Monday, January 02, 2006

NY Times Trying to Hide It's Panic....

Get a load of this editorial. Talk about spin that would make a Major League Pitcher proud to have this hard of a spin on his curve ball. The NY Times has one of it's minor editors write a story like he's an aghast outsider. I'm peeing myself laughing.

January 1, 2006
The Public Editor
Behind the Eavesdropping Story, a Loud Silence

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.

Yeah right Mr. Calame acts like he's not part of the paper he works for the "readers".

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.

Like this guy expects people to believe that his bosses are afraid to talk to him. They certainly are afraid to put anything in the paper that they will be prosecuted for since the Justice Department is investigating them.

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.

Notice Mr. Calame doesn't list for the readers "that he represents" what those questions are. Yeah no explanations especially in print at least until they see the subpoena that they might be served with by the JD.

Despite this stonewalling, my objectives today are to assess the flawed handling of the original explanation of the article's path into print, and to offer a few thoughts on some factors that could have affected the timing of the article. My intention is to do so with special care, because my 40-plus years of newspapering leave me keenly aware that some of the toughest calls an editor can face are involved here - those related to intelligence gathering, election-time investigative articles and protection of sources. On these matters, reasonable disagreements can abound inside the newsroom.

Here's where the bullshit starts to get deep. His Bosses are stonewalling him and he feels compelled to discuss it in the paper, because he doesn't understand it. What he probably doesn't understand is how someone with 40 yrs in the business is in the position that he has to fabricate a fiction to try and deal with the stupidity of his bosses and newspaper. He knows that his paper has jeopardized the lives of Americans and someone's going to get nailed unless they can get the President impeached first.

(A word about my reporting for this column: With the top Times people involved in the final decisions refusing to talk and urging everyone else to remain silent, it seemed clear to me that chasing various editors and reporters probably would yield mostly anonymous comments that the ultimate decision-makers would not confirm or deny. So I decided not to pursue those who were not involved in the final decision to publish the article - or to refer to Times insiders quoted anonymously in others' reporting.)

In other words since the order from the execs is to stonewall everyone, the Justice Department, the Public and God forbid any other newspeople, this poor SOB has been elected to create a line of bullshit that might buy his bosses some time and try to cast the attention back on the administration.

At the outset, it's essential to acknowledge the far-reaching importance of the eavesdropping article's content to Times readers and to the rest of the nation. Whatever its path to publication, Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Keller deserve credit for its eventual appearance in the face of strong White House pressure to kill it. And the basic accuracy of the account of the eavesdropping stands unchallenged - a testament to the talent in the trenches.

It is essential to acknowledge that the story and the timing of its release was engineered by the top editor and the publisher to derail the Vote on the Patriot Act. The facts of the story that they are still trying to spin are that the President of the United States is monitoring TERRORISTS that are in this country. Whether those terrorists are American or foriegn is irrelevant. They are TERRORISTS. Note they still are ignoring the TRUTH that every President since Teddy Roosevelt has done the same thing to protect the citizens of this country. Sorry but the only thing it is a testament to is the depths that this paper will go to try and undermine this nation at a time of WAR.

But the explanation of the timing and editing of the front-page article by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau caused major concern for scores of Times readers. The terse one-paragraph explanation noted that the White House had asked for the article to be killed. "After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting," it said. "Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted."

Bullshit it was timed Exactly to coincide with the Vote on the Patriot Act. The story which is part of a Times Sponsored book to be released that's designed to try and create havoc in an election year. Providing cover for Democrat Candidates.

If Times editors hoped the brief mention of the one-year delay and the omitted sensitive information would assure readers that great caution had been exercised in publishing the article, I think they miscalculated. The mention of a one-year delay, almost in passing, cried out for a fuller explanation. And the gaps left by the explanation hardly matched the paper's recent bold commitments to readers to explain how news decisions are made.

In other words they misjudged that they would get their asses handed to them for their blatent lies on the timing of this article.

At the very least, The Times should have told readers in the article why it could not address specific issues. At least some realization of this kicked in rather quickly after publication. When queried by reporters for other news media on Dec. 16, Mr. Keller offered two prepared statements that shed some additional light on the timing and handling of the article.
The longer of Mr. Keller's two prepared statements said the paper initially held the story based on national security considerations and assurances that everyone in government believed the expanded eavesdropping was legal. But when further reporting showed that legal questions loomed larger than The Times first thought and that a story could be written without certain genuinely sensitive technical details, he said, the paper decided to publish. (Mr. Keller's two prepared statements, as well as some thoughtful reader comments, are posted on the Public Editor's Web Journal.)

Masterfull mumbo jumbo. They just destroyed an ongoing intelligence gathering operation AGAINST TERRORISTS. Placing all of our lives in jeopardy. Why? Because the Times doesn't report the News it Plays Politics and if some of us get KILLED because of their playing politics oh well.

Times readers would have benefited if the explanation in the original article had simply been expanded to include the points Mr. Keller made after publication. And if the length of that proved too clunky for inclusion in the article, the explanation could have been published as a separate article near the main one. Even the sentence he provided me as to why he would not answer my questions offered some possible insight.

Here comes the still steaming chunks of the bullshit.

