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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Now The Times Admits Its Mistake

To quote the kids, "Un-frelling-believable." The New York Times' ombudsman, Byron Calame, makes a bombshell revelation today in his column. Michelle Malkin enlightens us with this news.It seems that he's the one left holding the bag in admitting the Times was wrong to run the story about the SWIFT program:

Since the job of public editor requires me to probe and question the published work and wisdom of Times journalists, there’s a special responsibility for me to acknowledge my own flawed assessments.

My July 2 column strongly supported The Times’s decision to publish its June 23 article on a once-secret banking-data surveillance program. After pondering for several months, I have decided I was off base. There were reasons to publish the controversial article, but they were slightly outweighed by two factors to which I gave too little emphasis. While it’s a close call now, as it was then, I don’t think the article should have been published.

Someone want to call Bill Keller, and get his take on this. After all, that SOB was the first one stepping up and defending the Times heinous lapse in journalistic ethics--claiming that such publications were "in the public's interest." Mr. Calame goes on further to state:

I haven’t found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws. Although data-protection authorities in Europe have complained that the formerly secret program violated their rules on privacy, there have been no Times reports of legal action being taken.

Really? Thanks Einstein. I guess the Times ignored all the legal professionals (Glenn Reynolds, Hugh Hewitt, Eugene Volokh, the crew at Power Line) who all said it wasn't illegal to begin with. And, of course, I'm sure they disregarded non-famous lawyers, like myself and my colleagues, that stated openly that there was nothing illegal about the SWIFT program, or the NSA program. And I must agree with Ms. Malkin: "Why isn't this on the front page?" The readers of the Times--indeed, most of America--needs to know that the guy in charge of handling the Times' messes is stating, on the record, that they shouldn't have run the story.

I wonder if this admission is coming out because of the recent numbers showing the Times is still hemorrhaging money, and trying to cut costs. It also reminds me of a recent op-ed that Marcie picked up on showing an apparent policy flip-flop by the Times back on the 12th. Their op-ed called for unilateral action against North Korea where before they had urged multilateral engagement. Could the Times possibly be trying to spin itself into a better image before an election that they know is going to go badly for the Democrats? Or is their bias hurting them so much that they've decided to admit their mistake?

But wait, Mr. Calame offers this in closing, and I can't write what I'm thinking right now. (The kids run a CLEAN website, and the profane words running around in my head are anything but acceptable in this venue.)

What kept me from seeing these matters more clearly earlier in what admittedly was a close call? I fear I allowed the vicious criticism of The Times by the Bush administration to trigger my instinctive affinity for the underdog and enduring faith in a free press — two traits that I warned readers about in my first column.

Triggered his "instinctive affinity for the little guy?" Are you kidding me? What about the instinctive affinity for your nation at war, you nitwit! Don't let this fools excuses or admission change the fact that the Times ran the story. As a matter of glaringly apparent fact when the story ran, they were in a foot race with the LA Times to see who was going to run with it first. That's right, it was a can-we-scoop-them-first moment for the Times; in the end for them, it came down to the dollars going into their coffers, and had little to do with the damage that the story may have inflicted. Bill Keller sounded rather indignant in having to defend the decision. We little people should have known better than to question him--that's what his rhetoric sounded like. Yet, we weren't the ones who had just outed a classified program specifically tailored to track the financial comings and goings of our enemy. The New York Times did.

Too little, too late, Mr. Calame. Maybe you should remember that the next time the Times decides to hurt national security with another one of it's "in the public's interest" stories that will blow another secret. And the beating that he mentions above came mainly from bloggers, not the administration. The administration urged them not to run it, but once it was out there, all the administration could do is weather the beating the press was laying on it for the program. The beatings came in the form of the best of the blogosphere, and the little fish that were equally angry. They deserved it. Every punch. Every kick. Every cutting remark. And, of course, who could forget the outstanding photoshopped posters done by bloggers sending the message home to the Times that we weren't impressed with their crime.

Yes, I said crime. The Times hasn't escaped the scrutiny of the Justice Department in that realm. And there is a recent court precedent sent in the current AIPAC trial that opens the Times up for prosecution; at the very least, to get the source from them on both the stories they ran about classified programs. Michelle also points out the reaction from another lawyer named Patterico who believes that Mr. Calame should resign. Ditto that. He's obviously not doing that great of a job if it's taken him this long to locate his conscience.

Sabrina McKinney


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good blog. Frankly, the NYT's has no credibility with me. I do not believe the man is sincere. Bloggers discovered the leak from the House Intelligence Committee was a Harmon (S) staffer. How did the Times handle this? Rawriter

11:23 PM  

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