An earlier NSA footnote in the NYT editor-in-chief drama


A convenient one, it seems.

He’ll fit in nicely with existing culture.

He actually used that excuse? “But, but, the story was hard, so I just decided not to let anyone write it…”

Aren’t reporters supposed to be able to write stories about stuff they aren’t subject matter experts in, by calling up on sources for assistance if need be, more or less all the time? And, of course, in this case two of his reporters already had the story, and the messy wiring diagrams boiled down to a fairly concise punchline.

That’s one of those excuses that’s so bad it makes things worse.

1 Like

Well I don’t know we should be too judgmental. The ‘not because of official pressure’ part of the explanation is just dumb and would have been better not offered as an excuse; but surely we’ve always known that the editors, owners, and advertisers of established media are expected to play nice with the guvmint men. Who knew that this time they wouldn’t have to?

When asked for comment, Mr Baquet was heard to reply:
“Is that a question? What does that even mean? I’m afraid I can’t unpack your overly technical use of language.”

Its worth noting that Snowden specifically avoided involving the New York Times because it sat on the warrantless surveillance program story for a year, and only ran the story once a reporter involved threatened to tell the story in a book.

So yes, it does seem like the New York Times is happy to do what the government tells it to do.

1 Like

The New York Times is a paper that I read because it’s willing to run the hard stories, and put in the depth it takes to do real coverage of complex issues. (And yeah, that’s mostly an opinion of what they were like decades ago rather than today.)

The underlying ‘snarkiness’ of the article is filled with unstated questions about the ability of Dean Baquet to assume the position recently held by Jill Abramson. What supposedly transpired in 2000 under his helm at the LA Times has little to do with whether he will pursue credible stories while steering the NY Times. There is ever so much more to question about whether the “powers that be” at the NY Times will overcome its past indiscretions parlayed by Judith Miller or Bill Keller’s refusal to run a story about the NSA in 2004. Truthfully, I expect far better from Boing Boing, especially seeing that there are so very few sites that try to be unbiased in their reportage.

But Dean Baquet had little to do with the decision not to run the story about the overreach of the NSA in 2004.

No…what he said was “we can’t understand the value of the story as presented”. Funny that…len Greenwald even questioned the story from Edward Snowden, originally. Context people…CONTEXT!

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.