Well, of course no one can be sure of the motivations of people--having said that, I do have some insight into the way (Fred) Hyatt and his colleagues (at WaPo) think. First of all I want to make very clear that most people who get to important positions in government and the mainstream media have been vetted continually. First in University and later as they move up the ladder. Intellectual brilliance (I assure you) won't get you very far.Agreed and agreed.
One of the most remarkable things about the American intellectual elites (on all sides of the political spectrum) is their inability to understand power, class, elites, cliques and so on. Since Marx has long ago been forbidden in American discourse we also have thrown out Machiavelli and others who speak about how power (politics) really works. We have the strange (to me) notion that "public servants" and members of the media are somehow dedicated to the truth, to the betterment of mankind and so on. This notion is pure garbage--you wouldn't last ten minutes if you were.
My point is that Hyatt operates in the interest of his class and his clique. There is surprisingly little difference between members of the elites say that write for the Post across the left/right spectrum--they differ in tactics but pretty much agree on the necessity of Empire. These guys believe in the Walter Lippman idea that power belongs to the elites and that the people as a whole ought to be misinformed and propagandized.
You know, (the) notion that the Neocons are some kind of aberration is kind of silly. They represent a large faction of the elites--what other factions don't like about them is that they are fairly straightforward in expressing their opinions and believe in making bold moves. Hyatt and others in the mainstream would rather be a little more circumspect, a little quieter, more polite and more diplomatic.
I say all this as a longtime resident and observer (usually from a distance but sometimes close up) of the Washington scene.
In Sibel's case, much of the attention is focussed on the neocons - but that's only part of the picture, too.