Patterico's Pontifications

6/25/2006

Direct Your Anger at the NYT and LAT, Not the WSJ, for Leaking Classified Information About a Successful Anti-Terror Program

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Media Bias,Scum,Terrorism — Patterico @ 12:04 pm



Some commenters and bloggers have suggested that the Wall Street Journal is equally culpable as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times for leaking classified information about a successful anti-terror program. Now that I have had a chance to read the full Wall Street Journal piece, I disagree.

Based on my reading of the relevant articles, the responsible parties here are only the New York Times and the L.A. Times. The Wall Street Journal simply printed a story using on-the-record interviews with named government officials who knew the East and West Coast Timeses were going to print the story anyway.

The key questions are: 1) which papers were conducting an investigation by speaking with anonymous officials about classified information? and 2) which papers were asked by the government not to print the stories? The answer to both questions, based upon reading the stories, is: the New York Times and the L.A. Timesnot the Wall Street Journal.

As to question #1, the New York Times story reported:

Nearly 20 current and former government officials and industry executives discussed aspects of the Swift operation with The New York Times on condition of anonymity because the program remains classified. Some of those officials expressed reservations about the program, saying that what they viewed as an urgent, temporary measure had become permanent nearly five years later without specific Congressional approval or formal authorization.

Similarly, the Los Angeles Times article reported:

More than a dozen current and former U.S. officials discussed the program with The Times on condition of anonymity, citing its sensitive nature.

The Wall Street Journal article, which I can’t link because it is behind a paid subscription wall, contains no similar passage. John Snow and Stuart Levey are quoted by name. The words “anonymous” and “anonymity” do not appear in the article. The article contains no clear indication that any information was provided to the paper by anonymous officials concerned about the classified nature of the program. Instead, the article says:

U.S. officials agreed to discuss the program after concluding that knowledge of its existence was emerging and public disclosure was inevitable.

This is a clear reference to the imminent publication of articles by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

As to question #2, the New York Times reported a statement from its editor, discussing the pleas that government officials had made for the paper not to print the article:

The Bush administration has made no secret of its campaign to disrupt terrorist financing, and President Bush, Treasury officials and others have spoken publicly about those efforts. Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.

Bill Keller, the newspaper’s executive editor, said: “We have listened closely to the administration’s arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration. We remain convinced that the administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest.”

And the L.A. Times similarly reported a statement from its editor:

Bush administration officials asked The Times not to publish information about the program, contending that disclosure could damage its effectiveness and that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect the public.

Dean Baquet, editor of The Times, said: “We weighed the government’s arguments carefully, but in the end we determined that it was in the public interest to publish information about the extraordinary reach of this program. It is part of the continuing national debate over the aggressive measures employed by the government.”

By contrast, the AP reports:

The Wall Street Journal received no request to withhold the story, said Daniel Hertzberg, a senior deputy managing editor. He declined to comment further.

It sounds to me like the Wall Street Journal, like the Washington Post, printed on-the-record reactions from government officials who knew that the N.Y. Times and L.A. Times were going to publish articles anyway — because these officials had pleaded with the editors of those papers not to print the stories, to no avail.

Direct your anger at the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Leave the Wall Street Journal alone.

UPDATE in extended entry.

[Extended entry]

UPDATE 6-28-06 5:44 p.m.: Howard Kurtz today casts a slight shadow of doubt on one of my conclusions, with an unsourced allegation that the Journal, like the NYT and LAT been working on the story for some time:

The Wall Street Journal had been working on the banking story for a long period of time but did not reach the point of having enough information to publish until Thursday afternoon, according to a staffer who declined to be identified because the newspaper is making no public comment. The Journal does not know why Treasury officials made no appeal against publication in that paper, but editors assume that by then the officials were resigned to the fact that the details were coming out, the staffer said.

Now, I don’t know if this is true. As I note above, the story itself is curiously devoid of any hint that Glenn Simpson spoke with sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the program was classified.

