I'm not claiming that I first pointed out the obvious when lots of journalists were doing it. But that fact is that I did when I wrote about the Financial Times attributing the Mumbai atrocity to Hindus.This was in a spine called "Clutching at a (Hindu) Thread."  I came back to the theme several times thereafter in "The Victims are Guilty," in "The Big Media and Terrorism " and, as late as today, in "How to Avoid Using the Word 'Terrorist'."

Christopher Hitchens also entered the fray at noon today in Slate. His piece, "Inconvenient Truths: The media's disingenuous failure to state the obvious," focuses on two phenomena. One is the reluctance of the press to state the obvious about the Jewish targets in Mumbai. And the obvious is that they were targeted, precisely, targeted. The Times didn't grasp it and others also couldn't. It's my sense (and Hitchens's) that they were simply lying. But since this obfuscation is a habit...well, who are they trying to protect?

His second piece of evidence about the inability of the established media to see facts as facts is in the treatment of Syria. Hitchens parses Joshua Hammer's essay in the Atlantic about purported truths and obvious lies in the coverage of Syria. For example: Is Syria a terrorist state?  Well, it obviously is, although all manner of interests want Israel to return the Golan Heights in exchange for a piece of paper.

I remember the hyperbole about Bashar Assad's primogenitural succession to his father's post as certified tyrant of Syria. But these was a difference emphasized by the Times and others. Unlike his dear old pop (as it happens Jimmy Carter's favorite Middle Eastern leader), he was a man of reason, a scientist, an optician. What hopes they had. All unrealized...and unrecognized.