Saturday, December 31, 2005

I guess he really does represent the public

from the NYT Public Editor in Sunday's paper (via Eschaton):
The New York Times's explanation of its decision to report, after what it said was a one-year delay, that the National Security Agency is eavesdropping domestically without court-approved warrants was woefully inadequate. And I have had unusual difficulty getting a better explanation for readers, despite the paper's repeated pledges of greater transparency.

For the first time since I became public editor, the executive editor and the publisher have declined to respond to my requests for information about news-related decision-making. My queries concerned the timing of the exclusive Dec. 16 article about President Bush's secret decision in the months after 9/11 to authorize the warrantless eavesdropping on Americans in the United States.

I e-mailed a list of 28 questions to Bill Keller, the executive editor, on Dec. 19, three days after the article appeared. He promptly declined to respond to them. I then sent the same questions to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, who also declined to respond. They held out no hope for a fuller explanation in the future

The public is outraged and asks, "What did the Times know, and when did it know it?" So does PubEd Calame. And Pinch and Keller extend the same gracious response to Calame that they have to the public: they tell him to go fuck himself.

Calame tries to make excuses for their stonewalling, and constructs a rationale based on the need to protect the anonymity of the Times' source(s). If you are thinking that perhaps you have seen this movie before, you are correct, although unlike the original, in the remake the reporters got the story right.

If Calame is really supposed to function as the conscience of the New York Times, he needs to act like it and resign.


Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

Happy New Year. There - 1 comment to start the new year. I raise my glass (rum is the new tequila) to a year of gently teaching others to vote in their own best interest and taking back the Congress this year. Vote in '06. Impeach in '07.

Oh- one more toast - here's to the paper with the best darned crossword puzzle rising from the ashes, getting some teeth, and looking out for all of us in the new year.

Thanks for blogging. I can't even remember how I came across it in the first place, but this has become a staple of my Yahoo start page.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

A principled resignation would be a one- or two-day story. I'd rather see him hang around, continue writing stuff like this, thus giving bloggers and other papers stuff to chew on week after week. Keller et al show no signs of "getting it" without someone breathing down their collective back.

Now Okrent, that was a timely resignation.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you caught the new omsbudswoman at the wapo ?? she's on direct line with fat traitor rove - a real piece of work that one is - she needs to go right effing now. she's been trying to shove the shiv in Froomkin's back from the minute she got her fat a** behind the new desk.

10:11 PM  

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