Patterico's Pontifications

7/2/2006

Eric Lichtblau, Meet Your Own Story and Headline

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:48 pm



Eric Lichtblau’s story in the New York Times, June 22:

Bank Data Secretly Reviewed by U.S. to Fight Terror
By ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISEN

Eric Lichtblau today, on CNN’s Reliable Sources:

“USA Today”, the biggest circulation in the country, the lead story on their front page four days before our story ran was the terrorists know their money is being traced, and they are moving it into—outside of the banking system into unconventional means. It is by no means a secret.

(Thanks to Jim Treacher.)

Ah, you say, but the reporters don’t write the headlines. Yeah, but they write the story, don’t they? Here, courtesy of Chris Fotos, is a bullet-point list of quotes from the story saying that the program was secret:

  • Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the
    Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to
    financial records from a vast international database…
  • Officials described the Swift program as the biggest and most
    far-reaching of several secret efforts
    to trace terrorist financing….
  • 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.
  • Swift executives have been uneasy at times about their secret role, the government and industry officials said….

  • While the banking program is a closely held secret, administration
    officials have held classified briefings for some members of Congress
    and the Sept. 11 commission, the officials said….
  • Swift’s 25-member board of directors, made up of representatives from
    financial institutions around the world, was previously told of the
    program. The Group of 10’s central banks, in major industrialized
    countries, which oversee Swift, were also informed. It is not clear if
    other network participants know that American intelligence officials
    can examine their message traffic.
  • In terrorism prosecutions, intelligence officials have been careful to
    “sanitize,” or hide the origins of evidence collected through the
    program to keep it secret, officials said.
  • The idea for the Swift program, several officials recalled, grew out of
    a suggestion by a Wall Street executive, who told a senior Bush
    administration official about Swift’s database. Few government
    officials knew much about the consortium,
    which is led by a Brooklyn
    native, Leonard H. Schrank, but they quickly discovered it offered
    unparalleled access to international transactions.
  • Despite the controls, Swift executives became increasingly worried
    about their secret involvement
    with the American government, the
    officials said.

Hint for Mr. Lichtblau: when they get you under oath, you’ll be much better off if the lies are less obvious than this.

UPDATE: Thanks to Power Line and Michelle Malkin for the links.

75 Responses to “Eric Lichtblau, Meet Your Own Story and Headline”

  1. Great job on Pundit Review; I’m listening right now. I’ve cancelled my Boston Globe(a NY Times paper) subscription thanks to these guys.

    Dave (5977b0)

  2. Lichtblau, then and now…

    Eric Lichtblau, Meet Your Own Story and Headline Patterico Eric Lichtblau’s story in the New York Times, June 22:Bank Data Secretly Reviewed by U.S. to Fight TerrorBy ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISENEric Lichtblau today, on CNN’s Reliable Sources:“…

    Old War Dogs (72c8fd)

  3. when they get you under oath

    That’s not looking too likely.

    It’s truly amazing: Bush is the bogeyman of the left for all of his administration’s “abuses” of executive power, and the bogeyman of the right because he won’t use his executive power. I actually saw Tony Snow, on Fox a few days back, say that it would be “highly improper” for the President to call the Attorney General and tell him to empanel a grand jury and compel reporters testimony– it has to come from the affected cabinet member, in this case the Goldman Sachs partner currently in charge of the Treasury. What absolute balony! That’s why we hired Bush, you twit, Tony, to make decisions and get things done! Why the delay? Git ‘er done.

    MTf (a6fe46)

  4. MTF,

    Bill Kristol seemed quite certain this morning that a referral has been made.

    Patterico,

    Nice job on the radio. I never knew Boston had AM conservative talk-radio. Thanks for the introduction!

    Jane (5a66ce)

  5. Thanks, Jane. The Pundit Review guys are great. This is my third time on with them. Keep listening to them; you’ll like what you hear.

