Weekend Watchdog Wrap-Up

Bill Scher

A particularly shameful day for the Sunday shows, which once again went 0-for-3 for the Watchdog.

It is simply pathetic that ABC’s This Week failed to ask National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley about the latest bombshell report, from ABC no less, that senior Bush administration officials including V.P Dick Cheney and Hadley’s then-boss Condi Rice directly approved torture as an interrogation technique.

If Sunday show hosts don’t bother to explore the results of strong investigative reporting, that investigative reporting fades in the wind. For ABC, it’s a waste of their money to pay for investigative reporting, then not have their Sunday show even mention it. It’s not just bad for our democracy, it’s bad for their business.

Meanwhile, neither ABC and CBS’ Face The Nation (PDF file) asked Hadley or Defense Secretary Robert Gates about Bush’s plan to keep tour of duty in Iraq at 15 months throughout the rest of his presidency.

CBS asked Gates generally if he is “worried about the strain on the military troops,” and then let him claim the administration is going “back to 12-month deployments,” without noting that policy won’t go into effect until August 2009, long after Bush is gone.

And while Iran was touched upon by the shows, neither raised the question, “if the Iraqi government can have a diplomatic meeting with Iranian officials, why can’t the United States government?”

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