafe strips of our eastern capitals will only deliver an empire that is not worth having – the spoils of forever being in Opposition.

      Mar’n Fer’son today.

      Someone suggesting they lose the latte vote? There’ll be ructions.

      #17: The degree of ridicule seems to be in proportion to the degree of competency. So they take George real seriously.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 02 28 at 07:20 PM • permalink


    1. #20 Well, that explains the petition I found on the windshield of my car yesterday: “It’s Time to Award Wronwright the Medal of Freedom!” I’m supposed to sign this and send it to the White House. Whoa! “Place Stamp Here”???? No “Postage Paid” envelope?!? Yeah, I’ll just get right on it.








      Posted by wronwright on 2006 02 28 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. Do the people of Oz, have a news organization that deliberately sabotages the efforts of your government, as we do in the States?

      Case in point;

      New York Times Warns Foreign Leaders: Do Not Help the U.S.
      By: Nick Danger · Section: News
      In a startling breach of international etiquette, the New York Times today warned foreign intelligence services not to assist the United States. The warning was backed by public disclosure of highly secretive assistance provided to the U.S. military on the eve of the Iraq War.

      “German intelligence services helped the United States invade Baghdad, and will now pay the price,” the Times effectively told intelligence services worldwide. As it has in the past, the Times published classified information to bolster its latest attack on U.S. interests.

      Foreign intelligence services are now on notice that the so-called “newspaper of record” intends to publicize their interactions with counterparts in the United States, despite any assurances of secrecy.

      More below…
      Feb 27th, 2006: 06:43:06
      The Times also warned Middle Eastern leaders that it will disclose any surreptitious help they might provide.

      “[Egyptian President] Mubarak quietly allowed United States aerial refueling tankers to be based at an Egyptian airfield,” the Times revealed. Such assistance is often a delicate matter for leaders in the region, who in the past have relied on U.S. assurances of secrecy when undertaking actions which might expose them to domestic embarrassment and possible assassination.

      The government of Saudi Arabia was another “silent partner,” the Times revealed, allowing Delta Force and other American Special Operations Forces to mount attacks in Iraq from a secret base at Arar. Saudi leaders have so far remained silent on the Times’ disclosure of their involvement.



      Media Blog NRO

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 28 at 08:18 PM • permalink


    1. Can’t the editors & journos involved be jailed for that?

      Then maybe we can turn the NYT into something useful like a bumper Dilbert issue.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 02 28 at 09:29 PM • permalink


    1. “…when editors decide what to print on the basis of what they believe is good for people to know…”

      The quote (particularly the point in bold) is talking about publishing facts, rather than publishing opinion.

      That Mohammed has a bomb on his head is not factual information, but an opinion about what Islam represents.

      Posted by LukeF on 2006 02 28 at 09:37 PM • permalink


    1. Did somebody say T-R-E-A-S-O-N! This certainly passes the Yojimbo test.

      I think we need to bring back the Alien and Sedition Acts.

      Where in the bleep is the Bush Administration and the Dept of Justice?

      But as always, their “news” section remains straight down the middle in its coverage of important issues.

      They are out of control.  What a group of irresponsible little brats!

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 02 28 at 09:44 PM • permalink


    1. A document published 01-Mar-06 by the Jyllands-Posten (via

      MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
      After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
      We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
      The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

      Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

      We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

      We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

      We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

      12 signatures
      Ayaan Hirsi Ali
      Chahla Chafiq
      Caroline Fourest
      Bernard-Henri Lévy
      Irshad Manji
      Mehdi Mozaffari
      Maryam Namazie
      Taslima Nasreen
      Salman Rushdie
      Antoine Sfeir
      Philippe Val
      Ibn Warraq

      Posted by tmciolek on 2006 02 28 at 10:20 PM • permalink


    1. We have all that stuff…we have more damn acts then we do bad actors….but with PC’ness…and squeamishness on everyone’s part…we don’t do shit….although the Bushies are investigating the NYT’s al qaeda wiretap leaks, hoepfully, this will be an add on.

