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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Did You Get Something Special for That Special Someone?

It's Valentine's Day in July, judging from this adoring appraisal of Colin Powell on the front page of Thursday's Times. We turn to Sullivan for insight into the Times dark motives - why this news-free puff piece, why now? Sully notices the piece, but doesn't deliver the motive.

Well, fine. I have removed the tin-foil lining from my Yankees cap, and am in touch with the conspiracy. By happy coincidence it is linked to the "Why Iraq? Why Now" debate that has broken out in advance of Senate hearings next week, and which I comment on below. We know Powell is very cautious about military action against Iraq. The Times is annointing him as the fount of all wisdom to bolster a "go slow" agenda. And, if Powell comes out swinging against Sadaam, he is simply being a loyal team player toeing the Bush line. The Times wins either way. JustOneGuess, but that is one more guess than Sullivan provides.

UPDATE: In the Sunday Editorials, the Times tips their hand a bit:

"The Bush foreign policy agenda is filled with issues that Mr. Powell is ideally suited to address, including the ongoing war against terrorism, efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and the pending decision about how to deal with Saddam Hussein. Mr. Bush will need Mr. Powell's help if he hopes to secure international support for a confrontation with Iraq."

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