Carol Platt Liebau: A Bunch of (al) Qaqaa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Bunch of (al) Qaqaa

In this astonishing piece, NY Times ombudsman Byron Calame pretty much proves that Bill Keller lied about having been unable to run the NSA "wiretapping" story until after the election -- that, in fact, the story was held until after November 2.

As Calame notes:

I have now learned from Bill Keller, the executive editor, that The Times delayed publication of drafts of the eavesdropping article before the 2004 election. This revelation confirms what anonymous sources had told other publications such as The Los Angeles Times and The New York Observer in December.

Some have attempted to defend Keller's decision, arguing that the story was run only when it was "ready," completely independent of any political considerations on either side. (Naivete can be so refreshing, no?). Liberals hammered the Times, insisting that the decision to hold the story proved that the Times was ultimately in the Bush Administration's corner (mendacity or mental incapacity is considerably less charming than naivete).

Certainly, it's not necessarily true that Keller realized this before the election. But it's more likely than not that he did . . . because (as liberals should note) Keller and crew had no hesitancy about publishing negative stories about the Bush administration immediately before the election. And, as Keller's defenders should note, he went with one particular story even though, as Powerline points out, it was inaccurate and biased -- without even being particularly timely.

The story? Al Qaqaa.

So, rather than going with a story that (as Keller himself concedes) helped the President, The Times instead went back to find old news that was recycled dishonestly to suggest scandal and incompetence where none existed.

Given the clear evidence of Keller's duplicity regarding the wiretapping story's time line, it's far from clear that anything he says should be deemed credible. Even so, simple common sense supports his assertion that he didn't hold the story out of concern for the Bush Administration. In fact, given that the Times was willing to run a biased, misleading and old anti-Bush story right before the election, it stands to reason they would have been perfectly happy to run a biased, misleading, incomplete and new anti-Bush story in the same period -- but only as long as they believed it would be consistent with The Times' political agenda.

5 Comments:

Blogger Editor said...

Carol sure had to parse and spin the story to reach conclusions an honest person would find inpossible to arrive at.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

How do you know? Have you spoken to any honest people lately? We need a cure for BDS.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

Marshall has gotten full of FOX spin zone again. A typical Hannity wantabe.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Is that the best ya got?

6:46 PM  

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