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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Michael Gordon Strikes Again

UPDATE:   The Times' terrific public ed. Margaret Sullivan naturally now addresses this.   "It all feels rather familiar – the rushed publication of something exciting, often based on an executive branch leak.  And then, afterward, with a kind of 'morning after' feeling, here comes a more sober, less prominently displayed followup story, to deal with objections while not clarifying much of anything."  Note the weak excuses offered by the Times' foreign editor.

Her conclusion is welcome but far too cool, especially given Michael Gordon's track record:  "The Times’s coverage of this crisis has had much to commend it, especially the quality of the on-the-ground reporting. But this article, with its reliance on an administration leak, was displayed too prominently and questioned too lightly. The Times’s influence demands that it be cautious, especially when deciding to publish what amounts to a government handout."

Earlier:  It's amazing that Michael Gordon (left) has managed to keep his exulted position on foreign affairs and foreign wars at the NYT through several changes of editors, going back to his role as co-conspirator on some of Judy Miller's Iraq WMD articles, to ramping up the threat of Iran's nukes right up the alleged Syria chemical attacks last year and now this week on Russia and the Ukraine.   Today he is forced to admit at the top of this story that he may have been bamboozled--yet again--in the service of promoting hawkish or at least official U.S. administration or Pentagon views.  This is really juicy but I have to jump off now, carry on!
A collection of photographs that Ukraine says shows the presence of Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, and which the United States cited as evidence of Russian involvement, has come under scrutiny.

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