Ross offers another version of that limp line of reasoning in today’s Times: “Kiriakou stepped up and helped shine some light on what has happening,” Mr. Ross said. “It wasn’t the huge spotlight that was needed, but it was some light.” This of course, implied that Ross’s piece was somehow anti-waterboarding.

The truth is, Ross’s pieces on both World News Tonight and Nightline were the most effective ads in favor of waterboarding I have ever seen, which is exactly what I wrote at the time.

One more thing Stelter left out this morning: last week, the Times published an op-ed piece by former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan which confirmed most of what Katherine Eban had written for Vanity Fair six months before Ross’s pathetic piece first aired.

Update: For a dissection of some of Ross’s other reporting triumphs, and an honor roll of right-wing pundits who regurgitated his shoddy reporting (Jonah Goldberg, Bill O’Reilly Brit Hume, and Charles Krauthammer, among others) see Glenn Greenwald’s excellent history here.

Charles Kaiser is the author of The Gay Metropolis and 1968 in America. He has been media editor for Newsweek, a member of the metro staff of The New York Times, and a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the press and book publishing. To learn more, visit