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Isikoff Role in Watergate Break-in?

I'm back, after the one-day experiment to see if anyone would notice if I didn't blog. My editor noticed. Sydney is very perceptive. Sydney monitors my moods. Sydney knows when the wheels are off the track. Sydney views me as a fragile contraption that at any moment is going to make a squealing noise, emit a puff of black smoke, and expire. Sydney wrote, "Are you OK? It's not like you to not blog on a day like this."

I have no idea what she meant about "a day like this." It was a Tuesday, the most boring day of the week. Tuesday could be simply deleted from the calendar and no one would notice. Also large chunks of November.

Maybe she meant that there were so many humor options in the air, most notably the Newsweek debacle, in which a tiny item that we would call a "brief" somehow triggered World War IV. It is a miracle that North Korea did not invade South Korea as a result of any of the other various blunders in Newsweek's "Periscope" section. Newsweek apologized for the mistake about the Koran, then formally retracted the story, but so far has refused to announce that it hates itself. [Journalistic ethics requires me to note that Newsweek is owned by The Washington Post Company, which, in turn, is owned by Kaplan, a test-prep outfit. No one knows who owns Kaplan but I have a suspicion it's Viacom.]

The White House has demanded that Newsweek investigate itself and tell the world how it made the blunder. Let's face it, all world problems lead ultimately back to Newsweek. Strife in the Arab world? Newsweek's to blame! And when we say "Newsweek" you know what we really mean. Yeah. Isikoff. Michael "the demon" Isikoff. He's the one who kept getting Clinton in trouble with interns. I'm always amazed how few people realize that Isikoff was the brains behind the Watergate "plumbers." He said to G. Gordon Liddy, "I've got the most fabulous plan..."

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 18, 2005; 9:06 AM ET
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Yea, let's kill the messenger.

Newsweek needs to stand up to Bush&Co, and tell them people aren't rioting in the streets because of their reporting, the people are rioting because of the blatant disregard of human rights shown by the mighty USA--flushing the Koran is actually quite mild compared to what is going on at Guantanamo and our outsourced torture centers worldwide.

Thanks for keeping your sense of humor, mine is frayed on this subject.

Posted by: dont get me started... | May 18, 2005 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe you get paid to do this.

Posted by: allison | May 18, 2005 9:41 AM | Report abuse

You'd be shocked how little they pay me to blog! I am going to ask if I can reveal what they pay me. It's what Stephen Hunter calls "ammo money."

Posted by: Achenbach | May 18, 2005 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Allison, are you getting paid to read the blog? I am--maybe that's a better deal than Joel's got.

*of course, I am multi-tasking :)

Posted by: Karen B | May 18, 2005 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey I noticed you did not blog.

Count 1 for the little guy.

Posted by: Alberta | May 18, 2005 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Thank god someone is putting this in proper perspective! I can't believe the WH (with a straight face) is blaming NEWSWEEK for the deaths in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan - or that the talking heads on TV are not making some of the same points you have made.

Posted by: Noel R | May 18, 2005 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice the irony of the Bush Administration blambing Newsweek for violence in the arab world?!

Posted by: Patrick S | May 18, 2005 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I think everyone but Scott McClellan recognizes the irony of the WH blaming Newsweek for the violence in Afghanistan. It's insanity -- which is pretty much par for the course in BushWorld.

Posted by: TammyR | May 18, 2005 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I also noticed you didn't blog yesterday. Not your editor, just some chick in Missouri who was unusually bored at work on a Tuesday.

Posted by: Sydney | May 18, 2005 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I noticed too!

Posted by: in a cube | May 18, 2005 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Pssst. Michael Isikoff. Bay of Pigs. Check it out.

Posted by: Bilbo | May 18, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If Tuesdays were eliminated I wouldn't have my Gene Weingarten chats to get me through the week. Oh.. and your blog, too. I thought maybe you were traveling again. Don't stay away.. we DO miss you.

Posted by: TBG | May 18, 2005 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The truth is, I tried to blog satirically on the Isikoff thing and it wasn't funny and I showed it to Tom and he said, Nah, and then I lost heart and felt uncreative and then had to go meet with students and return their final papers and then for an assignment I had to go to the ballpark for SEVEN HOURS or maybe it was eight, I mean I know that sounds like a boondoggle, going to a baseball game, but at some point RFK Stadium loses its charm, like hour number five. I was working. But thanks for noticing the bloglessness.

Posted by: Achenbach | May 18, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I am late to the Newsweek/Izzy fray but suggest that you let Howard Kurtz take the brunt of this fiasco. This is a "lose-lose" (as opposed to "win-win") issue for everyone involved, including those who associate themselves with shoddy journalism and very poor issue priorities.

Posted by: Ed | May 18, 2005 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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