Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Kofi Annan: is his "press pass" getting a bit frayed?

The Oil-for-Food UN scandal has been one of those long slow excruciatingly drawn-out stories that, somehow, hasn't gotten anywhere near the coverage it should have. Over the last year, Claudia Rossett of the WSJ and Roger Simon in the blogosphere have been instrumental in not allowing the story to die.

But recently it's been showing more signs of life, sort of like those little green shoots poking out of the snow in my garden. Now Roger writes that the NY Times' response to the interim Volker report on Kofi Annan's involvement is to claim that the report largely exonerated Mr. Annan of personal corruption in the awarding of a contract to a company that employed his son. But, as Roger points out, the report merely stated that no evidence has yet been found of such involvement. The report is by no means either definitive or final.

So, what about Kofi's "press pass"? (see definition of the term here). It's a bit frayed, but still intact, apparently. The mere fact that the Times has been forced to write about the scandal is a good sign, but the way it is writing about it still leaves a lot to be desired. The word "exonerated" is certainly not appropriate at this time; the Times is extremely premature in using it. But the Times knows exactly what it's doing. Words are its business, after all, and it chooses them very very carefully.

3 Comments:

At 3:11 PM, March 30, 2005, Blogger James said...

Even the the BBC's Today Programme on Radio 4 was giving a bit (not a lot, though) of stick to Malloch Brown, St. Kofi's chief of staff, this morning. I was surprised the interviewer actually brought up many of the criticisms of impropriety. Very surprised.

The worm appears to have turned. Now if they can only do something about the UN...

 
At 6:43 AM, March 31, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

Not to sound like a poet (which I am), but Kofi and Kojo need to go ! The UN needs an overhaul!

 
At 9:38 AM, March 31, 2005, Anonymous meander said...

My stomach actually gets tied in knots whenever I read about the oil for food scandal.It is so offensive that the world has been played as a fool in this matter. I mean, here we have these Security Council members acting all holier than thou in condemming the invasion in Iraq and it all had to do with money and self interst rather than a higher plane sense of principle. Well, thank God for the work of Claudia Rossett and Roger Simon....at least historians will have something to work with. Obviously the MSM is going to remain willfully delusional as long as possible. I don't understand that aspect of human nature that so deliberately chooses not to recognize objective truth. The positive stench of this oil for food thing and Kofi's responsibility as head of the organization (not even counting the family connection).... well, it all makes me turn into a ranting lunatic! Time for me to breathe and calm down....there must be some gardening that I can do.

 

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