We saw another example last week of the double standard that permeates so much of America's media these days, the media that so many conservatives claim are "too liberal."
A sneak peek at former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's soon-to-be-published book reveals that virtually every bigwig in the Bush administration passed along lies about who was involved in outing CIA agent Valerie Plame -- including the president himself.
McClellan in 2003 stood at the White House press room podium and said that neither Karl Rove nor Scooter Libby, the two most senior aides to George Bush and Dick Cheney, had anything to do with leaking to several members of the press that Plame was an undercover CIA agent. She was exposed in an apparent retaliation for a guest column her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had written for the New York Times, claiming that Bush had lied about Iraq's nuclear capabilities in his State of the Union address.
As it later turned out, not only was Bush's speech a lie, but McClellan's defense of Rove and Libby was also an outright lie. McClellan's memoir, to be published next spring, claims that five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in his telling that lie to the press and the rest of the nation: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself.
But the McClellan excerpts got little play last week in our so-called anti-George Bush liberal media.
Contrast that with what would have undoubtedly happened had the president been Bill Clinton.
Not only would Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have begun a 24/7 feeding frenzy, but every TV network and big city daily newspaper would have carried major stories about the president being fingered in another lie.
Wisconsin's own intellectual giant of a congressman, James Sensenbrenner, would have insisted on the House Judiciary Committee calling for an investigation that would surely lead to impeachment proceedings.
They did all that, after all, when Bill Clinton was caught lying about messing around with a White House intern. Had Bill Clinton lied his way into starting a war and then instructed his press secretary to tell the American people lies about underhanded dealings by his staff, the Washington politicians and the national press would have run the man out of town on a rail.
Perhaps this administration has lied to the American people so many times that it doesn't qualify as news anymore.
But, I say again, if a president can be impeached for lying about an extramarital affair, then why aren't we impeaching a president who lied to his country to start a war that is soon to have lasted five long years?
Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times.
Copyright ©2007, Capital Newspapers.