In response to Hiatt’s theory that the investigation was unreliable and probably influenced by Paris officials who didn’t want to upset Russia, Palpacuer burst out laughing: “This is beyond me, I am sorry. I work with the evidence I have before me in the investigation. But really–the Russians? Influencing this case? I don’t know what to say, it’s ridiculous. I would just say that we welcome any new evidence if anyone has it. If there is evidence of Russians influencing this investigation, I would welcome it.”
Evidence. Facts. These were not the sorts of things Hiatt’s response to me were concerned with. However, Hiatt did ask me to send along any new information about the Moskalenko case. Well, here it is–information that came with the magic of a couple of phone calls.
This leaves us where we started. Will the Post retract this piece of poorly sourced, unprofessional editorializing? Will the editorial page be held accountable by its ombudsman and others at the Post? After all, the ombudsman managed to attack the paper’s alleged “liberal bias” recently–a highly debatable position. But in this case, we have a clear example of a failure to get the facts right, and a further failure to retract those errors.
Given the Post‘s broader record over the past decade, from the war in Iraq to the conflict in South Ossetia, and Hiatt’s response to this case, it’s worth asking if the editorial page has mishandled other crucial decisions, especially those relating to Russia, as badly as it has bungled the Moskalenko story. It’s a question that needs answering.
This article appeared in the December 29, 2008 edition of The Nation. Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.
Click the cover & buy the book!
Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.
Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.
Twitter twerps can follow us at twitter.com/exiledonline