But it’s hard to know what to make of this, even if we take an anonymous statement at face value. I don’t necessarily morally fault a newspaper for merely investigating classified programs, without more. That’s because, unlike some conservatives, I can imagine situations where a newspaper might justifiably publish classified information. If the Swift program had collected genuinely private financial information (it didn’t), and had been systematically abused to allow the president to blackmail his enemies (it wasn’t), then I think a newspaper would have a First Amendment right to disclose those facts, regardless of classification.

Merely investigating is not a culpable act until it is coupled with a second act: making the decision to publish over the protest of government officials, even though the investigation reveals that the program is safe, legal, effective, and subject to oversight.

Critically, the Wall Street Journal did not publish over the protest of government officials. By contrast, the L.A. Times and New York Times did.

Moreover, while the L.A. Times has the fig-leaf defense that it published only after learning that the New York Times did, the L.A. Times cannot credibly maintain that it made any difference what the New York Times did. That’s because L.A. Times editors have issued numerous statements that describe their independent “weighing” of the various factors involved in the decision — statements that are totally inconsistent with the notion that the paper had any intention of killing the story.

By contrast, for all we know, the Wall Street Journal had no intention of publishing the story once they learned that the program was safe, legal, and effective. They may well have decided — like the Washington Post and the entire blogosphere — that once the New York Times had spilled the beans, it was now news and had to be discussed.

So, despite Kurtz’s revelation, I continue to believe that, based upon the evidence we know to date, the Wall Street Journal does not merit our disgust, while the East and West Coast Timeses most certainly do.

50 Responses to “Direct Your Anger at the NYT and LAT, Not the WSJ, for Leaking Classified Information About a Successful Anti-Terror Program”

  1. Also leave alone anyone linking to the NYT piece.

    actus (6234ee)

  2. Don’t worry guys. This week we’ll put all this Iraq and terrorism talk behind us and pass a resolution Protecting the Flag!

    nosh (d8da01)

  3. Nosh don’t you think most people can walk and chew at the same time.

    jainphx (aab12a)

  4. Nosh is obviously unconcerned about the defense of the country from the jihadists. Unfortunately, those who do try to defend us can’t pick and choose, saying “That guy over there doesn’t want opur help. Why don’t you pick on him ?”

    If only they could.

    The Pantano book, Warlord is powerful and makes the point that the news media rush to judge him, plus the Abu Ghraib scandal that occurred about the same time, wrecked the career of an effective officer.

    The Noshs of the world and the NY Times don’t think we are in a war and Bush Derangement Syndrome justifies anything.

    Mike K (a8b48c)

  5. It has now gone beyond mere exposing-in-order-to-destroy an intelligence program, now the NYT is reporting on classified troop movements.

    According to a classified briefing at the Pentagon this week by the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the number of American combat brigades in Iraq is projected to decrease to 5 or 6 from the current level of 14 by December 2007. […]

    General Casey’s briefing has remained a closely held secret, and it was described by American officials who agreed to discuss the details only on condition of anonymity. Word of the plan comes after a week in which the American troop presence in Iraq was stridently debated in Congress, with Democratic initiatives to force troop withdrawals defeated in the Senate.

    Now why would the NYT feel it necessary to reveal, and possibly, scuttle an event driven timetable?

    If executed, the plan could have considerable political significance. The first reductions would take place before this falls Congressional elections, while even bigger cuts might come before the 2008 presidential election.

    The NYT is operating as a division of the DNC..and they have to [drum roll please] Defeat McChimpyHaliburton and all his ZionistNeoCon minions!

    Screw American military lives. And all those brown people resisting the “insurgents”, too.

    Darleen (81f712)

  6. I posted on this. But people keep asking me what happened to the post. Do you see it? It’s the last post from yesterday.

    I’ll check to make sure it didn’t get marked “private” by accident.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  7. whoops … sorry Patterico

    I didn’t scroll down enough. It was topmost of my thoughts as I was reading this post.

    That and Murtha’s latest.

    Sheesh, can we question their patriotism now?

