Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Because I'm Obsessed With The NYT Story

The writes an interesting article about the NYT situation and asks why only that newspaper is being attacked.

I spent part of the day sitting on a New York tarmac yesterday -- trust me, you don't want to hear how long it took me to get there -- but I did get a chance to see the New York Post's mocking headline about the newspaper it dubbed New York Crimes .

That was one of approximately 4,007 bits of evidence that the New York Times has become the right's favorite pi?ata.

Here's my report on the controversy, and then we'll hear from other voices:

President Bush calls the conduct of the New York Times "disgraceful." Vice President Cheney objects to the paper having won a Pulitzer Prize. A Republican congressman wants the Times prosecuted. National Review says its press credentials should be yanked. Radio commentator Tammy Bruce likens the paper to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Even by modern standards of media-bashing, the volume of vitriol being heaped upon the editors on Manhattan's West 43rd Street is remarkable -- especially considering that the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal also published accounts Friday of a secret administration program to monitor the financial transactions of terror suspects. So, in its later editions, did The Washington Post.

Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said in an interview yesterday that critics "are still angry at us" for disclosing the government's domestic eavesdropping program in December, "and I guess in their view, this adds insult to injury. . . . The Bush administration's reaction roused their base, but also roused the anti-Bush base as well," he said, noting an approximately even split in his e-mail.

Still, Keller added, "a lot of people have legitimate and genuine feelings about this, and I don't mean to belittle that."

For Republicans, the Times, with its national prominence and liberal editorial page opposed to the war in Iraq, is proving an increasingly irresistible target. They contend that exposing the classified banking program has badly undermined the administration's efforts to investigate and capture terrorists.

Does any sane person not find it interesting that Republicans are attacking a paper with a “liberal editorial page”, while totally ignoring other papers that did the same thing? To me, being all - saney and stuff - it seems that Republicans are using this issue to attack a political enemy. I really really hope this isn’t true. It’s not good to step on the Constitution to give the people on the other side of the aisle a big, hearty fuck you.

No matter where you stand on the information that the Times released (personally, I think we could have done without it), you should still defend their right to print it. The goal of the press is to present information that they are given, often providing a much needed check on our government. They work to protect us, and right now, we should fight to protect them.

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