Inskeep opens the feature by lamenting that "liberal bloggers recently mounted a campaign against Brennan" and then closes the story with noting that Brennan withdrew his consideration "after a campaign by liberal bloggers against him...."
In between these bookmarks we get Gjelten complaining that "it's this campaign that's being waged against him...he said he feared that the hubbub that these liberal groups were raising about him would prove to be quote 'a distraction to the work of the intelligence community...'" Gjelten is pretty smooth how he reduces the substantive critiques of Brennan by people like Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan, and Scott Horton to nothing but "hubbub."
One of the most remarkable things about the piece is that in spite of Inskeep beginning with "let's set aside the distractions for a moment and talk about the facts" the story is notable for having virtually no facts in it. To argue for Brennan's sterling qualifications Gjelten quotes himself ("the truth is that John Brennan is pretty much in the mainstream...He's not by any means a hardliner on intelligence issues") and "one Democrat on Capitol Hill" who "said it's sad that Brennan felt he had to withdraw."
Actually what is sad is Gjelten and Inskeep's little CIA inspired homework assignment that they foist on us. No references to Brennan's statements in favor of torture, rendition and domestic spying. No quotes from experts on human rights or international law who might not feel so "sad." And of course, no one to discuss the CIA's long and sordid record on human rights abuses.