    Darleen (81f712)

  8. Speaking of “Terror”, I found the following in a description of the Miami fiasco where marginaly competent people with no means, or weapons, were “captured” by the FBI

    If not for the “confidential government informant” inserted in their midst, who convinced them to pledge allegiance to the cartoonish “al-Qaeda,” there would be no case.

    After “sweeps of various locations in Miami, government agents found no explosives or weapons. Investigators also did not document any direct links to al-Qaeda.” But this complete lack of evidence did not stop the FBI. “This group was more aspirational than operational,” said John Pistole, the FBI’s deputy director. In other words, merely thinking about “al-Qaeda,” even if such a thought is planted by an agent provocateur, is illegal, a crime against the state.

    George Orwell called this “thoughtcrime,” and wrote: “Thoughtcrime is the only crime that matters.”

    RJN (9e856d)

  9. This is the link to the above.

    http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=435

    RJN (9e856d)

  10. whoops … sorry Patterico

    I didn’t scroll down enough. It was topmost of my thoughts as I was reading this post.

    No need to apologize. I had indeed somehow marked it private for a short period of time. So it wasn’t there for you to see. It was completely inadvertent. I can’t even figure out how it happened.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  11. To convict the NYT/LAT should only take 5 minutes and two questions. Did you publish this story (holding up a copy or each paper)? Was this information classified? If both answers are ‘yes’ then they are guilty and the penalty for treason is death. Carry it out at the following daybreak. Hang them when man wants to live the most,when the weather is warm and the flowers are in bloom. Hang em high.

    Scrapiron (9f37aa)

  12. Sometimes–but only sometimes, I long for an American version of the English Official Secrets Act. My impression is that if we had an Official Secrets Act, the punishment for violation and leaking of the type that’s going on here with the NYT would be swift, sure and certain.

    That said, the cure may be worse than the disease. And I think that the disease here arises from an entrenched government bureacracy (in the CIA and in various other government agencies as well) who believe it is proper to go to war with the elected administration. You believe that you are there for life, and that the elected folks are just itinerant clowns passing through Washington for either 4 or 8 years as the case may be. With a sycophantic East Coast press (and with the LAT as an eager wannabe) you can leak where and when it will hurt the current crop of elected clowns most.

    That may all be well and good, and just the way the game is played inside the Beltway. But these players with their Copperhead game forget that when the issue involves the security of the United States, then they are playing with the lives of the people in the heartland.

    They are suffering from self delusions of competence, integrity and relevance–but they are hurting us.

    I assume that one or two of my fellow posters, who seem never to have met a threat they recognized, will believe that these “brave patriots” are simply honorable whistleblowers. I’d like to have a tailor fit each of these whistleblowers with striped suits and then book them for a long stay in the Gray Bar Hotel.

    Mike Myers (28fa0a)

  13. Yes, RJN, the government should have waited until they had acquired weapons or actually killed a “devil” or two before busting it up.

    Darleen (81f712)

  14. RJN, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to kill people – just desire, motivation, and opportunity.

    If they had succeeded you’d be one of the those oh so prescient creatures bashing the FBI/Bush-admin because the criminals were so stupid they should have been apprehended easily before they killed people.

    Stupidity takes many forms.

    Dr. Deano (7f152b)

  15. The people of whom we write were recruited to talk the talk. No one imagines that they would have been allowed to walk the walk unless the FBI screwed up again the way they did with the Muslim fellows taking flying lessons.

    The point was to stir up the saps – us – into thinking the FBI is really doing the job. This is a joke.

    RJN (9e856d)

  16. The people of whom we write were recruited to talk the talk

    My oh my RJN, you sure have a direct pipeline into the FBI’s investigative branch, don’t you.

    Don’t you?

    Or are you using Jerome Armstrong’s astrologer?

    Darleen (81f712)

  17. The NYT broke this story at NYT Online before it was published anywhere else. At that point it seems it is hard to blame others, i.e. WSJ, especially if they were still discussing holding the story as the Attorney General requested.

