Via Atrios, here’s Pitney smacking down Milbank:
Milbank tries to ask Pitney a question about Bush calling on a Fox reporter, but asks it in an inaccurate way. So, let’s pose Milbank’s question as he should have asked it: If there was a Fox reporter who was in contact with a number of Iraqis (possibly on an Arabic language social networking site) and Bush told that Fox reporter that he would like the reporter to ask a question from an Iraqi person at the next day’s news conference, would you see that as inappropriate collusion?
For me, the answer is clearly “no”. And it would be even more clearly “no” if it turned out to be a difficult question.
I understand the point Milbank and others are trying to make, but the way in which they are making it is fundamentally dishonest. The question was a good question and it seems to have come from an Iranian person. Isn’t that good enough?
Update. A few more technical things…Media Matters seems to have inaccurately characterized Milbank’s coverage of Jeff Gannon. I’ll look for an explanation of this.
On the other hand, Milbank describes Pitney’s assertion that Milbank wrote positive about the Mission Accomplished stunt as “fiction”. In fact, here’s what he wrote (via Greg Sargent):
When the Viking carrying Bush made its tailhook landing on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off California yesterday, the scene brought presidential imagery to a whole new level. Bush emerged from the cockpit in full olive flight suit and combat boots, his helmet tucked jauntily under his left arm. As he exchanged salutes with the sailors, his ejection harness, hugging him tightly between the legs, gave him the bowlegged swagger of a top gun.
For Bush — who also gave a national address from the carrier and spent the night aboard — it was a bold bid to surround himself with the aura of the U.S. military.
Milbank did also write a piece about Mission Accomplished that was more critical.