Iraq Prewar Media Coverage Corrupt

And now the most engrossing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

Corruption Claims for Iraq Prewar Media Coverage

New York Times correspondent John Burns (search)…noted for his unblinking coverage of Saddam Hussein's tyranny…is accusing others in the media of, "corruption" in their prewar dealings with the Iraqi regime.

Burns tells the authors of a forthcoming book on Iraq war coverage that prior to the conflict, network journalists…he doesn't say which ones…ardently courted the head of the Iraqi information ministry. He accuses them of, "taking him out for long candlelit dinners, plying him with sweet cakes, plying him with mobile phones at $600 each for members of his family, and giving bribes of thousands of dollars."

He adds, "senior members of the information ministry took hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from these television correspondents who then behaved as if they were in Belgium. They never mentioned the function of minders. Never mentioned terror."

As for CNN executive Eason Jordan, who admitted CNN had covered up a lot of what it knew about Iraqi atrocities to protect the network's Iraqi personnel from reprisals, Burns said such personnel, "are only one thousandth of one percent of the people of Iraq.

So why not tell the story of the other people of Iraq? ... Of murder on a mass scale." Burns calls it, "an absolutely disgraceful performance" and says CNN's Jordan, "missed that point completely."

Cheney Correction

The Washington Post has published a correction of its characterization of part of what Vice President said on Sunday television. As we noted here yesterday, the Post quoted Cheney as saying that, "September 11th is over with now. It's done. It's history and we can put it behind us."

But the Post acknowledged today that, "The article implied that Cheney agreed with this point of view. In fact, in his full remarks, the vice president took the opposite view."

Weed Worries

Canadians being provided with medical marijuana by the Canadian health department say their government is ripping them off, and at least one wants his money back.

One AIDs (search) patient…who uses marijuana to alleviate nausea…says the government's pot is of such poor quality it's making him throw up. And another patient says the marijuana is, "totally unsuitable for human consumption."

No Friend of Frank?

World Bank official Sergio Pombo (search) is complaining to The Hill newspaper for calling him a friend of Rep. Barney Frank (search), D-Mass.

So does Pombo object to being identified with the openly gay Frank? To the contrary.

Pombo tells The Hill, "After five years of dating Barney ... I believe you should upgrade my status from 'friend' to either 'partner' or 'spouse.'"

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report