    According to Doyal Mcmanus of LAT, his paper was still talking to AG Gonzalez office when this story appeared on NYT Online. This is from Mcmanus on an NPR Friday morning talk show, presumably implying the NYT was solely responsible for breaking this story. True or not, it sounded like he knew this was trouble and wanted some cover.

    William Grubb (410b69)

  18. According to Doyal Mcmanus of LAT, his paper was still talking to AG Gonzalez office when this story appeared on NYT Online. This is from Mcmanus on an NPR Friday morning talk show, presumably implying the NYT was solely responsible for breaking this story.

    Looks like its safe to subscribe to the LAT. As safe as the WSJ.

    actus (6234ee)

  19. I say to McManus: nonsense. Both papers knew they were publishing at about the same time. Is it possible that the LAT rushed the story to press a day (or a few) early when they learned that the NYT was going to press? I don’t know. But they were publishing regardless. You can’t say that about the WSJ.

    By the way, I will have a transcript of an interview with McManus (not done by me) here tomorrow morning, in which he discusses the decision to publish. Don’t miss it.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  20. Looks like its safe to subscribe to the LAT. As safe as the WSJ.

    B.S.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  21. You seem to have a really, really hard time with this very basic concept, actus. If the paper was going to publish classified info based on an independent investigation, based on speaking to anonymous officials who requested anonymity because the info was classified, and the paper was asked not to run it by the Administration, the paper is culpable.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  22. Today’s “money quote” from NYT Executive Editor, Bill Keller:

    “The central argument we heard from officials at senior levels was that international bankers would stop cooperating, would resist, if this program saw the light of day. We don’t know what the banking consortium will do, but we found this argument puzzling. First, the bankers provide this information under the authority of a subpoena, which imposes a legal obligation. Second, if, as the Administration says, the program is legal, highly effective, and well protected against invasion of privacy, the bankers should have little trouble defending it. The Bush Administration and America itself may be unpopular in Europe these days, but policing the byways of international terror seems to have pretty strong support everywhere. And while it is too early to tell, the initial signs are that our article is not generating a banker backlash against the program.

    By the way, we heard similar arguments against publishing last year’s reporting on the NSA eavesdropping program. We were told then that our article would mean the death of that program. We were told that telecommunications companies would — if the public knew what they were doing — withdraw their cooperation. To the best of my knowledge, that has not happened.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/business/media/25keller-letter.html?8dpc

    steve (db6ba8)

  23. […] Patterico examines the three media outlets which released the secret government program to monitor bank accounts in detail Based on my reading of the relevant articles, the responsible parties here are only the New York Times and the L.A. Times. The Wall Street Journal simply printed a story using on-the-record interviews with named government officials who knew the East and West Coast Timeses were going to print the story anyway. […]

    Amber » Blog Archive » Direct Your Anger at the NYT and LAT, Not the WSJ, for Leaking Classified Information About a Successful Anti-Terror Program (18427a)

  24. steve,

    Keller seems to think that terrorists never learn what is splashed on the front page of the NYT.

    Surely you’re not that naive.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  25. If the paper was going to publish classified info based on an independent investigation, based on speaking to anonymous officials who requested anonymity because the info was classified, and the paper was asked not to run it by the Administration, the paper is culpable.

    Even after someone else published?

    actus (6234ee)

  26. “Keller seems to think that terrorists never learn what is splashed on the front page of the NYT.” – Patterico

    Right. And don’t forget Zarqawi had a May 5, 2006 copy of NEWSWEEK in the safe-house. He knew the press could win this war for him. I’m sure he was checking on what Murtha and Kerry were saying.

    Rep. Peter King bragged to TV reporters after the Friday Miami bust that “there are cells of suspected terrorists being watched by the FBI on Long Island.”

    The Peter King who wants the NYT prosecuted for revealing sources and methods in tracking al Qaeda.

    http://kingwatch.blogspot.com/2006/06/doing-heckuva-job-petey-king-alerts.html#links

    steve (db6ba8)

  27. Peter King is a dipshit. You think I defend that guy?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  28. “Even after someone else published?”