      But immediately after the trials…we need some good old fashion public executions, for that treason.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 28 at 10:22 PM • permalink


    1. 36 tmciolek

      BravoWhere do I sign up…enough, is enough.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 28 at 10:25 PM • permalink


    1. Something about this paragraph seems familiar:

      Tragically, however, we in the media have made mistakes. You may recall that in April 1983, some 60 people were killed in a bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut. At the time, there was coded radio traffic between Syria, where the operation was being run, and Iran, which was supporting it. Alas, one television network and a newspaper columnist reported that the U.S. government had intercepted the traffic. Shortly thereafter the traffic ceased. This undermined efforts to capture the terrorist leaders and eliminated a source of information about future attacks. Five months later, apparently the same terrorists struck again at the Marine barracks in Beirut; 241 servicemen were killed.

      Posted by SWLiP on 2006 02 28 at 10:28 PM • permalink


    1. wronwright — Why is the return address on that poll the offices of Daily Kos?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 28 at 11:21 PM • permalink


    1. #31:

      Ok, ok, I’m mailing it, I’m mailing it! And true to the traditions of my folk, I’ll vote often. And I won’t even think of telling Karl that you wished for the victory of a D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t in Kentucky. It’ll just be our little secret. Now, about the postage . . .

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 28 at 11:36 PM • permalink


    1. #32: I wouldn’t be surprised if that whole BND brouhaha turns out to be a heapin’ case of fake-but-accurate.

      The thing actually started more than a month ago when one of our reliably leftist political programs made a similar charge (that BND agents helped the US military locate targets) – based on “unnamed sources” and evidence they weren’t prepared to present fully. (Sound familiar yet?) They were absolutely eviscerated by the Bundestag’s Intelligence Committee a couple of weeks ago for their slipshod research and outright factual misrepresentations.

      And surprise, just shortly afterwards the NYT decides to roll out a substantially identical story with brand-new “evidence”. Frankly, the whole “the BND had complete Baghdad defense plans straight from Saddam” thing doesn’t pass the smell test for me. The fact that it’s the friggin’ NYT reporting it only reinforces that.

      Posted by PW on 2006 03 01 at 03:26 AM • permalink


    1. BTW, the opposition parties here are calling for a fact-finding commission now. The real kicker was an interview with a high-ranking Green Party politician recently in which she stated (paraphrase) “we’d find such a commission especially useful in order to find out what the government knew about the BND activities”. Umm, you idiot, your own über-pacifist party was in the government when all this allegedly happened. You sure you wanna open the books on that?

      Talk about being too stupid to live.

      Posted by PW on 2006 03 01 at 03:31 AM • permalink


    1. #36 On the other hand, www. brusselsjournal. com says
      Anti-Jihad Manifesto Misses the Point.

      Posted by tmciolek on 2006 03 01 at 07:34 AM • permalink


    1. Eh, by the look of the rest of the article, Kathy was all in favor of the “freedom to reveal all government secrets, but responsibility to conceal the activities of terrorists” mindset that permeates the media today. She even uses the attack on the Achille Lauro as an example of the kind of story the press should have concealed, because we don’t want to be insensitive to the beliefs of cripple-killers.

      Posted by Tatterdemalian on 2006 03 01 at 12:26 PM • permalink


    1. #44: Excellent article. Thanks for the link.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 03 01 at 05:17 PM • permalink


    1. 24

      Remember – Al Gore used to sound like a reasonable, moderate politician at one time.

      I remember 2000, when there wasn’t a goddamn dime’s worth of difference between the noises he was making and those made by his competitor.  I also remember voting for Harry Browne in that year.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 03 01 at 05:27 PM • permalink


    1. Today I hear that Harry Browne has died.  Fuck.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 03 03 at 06:27 PM • permalink


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