THE BLIND (QUOTES) LEADING THE BLIND (PRESS). If you want to know how political journalism came to be in the state it's in -- c.f. "prone" -- and, therefore, how the present administration came to run merrily amuck, look no further than the following paragraph from Saturday's Washington Post, in which various West Wing moles 'n trolls try to make Hamden chicken salad out of that which our fathers told us one could not make chicken salad. To wit:

"A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue is still being debated internally, seemed to hint at the potential political implications in Congress. "Members of both parties will have to decide whether terrorists who cherish the killing of innocents deserve the same protections as our men and women who wear the uniform," this official said."

Leave aside what you may think of the notion. Why does any reporter allow a source to remain anonymous on a quote like this, and why does any editor allow the quote to appear without a name attached to it? The stated reason -- "because the issue is still being debated internally" -- is transparent bullshit. Look at the quote. Does any sentient primate believe that it took this White House longer than eight seconds to "debate" this particular line of political attack? "Seemed to hint" at political implications? Is the WaPo now written by four-year-olds or does it presume it's written for them? There is only one reason to blind this quote --- to make sure that when the really high quality slime comes out of the White House, you're still on the delivery route.

It is a way to volunteer to be part of a political dirty-tricks operation robed in constitutional privileges. This is the kind of stuff that was supposed to stop after Jayson Blair and Judy Miller and, I swear, there's at least a half-dozen examples of this nonsense in major newspapers every week.

Here's a hint, guys and gals. They hate you. They will always hate you. They will hate you if you help them transmit their slanders and they will hate you if you don't. Look at the last week if you don't believe that. Judy Miller's newspaper haled before the public bar for treason. You owe them nothing. You owe the country more courage than this.

-- Charles P. Pierce