The Wayward Post 


Tali Farhadian, referred to by certain legal bloggers as a "lush Persian beauty," is a Yale Law grad and Rhodes scholar who clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, and whose autumn wedding to a hedge-fund millionaire was written up in the Times. But none of that explains why Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, in its January 8 and 9 editions, reported that she's taken a position at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (headquartered at Cadman Plaza).

Last spring, in an effort to discredit Attorney General Eric Holder during the height of the debate over where to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Liz Cheney's Keep America Safe group released an ad demanding the Justice Department release the names of seven lawyers who had previously done work on behalf of Guantanamo detainees and others—asking, of "The Al Qaeda Seven," "Whose values do they share?" (All seven, Farhadian included, were subsequently outed by Fox News on the basis of public court documents. Prior to joining the Justice Department, she, like many lawyers in private practice, did pro bono work writing briefs on behalf of detainees in represented by organizations like Human Rights Watch.)

This was, of course, a leftover Bush-era infinite-detention fantasy, McCarthyite garbage, and a fashionably selective close reading of the Constitution—what good is the American system of justice without lawyers willing to advocate for those most out of America's favor?—and was correctly dismissed as such, from both the left and the right. But still, here's Post crime reporter Mitchel Maddux, reporting that "an embattled former Obama administration appointee—who was part of a group of attorneys accused of being terrorist sympathizers for defending ‘enemy combatants'" is coming to Brooklyn.

Maddux's assiduously neutral article is factually true—to the extent that one right-wing mouthpiece reporting on the assertions of another right-wing mouthpiece can really be said to reflect actual reality—but personnel changes among locally based junior federal prosecutors are rarely, if ever, the subject of write-ups in the city's tabloids. Neither the Times nor the Daily News nor even more local Brooklyn papers covered the story even after the Post broke it. That's because there is no story here, except as a peg on which to hang last year's rhetoric—irresponsible, bilious rhetoric, to be sure, but even more insidious is the Post's cynical, unacknowledged politicizing of the local news.


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