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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Risen Fall of Bill Keller

It's not exactly news that Bill Keller, as executive editor of the NYT, acted cowardly and disgracefully in 2004 in spiking James Risen's bombshell on Bush administration/NSA warrantless spying on Americans.  Some have claimed this cost John Kerry the election that fall, but I've always concentrated on the journalistic cowardice and pre-Snowden public right to know.  In any case: It was great to see Frontline in part one of its epic program tracing NSA snooping since 2001--and a squirely Bill Keller himself--reveal fully what a hapless and easily cowed coward Keller was on spiking that Risen scoop (after White House pleas).  And then clearly show how he only published it, more than a year later, when Risen insisted on exposing it in a book.

Also, the show reminded us that Edward Snowden refused to go to Keller's paper with his scoops due to NYT's handling of the Risen material.

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