Post-9/11 David Westin, the president of ABC News, openly pondered -- at a journalism school! -- whether butchering passengers with box-cutters on civilian aircraft in order to attack the Pentagon was legitimate. "As a journalist," he righteously intoned, "I feel strongly that's something that I should not be taking a position on."
The question that Westin was responding to had specifically to do with whether or not the Pentagon is a legitimate military target. The question had nothing whatever to do with the legitimacy of "butchering passengers with box-cutters on civilian aircraft," and Jonah's conflation of the two is a transparently sloppy attempt to demonstrate the supposed cravenness of news media.
Usually I would attribute such carelessness on Jonah's part to laziness, but in this case we know that he is in fact being intentionally dishonest. How do we know? Because he wrote a column a year ago on the same subject and using the same quote, but without the inflammatory added line about "butchering passengers with box-cutters on civilian aircraft":
More recently, after the 9/11 attacks, David Westin, the president of ABC News, got into a lot of hot water with the public — though not much with fellow journalists — for refusing to express an opinion on whether the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was legitimate: "As a journalist I feel strongly that's something that I should not be taking a position on."
I'm quite sure Jonah is aware of the correct content and context of both the question and Westin's response. But why concern oneself with accuracy when there are liberals to slander and disastrously counterproductive policies to defend?