    Please, Actus. They published it as soon as they had their story together. That’s how it works.

    sharon (fecb65)

  29. Please, Actus. They published it as soon as they had their story together. Thats how it works.

    The quote someone provided showed that the NYT published the story online, and then the LAT decided to run it. The WSJ also published as soon as they had it together. But we don’t fault them for piggybacking on the work that the NYT did in forcing the admin to go on the record for it.

    [NYT and LAT independently pack building full of explosives. Each lights a fuse and screams: “She’s gonna blow!” WSJ sees lit fuses and screams same. NYT explosives go off first. Actus says WSJ just as bad as others. The End. — Patterico]

    actus (6234ee)

  30. rjn: “The people of whom we write were recruited to talk the talk.”

    Uh, right – you do know that your responses seem of the paranoid delusional conspiracy theorist type don’t you?. For what you say to be true requires that you have some supernatural method of knowing what is in the hearts and minds of not only the people arrested, but the FBI as well, as you purport to know more about the case than any of the news media have been able to uncover.

    Dr. Deano (7f152b)

  31. NYT and LAT independently pack building full of explosives. Each lights a fuse and screams: “She’s gonna blow!” WSJ sees lit fuses and screams same.

    Not quite. The LAT, if we are to believe the interview, decided to publish after the NYTimes had gone online with the story. Thats after publication. The NYT lit a fuse, and the building blew up.

    Or even better, the administration leakers lit the fuse.

    Or do you think its a problem that the LAT investigated the story, period?

    actus (ebc508)

  32. […] UPDATE: Patterico argues that the Wall Street Journal was not treasonous, just the Times and the Times were. […]

    damnum absque injuria » Just Say No to the Treason Lobby* (38c04c)

  33. “The quote someone provided showed that the NYT published the story online, and then the LAT decided to run it.”

    Actus, just because the NYT’s online edition hit first doesn’t mean LAT wasn’t planning to run their story, probably in the print edition first. Your insinuation is that this is *only* a NYT problem, when it is, in fact, a *journalist* problem. They are more interested in running stories for fame and glory (and money) than they are interested in national security. And if they can make a Republican president look bad in the bargain, that’s all the better. Should they have published it? No. There’s no reason to publish it.

    Let’s turn the question around What GOOD is done by publishing this story?

    [Actus thinks NYT bears sole responsibility because they’re in the Eastern time zone. LAT escapes culpability because they’re operating on Pacific time. Nonsensical — but that’s our Actus! — P]

    sharon (03e82c)

  34. Actus, just because the NYT’s online edition hit first doesn’t mean LAT wasn’t planning to run their story, probably in the print edition first.

    In the quote provided, they were in discussions with the AG’s office of whether to print. Once they saw it was given publicity, they made their decision.

    Your insinuation is that this is *only* a NYT problem, when it is, in fact, a *journalist* problem.

    PAtterico has here discussed how some journalists are not wrong, per his opinion, on this matter. People like the washington post, the Wall street journal, and whatever bloggers or others are also linking to or repeating the story. A story first published by the NYTimes.

    Actus thinks NYT bears sole responsibility because they’re in the Eastern time zone. LAT escapes culpability because they’re operating on Pacific time.

    Well, one published first — in time, of course, for the other to make their publishing decision. At least thats what the comment said. So the LAT was not disclosing something — its in the same position as the bloggers, WSJ and Wash Post that thereafter discussed the matter given publicity — of course, the stuff left government secrecy before the NYT publication — by the NYtimes.

    actus (6234ee)

  35. Actus thinks NYT bears sole responsibility because they’re in the Eastern time zone. LAT escapes culpability because they’re operating on Pacific time. Nonsensical — but that’s our Actus!

    I dunno, P – it looks like our favorite proverbial clock may have been right once again. Tony Snow has a similar take, though he doesn’t rely on time zones per se. I’m not sure that angle really matters, anyway. First to publish is first to publish; it doesn’t matter if you’re first because you’re three time zones ahead, or if you’re first for some other reason.

