Joe Conason, in Salon:
The familiar herd instinct of the mainstream media is powerful, unswerving and often plain wrong. While editors and producers are supposed to make judgments based on a combination of news value and public interest, their choices often seem to be based on nothing more elevated than an allergy to complexity or an affinity for smut. And occasionally, as in the case of Rudolph Giuliani during this past week, the sudden appearance of not one but two juicy investigations overwhelms the system's capacity to absorb and regurgitate.A taste...
But when the nation's news executives decided which of two highly embarrassing Giuliani stories to feature, nearly all of them made the wrong choice. While they lavished enormous attention upon a Politico story dealing with adultery and bureaucracy, they should be devoting at least as much time to yet another in the long series of Wayne Barrett scoops in the Village Voice, because this one involves business and terrorism.
Wayne Barrett, Village Voice:
Three weeks after 9/11, when the roar of fighter jets still haunted the city's skyline, the emir of gas-rich Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, toured Ground Zero. Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attack—a man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, often referred to in intelligence circles by his initials, KSM—al-Thani rushed to New York in its aftermath, offering to make a $3 million donation, principally to the families of its victims. Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir when Larry King asked the mayor: "You are a friend of his, are you not?"