Protection of sources is the most plausible reason I've been able to identify for The Times's woeful explanation in the article and for the silence of Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Keller. I base this on Mr. Keller's response to me: "There is really no way to have a full discussion of the back story without talking about when and how we knew what we knew, and we can't do that."

Someone LEAKED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION and unlike the Valerie Plame case real lives have been put in danger. Well as the Times demanded the Names of those that spoke the name of Ms. Plame. The PUBLIC demands that the TIMES tells us and the Justice Department who leaked information that makes it easier for TERRORISTS to try and KILL US.

Taken at face value, Mr. Keller seems to be contending that the sourcing for the eavesdropping article is so intertwined with the decisions about when and what to publish that a full explanation could risk revealing the sources. I have no trouble accepting the importance of confidential sourcing concerns here. The reporters' nearly one dozen confidential sources enabled them to produce a powerful article that I think served the public interest.

How does revealing to the TERRORISTS that their phone conversations are being listened to aide the public interest?
The TIMES will reveal who the person or persons are that LEAKED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, or THEY will go to JAIL.

With confidential sourcing under attack and the reporters digging in the backyards of both intelligence and politics, The Times needs to guard the sources for the eavesdropping article with extra special care. Telling readers the time that the reporters got one specific fact, for instance, could turn out to be a dangling thread of information that the White House or the Justice Department could tug at until it leads them to the source. Indeed, word came Friday that the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the disclosure of classified information about the eavesdropping.

And hopefully along with the leaker some of the Times staff will go to to jail for putting our lives in danger.

The most obvious and troublesome omission in the explanation was the failure to address whether The Times knew about the eavesdropping operation before the Nov. 2, 2004, presidential election. That point was hard to ignore when the explanation in the article referred rather vaguely to having "delayed publication for a year." To me, this language means the article was fully confirmed and ready to publish a year ago - after perhaps weeks of reporting on the initial tip - and then was delayed.
Mr. Keller dealt directly with the timing of the initial tip in his later statements. The eavesdropping information "first became known to Times reporters" a year ago, he said. These two different descriptions of the article's status in the general vicinity of Election Day last year leave me puzzled.

Here is even more proof of the depths that the Times is willing to go to PLAY POLITICS, this editor wants to know why this LEAKED information that puts our LIVES IN DANGER wasn't used against the President in the election. Who cares if Americans die - DEFEAT BUSH.

For me, however, the most obvious question is still this: If no one at The Times was aware of the eavesdropping prior to the election, why wouldn't the paper have been eager to make that clear to readers in the original explanation and avoid that politically charged issue? The paper's silence leaves me with uncomfortable doubts.
On the larger question of why the eavesdropping article finally appeared when it did, a couple of possibilities intrigue me.

The shear breadth and depth of Mr. Calame's bullshit is just beautiful to read. He actually believes that everyone is stupid enough to buy what he is selling.

One is that Times editors said they discovered there was more concern inside the government about the eavesdropping than they had initially been told. Mr. Keller's prepared statements said that "a year ago," officials "assured senior editors of The Times that a variety of legal checks had been imposed that satisfied everyone involved that the program raised no legal questions." So the paper "agreed not to publish at that time" and continued reporting.
But in the months that followed, Mr. Keller said, "we developed a fuller picture of the concerns and misgivings that had been expressed during the life of the program" and "it became clear those questions loomed larger within the government than we had previously understood."

Yeah right the only concern that the TIMES has shown is how to coordinate this treasonous story with the Democrats to try and achieve maximum damage.

The impact of a new book about intelligence by Mr. Risen on the timing of the article is difficult to gauge. The book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," was not mentioned in the Dec. 16 article. Mr. Keller asserted in the shorter of his two statements that the article wasn't timed to the forthcoming book, and that "its origins and publication are completely independent of Jim's book."
The publication of Mr. Risen's book, with its discussion of the eavesdropping operation, was scheduled for mid-January - but has now been moved up to Tuesday. Despite Mr. Keller's distancing of The Times from "State of War," Mr. Risen's publisher told me on Dec. 21 that the paper's Washington bureau chief had talked to her twice in the previous 30 days about the book.
So it seems to me the paper was quite aware that it faced the possibility of being scooped by its own reporter's book in about four weeks. But the key question remains: To what extent did the book cause top editors to shrug off the concerns that had kept them from publishing the eavesdropping article for months?
A final note: If Mr. Risen's book or anything else of substance should open any cracks in the stone wall surrounding the handling of the eavesdropping article, I will have my list of 28 questions (35 now, actually) ready to e-mail again to Mr. Keller.
The public editor serves as the readers' representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column appears at least twice monthly in this section.

Yeah Right Mr. Calame. Don't pee down our backs and tell us it's raining. This whole article is an attempt at spin and damage control. If you were really interested in getting your questions answered "For the Readers" you would have just published your imaginary questions and addressed them to your 2 bosses demanding a public answer.

UPDATE: The Times and Newsweek Magazine are adding a new wrinkle to the spin. Yeah the catch phrase that they are trying to use now for those that leaked the information is whistle-blower, I don't think its going to work a whistle blower would be appropriate if they eves dropped on reporters or Senators of the other party, The only people being listened to were TERRORISTS and the people terrorists were calling. These people LEAKED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION FOR POLITICAL REASONS. They are NOT whistle-blowers they are Criminals and could also be charged with Treason.

No comments:

Post a Comment