    Xrlq (6db5c4)

  36. proverbial clock = proverbial stopped clock

    Xrlq (6db5c4)

  37. I dont condone such things but if you condemn this you certainly must condemn the actions of Bush and the administration which have done far more damage to the US with their outing of Valorie Plame, disregard for the Constitution and destruction of Ammerican respect around the world, destruction of our economy and gutting of our military.
    So much outrage over this and not a word about the real and far greater damage done to us by George W Bush and crew.

    charlie (e16458)

  38. Tony Snow has a similar take, though he doesn’t rely on time zones per se.

    And if we’ve learned anything over the past few days, its that the government will tell us what is right and good.

    Time zones. Sheesh.

    actus (6234ee)

  39. From today’s W-H press briefing:

    [TONY] SNOW: Well, I’ll tell you what happened is the New York Times clearly was in the lead on this one. It was ahead. And as it was getting ready to publish, other newspapers made inquiries and we asked questions.

    But this is one where the New York Times clearly was leading and everybody waited until it posted its piece online to do their own publications.

    The “red alert” to conservative bloggers and radio hosts was unusually well-coordinated – owing to abundant lead time with the story gestating for weeks.

    Apparently, information on SWIFT’s post 9/11 role was publicly available from December, 2002:

    http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/06/reports_of_us_monitoring_of_sw.php

    “The settlement of international transactions is usually handled through correspondent banking relationships or large-value message and payment systems, such as the SWIFT, Fedwire or CHIPS systems in the United States of America. Such international clearance centres are critical to processing international banking transactions and are rich with payment information. The United States has begun to apply new monitoring techniques to spot and verify suspicious transactions.”

    The NYT probably revisited old threads to do a folo on the NSA story it broke. A few calls to the right people and voila! — the DC leak apparatus was engorged (love that word). The very sources the NYTimes called probably tipped the LAT.

    Racheting up the outrage went quickly bi-coastal.

    steve (db6ba8)

  40. “In the quote provided, they were in discussions with the AG’s office of whether to print. Once they saw it was given publicity, they made their decision.”

    For God’s sake, Actus. The LAT had been PLANNING the story and released it after the NYT put it online. That means they were as much in on it as anyone.

    And you still didn’t answer my question: what *good* was done by running the story?

    sharon (fecb65)

  41. The LAT had been PLANNING the story and released it after the NYT put it online. That means they were as much in on it as anyone.

    So the problem is with planning a story, not actually disclosing the stuff?

    actus (6234ee)

  42. steve quotes Tony Snow:

    [TONY] SNOW: Well, I’ll tell you what happened is the New York Times clearly was in the lead on this one. It was ahead. And as it was getting ready to publish, other newspapers made inquiries and we asked questions.

    But this is one where the New York Times clearly was leading and everybody waited until it posted its piece online to do their own publications.

    That’s how I have understood this from the beginning. The NYT got the ball rolling. LAT heard about the investigation and did its own investigation. Both papers sniffed around anonymous sources. And both papers fundamentally made the decision to report before the NYT published. NYT won by hours. In terms of the print edition, they tied — unless you count the time zone differences. Same day.

    Sure, McManus and Baquet have the fig leaf that NYT published first. But it’s a fig leaf. Look at his interview with Pattt Morrison. He had “weighed” the issues and was going to publish.

    If you really think the LAT was going to kill this story, I’ll skip the cliches about the Brooklyn Bridge and be Norm-MacDonald direct: you are fucking stupid and naive.

    LAT, like NYT, did a lengthy investigation with anonymous sources who approached them with concerns about privacy and safeguards. They heard out the Administration on not publishing, and decided otherwise.

    WSJ was in a different boat. We’ve been through that. No anonymous sources or evidence of lengthy investigations, no evidence of intent to publish regardless of others’ decisions, no arrogant dismissal of administration pleas not to publish.

    Here’s another analogy. NYT hears bank is easy robbery target. Plans robbery. LAT hears of NYT robbery plans and scrambles to plan its own robbery. Each group gathers guns, makes its plan, and heads towards the bank. NYT got there first, while LAT was zooming to the front curb.

