Sen. Durbin has finally apologized for his Guantanamo remarks. Readers trapped in Timesworld will never know that some leading Dems may have provided the straw that broke the Senator's back (we are assuming that the mayor of Chicago still has some swing in Senator Durbin's home state of Illinois; Mayor Daley's criticism of Sen. Durbin did not make the Times.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the Times presents Sen. Durbin as the victim of insensitive Republicans:
After a steady drumbeat of criticism from Republicans, Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, apologized Tuesday for likening American mistreatment of detainees to the acts of "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others - that had no concern for human beings."
Mr. Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, made those comments on the Senate floor last week and has been taking a pummeling from Republicans ever since.
Monday night, the Senate Republican leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee, and five other top Senate Republicans sent the Democratic leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, a letter calling Mr. Durbin's statements "hyperbolic, insensitive and inaccurate."
Tuesday morning, the House majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, called Mr. Durbin's remarks "a premeditated and monstrous attack against America's military."
By Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Durbin, who had earlier said he regretted any misunderstanding his comments caused, went to the Senate floor to read a carefully worded mea culpa that lasted four minutes. In it, he acknowledged that "some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," and said he had used "a poor choice of words" and never intended any disrespect for American soldiers.
"I'm sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time," he said, adding, "I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military."
Mr. Durbin was praised by other Democrats, including Mr. Reid, who himself has drawn criticism for calling President Bush a "loser."
AP readers get a hint that there was bipartisan criticism in the lead paragraph:
Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures.
Then, in paragraph ten, the AP has this:
On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley — a fellow Democrat — added his voice to the chorus of criticism, saying, "I think it's a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military would act like that."
The Washington Post starts off with the Republicans On Attack story line, but patient readers will get this in paragraph fifteen:
The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday joined lawmakers and other groups in calling for an apology for comparing the activities of U.S. troops to those of Nazis. Then, Chicago's Democratic mayor, Richard M. Daley, declared: "I think it's a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military would act like that."
Democrats continue to enjoy sunshine and cooling breezes in Timesworld. Well, except when the ants show up.
MORE: Oh, you already guessed - the Times is ignoring the comments of the Anti-Defamation League on this topic as well. Evidently, inapt use of Holocaust comparisons is not a subject of interest to Times readers. Who knew?
UPDATE: The Dead-tree Times ducked Dean's apology for the anti-Semitic drift taken by and around John Conyers event last week. Naturally, the print edition also ducked Eric Cantor, House Republican, although their website runs an AP story which includes this:
Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the sole Jewish Republican in the House, escalated the cross-party bashing Tuesday when he criticized what he said was the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rhetoric of prominent Democrats.
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, himself a constant target of GOP attack for his broad swipes at Republicans, last week disavowed literature distributed at a recent Democratic gathering that implied that Israel was involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
''While I appreciate Howard Dean's apology, I wonder if his apology applies to all of his fellow Democrats' anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric?'' Cantor said in a statement [here], listing nine examples over the past few years of what he said were Democrats making inappropriate remarks about Jews or Israel.