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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Public Ed. on 'NYT' Syria Coverage

Saturday UPDATE #2 Margaret Sullivan in Sunday column reviews her first year on the job (actually quite similar to what she said in our interview several months back). One quote:
"I’m often asked what I’ve learned about The Times from this unique perch. I’ve found it to be excellent but hardly flawless, and its flaws are stubborn ones. Its resources — a top-flight newsroom of more than 1,000 people — make its journalism indispensable, but that is often accompanied by self-satisfaction. Although The Times usually corrects factual errors quickly, it is not quick to admit that matters of tone or practice could be better, or that a decision should be reconsidered; when questioned, some of its journalists shift reflexively into a defensive crouch."

Saturday UPDATE  Coincidence?  NYT finally runs prominent piece raising risks of attack on Syria (now that it's too late). 

Earlier:  Margaret Sullivan again proves her worth, raising questions (her own and from readers) about NYT's coverage of the run-up to the coming attack on Syria.  I've done this for awhile (months) on blogs and Twitter and as recently as today, noting Michael Gordon's return to the top of the home page--remember, he was Judy Miller's co-author on some of her worst Iraq pieces.  Anyway, Sullivan suggests that the paper's editorial page has been pretty cautious but its news pages too often seem to be seeing things through the eyes of the insiders and the administration. "While The Times has offered deep and rich coverage from both Washington and the Syrian region, the tone cannot be described as consistently skeptical."  (Note: My book on how the Times and others failed on Iraq, So Wrong for So Long.  My other WMD-related book: Atomic Cover-up.)

Quote of the day from the Times' number two editor, Dean Baquet, on the paper blowing Iraq WMD coverage and helping to get us into ten-year war:  "It was a long, long, time ago." Baquet, asked about advising reporters about what happened a decade ago:  “I’ve never said, ‘Let’s remember what happened with Iraq.’”

Well, his family, I can report, does serve great food at JazzFest in NOLA, from their eatery.  Trout Baquet is great.

2 comments:

Mike Cohen said...

For Dean Baquet, tell that to the thousands of American families who lost loved ones because of the lies in your paper, and the million plus Americans who have served in this ten year, and going war.To those who came home with parts of the bodies left on the battle field, and those that are even today, and in to the future who with suffer from the effects of post trumatic shock, and brain injury from too many close call. Tell them it was a long time ago. The elites can alway blow this off, as just one more bad bet, they and their kids weren't running the risk. As to Syria, the same group that got use where wr are, want us to jump in to this pile, to ehat in. I will say what I said when the same group was selling the lies that got us in Iraq, "Don't tell me how to get into Iraq, Tell how you get the F**k out". They could not answer that then and they cannot answer it now.

Anonymous said...

In the US, we are in the position of the Danes, Dutch, et al. during the NAZI occupation. We crouch in front of our computers and read democracynow, TomDispatch, RT, Guardian, Noam Chomsky on youtube, in order to learn what our country is doing. The NYT, WaPo, and other US, mainstream sources, we regard as organs of the kleptocracy's propaganda ministry.