Sunday, July 02, 2006

Public Editor, and Frank Rich, of 'NYT' Defend Bank Records Bombshell

E&P has some good excerpts, and more at the link: "For the Sunday edition, Barney Caleme, public editor for The New York Times, tackles the latest hot-wired controversy, and concludes, 'My close look convinced me that Bill Keller, the executive editor, was correct in deciding that Times readers deserved to read about the banking-data surveillance program. And the growing indications that this and other financial monitoring operations were hardly a secret to the terrorist world minimizes the possibility that the article made America less safe.'

This comes a day after Keller and Los Angeles Times Editor Dean Baquet co-authored an op-ed, appearing in both papers, defending the publication of articles in the two papers.

Also Sunday, Times' columnist Frank Rich produces a tough-talking defense. Here are a couple of excerpts:

'No sooner were the flag burners hustled offstage than a new traitor was unveiled for the Fourth: the press. Public enemy No. 1 is The New York Times, which was accused of a 'disgraceful' compromise of national security (by President Bush) and treason (by Representative Peter King of New York and the Coulter amen chorus). The Times's offense was to publish a front-page article about a comprehensive American effort to track terrorists with the aid of a Belgian consortium, Swift, which serves as a clearinghouse for some 7,800 financial institutions in 200 countries.

'It was a solid piece of journalism. But if you want to learn the truly dirty secrets of how our government prosecutes this war, the story of how it vilified The Times is more damning than anything in the article that caused the uproar....'"

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