Dept. of Amplification: More on Prickly News
Reader 'Romdinstler Jones' in the comment section shakes a finger at my recent entry on the New York Times' non-coverage of the Downing Street memo. "How in the hell," he asks rhetorically, "could you not have already known that the NY Times is run by pricks who regularly suck up to the thugs that run this country? Perhaps you don't read it everyday like I do?"
Fair question, fair criticism.
I, too, have been a regular reader of the Times for many, many years. I guess that's what led me astray. The Times I grew up with seems to have been eaten by pod people who are digesting its soul.
No further proof is needed than Todd Purdham's June 14 article on the Downing Street Memo non-coverage. Just as with David Sanger's pathetic example of illogical analysis, Purdham devotes much of his article to inventing excuses for the Times not paying attention to the leaked British cabinet memos.
What's going on here? Two articles in three days, both devoted to cleaning the spittle off the Times' face and then explaining why the newspaper doesn't drool. That is not journalism. That is a self-conscious cover-up. Can you see the fat fingerprints of a Times executive behind these assignments?
What's worse, in defending the indefensible, the Times has to cast far away -- to The New Yorker in fact -- to justify its "That's-Not-Really-News" defense. Writes Purdham:
But the memos are not the Dead Sea Scrolls. There has been ample evidence for many months, and even years, that top Bush administration figures saw war as inevitable by the summer of 2002. In the March 31, 2003, issue of The New Yorker, with the invasion just under way, Richard N. Haass, then the State Department's director of policy planning, said that in early July 2002 he asked Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, whether it made sense to put Iraq at the center of the agenda, with a global campaign against terrorism already under way. "And she said, essentially, that that decision's been made, don't waste your breath," he said then.Now, that's a howler. It's true, of course, that throughout the last half of 2001 and all of 2002-03 the New Yorker, nearly alone in the world of establishment journalism, was publishing week after week in-depth investigative articles showing the true war-making intentions of the Bush Administration. The irony of seeing Purdham cite that magazine is that when the New Yorker was busy revealing the truth now confirmed by the Downing Street Memo, the New York Times itself (and Judith Miller) were completely ignoring the New Yorker and the breaking news stories its reporters were uncovering. Instead, when it could have made a difference, the Times was content merely to assign Miller and her ilk to the task of transcribing the Administration's press releases, lies, and fantasies.
And now the New York Times is doing it again, this time in the guise of "news analysis" to show (according to Sanger) that there is no evidence Bush always intended to invade Iraq, or (according to Purdham) that everyone knew Bush intended to invade Iraq all along -- because the New Yorker Magazine said so.
Mr. Romdinstler Jones, I have to plead guilty to your charge. Yes, it's true. I was among those who did not believe (until recently) that the Times would "regularly suck up to the thugs that run this country." I remember the Times of old, the Times that published the Pentagon Papers and bravely covered the civil rights movement.
The New New York Times seems to be edited by the spawn of Rosemary Woods. Why else would they try so hard to to cover-up, to erase the tapes?
As a reader named Hawley Rising writes in the Times' letters column today:
The bloggers have every right to be disgusted with the mainstream media, which once covered every stained dress, cigar and rumor (even giving advice to the parties in a presidential sex scandal); while pretending to be interested only in the "lies," they now deem evidence of lies in a rush to war "not quite so shocking."Good question!
If the administration's duplicity was so "old hat" to The Times in July 2002, why didn't you write as much at the time?
Two others are, "Why is this New New York Times stretching so far out of its chair to erase that 18-and-a-half month gap?" And, "How can we ever trust it again?"