    And actus wants to portray LAT as innocent and harmless. What a bunch of disingenuous crap.

    Apparently, information on SWIFT’s post 9/11 role was publicly available from December, 2002.

    Yeah. And they caught Hambali in August 2003. So apparently, the terrorist world was not put on “Red Alert” by something buried in an obscure U.N. Report.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  43. In terms of the print edition, they tied — unless you count the time zone differences. Same day.

    Why does the print edition matter, if the online was already the first publication?

    And actus wants to portray LAT as innocent and harmless.

    I want to portray them as people who didn’t disclose. Someone else did, arguably, some leakers in the admistration and in Belgium. Probably other public sources that have been also found. Probably too the reasonable expectation that you have no privacy in your banking records. But definately the NYTimes.

    If you really think the LAT was going to kill this story, I’ll skip the cliches about the Brooklyn Bridge and be Norm-MacDonald direct: you are fucking stupid and naive.

    Its not that I think they were going to kill htis story. Its that they didn’t disclose it.

    Here’s another analogy.

    Its attempt liability. I get it. I still think they’re blameless, because once the disclosure was made, the admin went full public. Papers get kudos for breaking stories. Makes sense to put the onus on that too.

    actus (6234ee)

  44. “Its attempt liability. I get it. I still think they’re blameless, because once the disclosure was made, the admin went full public. Papers get kudos for breaking stories. Makes sense to put the onus on that too.”

    Actus, answer my question. What *good* comes of printing the story? Why can’t you answer that one, oh great 1L?

    sharon (fecb65)

  45. […] For a media critic, Kurtz in is opening paragraphs fails to distinguish the egregiously anti-American conduct of the New York and Los Angeles Times and his own paper plus the Wall Street Journal.  Patterico has a good common sense discussion of the obvious differences here.  Kurtz should take a look but does he want to understand? Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said in an interview yesterday that critics “are still angry at us” for disclosing the government’s domestic eavesdropping program in December, “and I guess in their view, this adds insult to injury. . . . The Bush administration’s reaction roused their base, but also roused the anti-Bush base as well,” he said, noting an approximately even split in his e-mail. […]

    FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Global War on Terror Watch: Piling on the New York Times? (baa0b4)

  46. […] With a hat tip to Patterico’s Pontifications, I bring you the difference between the reporting the NY Times and LA Times did, and the Wall Street Journal’s reporting: As to question #1 [Regarding why we criticize the “two Times-ers” and not the Wall Street Journal], the New York Times story reported: […]

    frankhagan.com » WSJ - Are You the New New York Times? (6758a4)

  47. ‘Why Is Everybody Always Picking On Me’…

    In Piling On the New York Times With a Scoop, Howard Kurtz repeatedly tries to fathom the mystery of why the Times is being attacked for its banking-data story when others including the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal…

    PostWatch (72c8fd)

  48. the wall street journal reported on this story along with the NY Times and proof of this is that they have not issued any opinion on the government’s secret bank data gathering.

    Why did they editorialize on the NY Times disclosure of the electronic surveillance program back in december 2005, yet they have stayed mum on this case?
    because they are responsible for spreading this information, of course.

    andres (94b8af)

  49. SWIFT and the Birth of a Meme…

    Nothing in the Blog Handbook says memes have to be true. A recent one is that the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal all should have refrained from publishing stories about the SWIFT banking-data…

    PostWatch (72c8fd)

  50. […] I have previously discussed the Wall Street Journal’s involvement here and here. I noted that 1) the government didn’t ask the Journal not to publish, and 2) unlike the L.A. Times, whose editor has made it clear he would have published regardless, there is no certainty that the Journal would have published if the New York Times hadn’t first. In the second link, I also relied on Paul Gigot’s statement that the paper wouldn’t have published. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » No New Evidence to Show WSJ Would Have Published the Swift Story or That the Government Asked Them Not To (421107)


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