News & Criticism

Beyond Chandra Levy


Libertarian Democrat Terry Michael takes issue with the Wash Post's new maxi-series on the unsolved murder in 2001 of Chandra Levy:

"The Chandra Levy case captivated the world."

You can see those breathless words for yourself if you navigate to a web page posted Friday, July 11 touting a 12-part series about a dead intern (yes, you read that correctly: twelve!), the first installment of which was plastered across the front page of the Post's Sunday print edition two days later.

Stop whatever you're doing and think about that.  Reporting staffs are being decimated all over the American daily newspaper landscape.  Seasoned journalists are being forced into early retirement buy-outs.  Hundred-year-old news values–objectivity, fairness, dispassion, fact-based arguments, proportionality–are being trashed in an infotainment media culture that dumbs down public discourse to verbal food fights, featuring talking-pointed-heads on cable "news" channels.

And the paper of record in the capital of the free world, a few miles up the road from where Jefferson and Madison understood the importance of the printed word to our experiment in liberty, has used its investigative and metro staff resources to publish a 12 part (twelve!!!) tabloid-style series pandering to the prurient interests of readers captivated by the unsolved murder of an intern.

More here.

reason's Matt Welch defended the Chandra Levy coverage back in August 2001. Read that here

NEXT: Rangel's Down, But He's Not Out

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  1. Maybe when they are done they could do a long series about Lori Klausutis as well?

  2. Ah, I remember circumstantial evidence piled up around Gary Condit’s neck. I liked the episode of South Park where Condit, the Ramsey family and OJ Simpson hunted for the “real killers”.

  3. these bastards will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  4. Well I for one plan to read the whole series!

    I’ll be drinking Brawndo while I do cuz its got lectrolites n shit!

  5. I emailed the WaPo’s ombudsperson, Deborah Howell, who explained that they were doing their part for the environment by recycling stories.

  6. Sebs-

    Yes, they are on the list-but, first, “all the president’s men.”

  7. DannyK wins. My, what an early win.

  8. DannyK wins. My, what an early win.

    You cannot win a thread until at least fifty comments have been posted.
    That’s one of the threadwinner rules.

  9. WaPo’s heart might be in the wrong place, but shouldn’t we take it very seriously when congressmen start offing their aides?

  10. How can one Chandra be so Levy?

  11. I remember this being the big news story heading into 9/11.

  12. I won’t speak to Terry Michael’s views on media “consolidation”, regulation, and the Newspaper Protection Act, but on this particular topic, I kind of agree with thim. Is that bad?

    I’ll be drinking Brawndo while I do cuz its got lectrolites n shit!

    I would suggest not having any kids right now… at least not while the market’s the way it is.

  13. I remember the supermarket tabloids vacillating wildly over their theories. One day it was Condit was a sex maniac who killed her in a “KINKY SEX GAME,” the next it was to cover up his infidelity, the day after he was a closeted homosexual desperate to keep his secret …

  14. Old Murders or The News. Hmmm…which is more comforting to read about?

  15. Twelve parts is where they lose me. Twelve! Must … drive … page hits.

  16. This was a great news story when it was happening. I, for one, was very interested in how it was going to play out.

    Then 9/11, and the story vanished. Gary Condit breathed a sigh of relief. I thought they later attributed the murder to a vagrant… so why is it now “unsolved”?

  17. I still get the Post out of habit, but is there anything worth reading these days besides the sports section and the prurient interest stuff? Most of the other sections seem to be written by interns.

  18. 1 dead intern — crisis — 3000 or so murders every 10 years of mainly young black men in Washington DC — yawn…

  19. Mystery solved:

    She was a Mossad agent, murdered by Condit’s Satanic Illuminati masters while gathering information on Timothy McVeigh. Her murder also ties into the anthrax attacks and September 11.

    It’s like playing Clue with a paranoid schizophrenic.

  20. Barbara Olson wrote the book on Hillary Clinton, HELL TO PAY. Barbara was hot on the trail of bad boy Congressman Gary Condit (D-Calif.), who was under suspicion in the disappearance of his intern & love interest, Chandra Levy. Two months after Chandra vanished, Gary Condit got caught while depositing a leather Tag Heuer watch container in an Old Town, Alexandria, VA, Safeway store dumpster. A fifteen-foot brick wall surrounds that trash receptacle. The Safeway at 500 S. Royal St. is located about six miles one-way from Condit’s then Washington, DC, address; but only three blocks from James Carville’s residence. Barbara Olson was Los Angeles bound, aboard American Airlines Flight 77, as a guest on Bill Maher’s popular TV show, Politically Incorrect. Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. Date: September 11, 2001. Chandra Levy’s remains were found May 22, 2002 in Rock Creek Park. Gary Condit kept his seat on the Intelligence Committee, but lost his subsequent bid for re-election.

    Dead Drop: Prearranged hidden location for depositing and picking up messages and money in a clandestine manner, without the parties involved being present at the same time. According to the married Condit, a female admirer gave him the Tag Heuer timepiece. Gary Condit crossed the Potomac River from the District of Columbia to Alexandria, Virginia to dispose of the zippered case in a more than secure location, but kept the wristwatch. “The Clinton years might seem like a long national nightmare of scandal, sleaze, and ruthless acquisition of power. Hillary herself is the link from the excesses of the Watergate staff, to the Whitewater fiasco, to the abuses of executive power, to the defense of her husband’s perjury and obstruction of justice. But now it is Hillary’s turn. The Clinton era is far from over and Hillary’s ambitions far from satisfied,” wrote Barbara Olson.

    This is but a snapshot of the world in which Chandra Levy found herself. Ms. Levy’s criminal justice training may also have predisposed her to trust individuals with a law enforcement background. And, Hillary Clinton has typically had more than a few of these types on her payroll. Besides, the DNC could ill afford to lose Gary Condit’s congressional seat. There would be no more Monica Lewinskys; no more blue dresses. Monica Lewinsky was plain fortunate. Similarities abound, but some would rather put forth that space aliens abducted Chandra Levy than even consider the real actors, with real means, real motives, and real opportunities. Difference between Fort Marcy Park and Rock Creek Park: couple of miles as the crow flies. To borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton, “It ought to make the bells go off in your head:”

  21. It’s like playing Clue with a paranoid schizophrenic.

    Metal Messiah,

    That link is so awesome. It’s a shame the guy seems to be serious, because as a satire of conspiracy theories, that page would be about perfect.

  22. And the paper of record in the capital of the free world, a few miles up the road from where Jefferson and Madison understood the importance of the printed word

    Jesus Fucking Christ Libertarian Democrat Terry Michael is a huge asshole.

  23. This fall in the Washington Post, look for their 12 part series entitled, “Lizzie Borden: Hatchet Job?”

  24. oh tex marrs…is there nothing you can’t make better?

  25. That post from July 15, 2008, 9:15pm looks like it’s the product of a roomful of monkeys randomly punching keys on a typewriter.

  26. the prurient interests of readers captivated by the unsolved murder of an intern.

    Yeah, a Congressman gets an aide pregnant and has her nurdered. Nothing to see here! Can’t see why anyone would be interested.

  27. Johnny Nowhere,


  28. Please spay and nurder your aides.

  29. I guess we can add Gary Condit to the list of those who benefitted from the 911 attacks. He joins Osama Bin Laden and Lee Greenwood on the list.

  30. don’t they know that some puerto rican guy did it? why don’t they go track him down?

    //south park reference

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