In an opinion piece posted on the ultra-liberal Huffington Post, former ABC News correspondent Richard Gizbert snipes at his one-time ABC News colleague Geoff Morrell for showing the poor judgment in taking a job as a Pentagon spokesman.
In an oily article that slips and slides between irony and hypocrisy, Gizbert accuses Morrell of being “part of the cheerleading team” that allegedly backed the Bush administration on the lead-up to the war in Iraq. He offers exactly zero specifics to back up his slanderous accusation, but hey — he’s just going by the standards that you would expect from an 11-year veteran of American’s number one television news organization.
Oh, and by the way, the Huffington Post writer is also a proud cheerleader for his current employer, Al Jazeera.
You see, former ABC News Correspondent Geoff Morrell, who was assigned to variously to politics, the White House and the Pentagon, has opted to leave the news media for government service. Bravo!
His decision is — unfortunately — almost shocking. A member of the mainstream media (MSM) going to work for the Bush administration? At the Pentagon!? Jackals and antelope living together! What next, Al Gore gives up his Gulfstream jets? (No.)
It was announced last week that Morrell is to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, spokesman for Secretary Robert Gates and the on-camera press spokesman for the Pentagon. Morrell has decided to serve his nation in a time of war and a time of great need for able public servants.
As a former CNN Pentagon producer and reporter myself, I can tell you that it is welcome news when a journalist takes a public affairs position in a major government agency. They instinctively appreciate what your needs are as a reporter and what kind of pressure you are under, just for openers.
Morrell’s decision should of course be seen as patriotic, but — sadly — it should also be seen as “brave.” I don’t think it would be considered brave if he had come from just about any other industry, but transitioning from the MSM to the Bush administration is pretty much a guarantee that there is no going back. This is the MSM’s equivalent of crossing the Rubicon. From your former news colleagues, you can expect The Fredo Kiss and a brief goodbye. They take away your membership card and your are barred from the clubhouse.
Just in case there was any question as to the reaction in the corridors of MSM power, Gizbert has decided to speak for the group.
The fact that Gizbert spewed his attack in the very liberal Huffington Post is clue number one as to where he is coming from.
Gizbert’s regular column on the leftie site is entitled, “London Calling.” His nebulously slanderous piece was headlined, “Geoff Morrell Makes It Official.” Gizbert, you see, believes that Geoff Morell was never one of them. He sees Morell’s decision as confirmation that he was always playing for the wrong team. ABC, Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post are the right team.
“During his time at the White House, Morrell was an active part of the cheerleading team that cleverly disguised itself as a press corps,” Gizbert writes — in parroting the popular talking point of the far left. “He was not the only one guilty of giving President Bush a free pass on Iraq, but he did his part.”
Lacking any supporting evidence of Morrell’s journalistic chicanery, Gizbert makes a vague claim that Morrell revealed his politics in ABC News internal e-mail chains that were widely distributed during the early phases of the Iraq war.
Gizbert relives the personal horror that he suffered as he was subjected to the exchanges. He alleges that some “people like Geoff Morrell” used the forum to express personal views.
Shocking! Of course Gizbert doesn’t have any of the allegedly damning exchanges and in the classic style of the chronically paranoid, actually writes that ABC “…might have done a Karl Rove to that set of e-mails.”
Yes, Richard, now take your medication.
As is often the case with liberals like Gizbert, there are conspiracies are everywhere — but the evidence is nowhere to be found. Morrell’s decision to go to work for the Bush administration is obviously cause enough for Morrell’s vilification. Gizbert doesn’t need facts to support the character assassination?
“I remember sitting at my desk in London, head in hands, wondering how a once great network news division would allow people like Geoff Morrell to hijack the Iraq (e-mail distribution list) to burnish their pro-war credentials,” Gizbert cries. I love the overuse of the word “hijack” these days.
Gizbert explains that the ABC News e-mail distribution list was rightly and appropriately used to call into question the Bush administrations claims on the lead up to the war, and also to suggest that “…maybe, just maybe, the (Hans) Blix UN team should be given more time…” Presumably because the United Nations has such a long and enviable track record of bringing about the desired results.
The e-mail horror show was too much for Gizbert to take.
“Then the rest of us would be subjected to someone like Morrell’s personal beliefs — that critics of the war ought to know better, that a lot of people died on 9/11 and maybe we should be thinking of them — that kind of thing,” Gizbert indistinctly recollects.
Of course, with no copies of the alleged exchanges, Gizbert is just characterizing from memory what he claims to remember “people like Geoff Morrell” (and / or others) might have said in response to an otherwise journalistically sound back-and-forth about the virtues of the U.N. and the evil of the Bush administration.
I don’t recall Gizbert or any other “journalist” writing complaints to their favorite liberal publications when ABC’s Sunday talk show was taken over by former Clinton administration official George Stephanopoulos. Nor was it a problem when Wall Street Journal reporter Ken Bacon became the Pentagon spokesman during the Clinton administration. But that was the Clinton administration. Never mind the report last week by MSNBC’s investigative correspondent showing that “journalists” contribute to democrat candidates and liberal causes over republican candidates and conservative causes by a ratio of nine-to-one. That’s entirely hunky dory.
So here’s a former ABC News London correspondent who now works for Al Jazeera and writes for the Huffington Post. He was eager to attack a former colleague for choosing government service at a difficult and critical time for Western Civilization.
Gizbert has nothing to fear from his fellow travelers. He will always be welcomed back into the fold.
Gizbert carps of Morrell that “…the Pentagon will be a good fit for his beliefs.” Just as Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post are a good fit for yours. Hypocrite.