    Patterico (2586cd)

  6. I won’t be too bothered if there’s never a legal response. The NYT has already done irreparable damage to their reputation over the past few months and their actions will only look more ridiculous as time goes by, especially after Bush is out of office. They have truly blown so that’s good enough for me.

    G Wiz (e6c3fb)

  7. Jane, we have plenty of conservative talk radio in Boston. Too bad it doesn’t translate into a viable non-Democrat presence in our government, though.

    Dave (5977b0)

  8. Thanks to you too, Dave. I just now saw your comment. Did you guys see that caller Andy is commenting on another thread? (Be nice; he seems like a good and earnest guy.)

    Patterico (2586cd)

  9. Great analysis of the idiot reporters idiotic remarks. He’s fried or hanged if he ever comes in front of any Jury. The needle would be too good for him.

    Scrapiron (a90377)

  10. Thanks, Patterico, and also for that full transcript link, which I’ll add over at PW.

    Christopher Fotos (f9677b)

  11. He’s fried or hanged if he ever comes in front of any Jury. The needle would be too good for him.

    Wow. Let it all out. You wanna pull the switch yourself?

    actus (6234ee)

  12. I did hear Andy’s comment. I thought it was thoughtful. Clearly there are many grades of terrorist, and they all need money. Some have surely gamed the system so far, and more will game it now. If we fail to catch just one terrorist because of Keller’s actions, I’d be happy to try him for the victim’s murders.

    I can’t quite figure out why this story has made me angrier than the billions that have preceded it. But it has.

    Jane (5a66ce)

  13. WTG, Actus. I guess it’s hard to stay on topic when the topic goes against you.

    sharon (fecb65)

  14. WTG, Actus. I guess it’s hard to stay on topic when the topic goes against you.

    On the topic? I’d say executing journalists is pretty topical. And, to tell the truth, quite against me.

    But I don’t see why its against me that Eric Lictblau is backtracking.

    actus (6234ee)

  15. “On the topic? I’d say executing journalists is pretty topical.”

    Yes, you probably would, although, judging from the headline and subject of the thread, it is not.

    “But I don’t see why its against me that Eric Lictblau is backtracking.”

    Judging from your other posts, it must be hard to continue defending the publishing of this program when the writer is backtracking. Now dissect my post for your next comment. Which word will it be this time? “Defending”? “Publishing”? “Backtracking”?

    sharon (fecb65)

  16. Yes, you probably would, although, judging from the headline and subject of the thread, it is not.

    You’ll notice, however, it wasn’t me that changed the topic. It was someone else. Pick on them for things not going their way.

    Judging from your other posts, it must be hard to continue defending the publishing of this program when the writer is backtracking.

    Not really, no. The publishing i don’t mind. The bowing to pressure I do. Appeasement doesn’t work. I don’t have a problem with what they did so i think they should stand by it, rather than retreat from the mouthbreathing hordes.

    actus (6234ee)

  17. “mouthbreathing hordes” = readers

    You picked the wrong profession, Actus. You’d have made a great journalist.

    sharon (fecb65)

  18. “mouthbreathing hordes” = readers

    Oh. They’re going to keep reading? Ok.

    actus (6234ee)

  19. “Oh. They’re going to keep reading? Ok.”

    Not if the reporters and editors have anything to do with it. The people in circulation, on the otherhand, are probably quite upset.

    sharon (fecb65)

  20. Actus! You’re everywhere, man. I have to say, though, you’re a lot more direct here than at Goldstein’s site. Mouthbreathing hordes? You’re not even trying. Is this like a vacation or something?

    Anyway, perhaps they’re bowing to pressure because their decision to publish isn’t defensible in the face of the criticisms that are being thrown their way? But no, it’s all that right wing pressure, stifling their free speech and all – as usual. Is there anything that shouldn’t be published by the media? If secret terror programs that are legal, in check, and effective should be thrown out in the open, what shouldn’t be? Try not to say the word Plame.

    thelinyguy (e32b76)

  21. Anyway, perhaps they’re bowing to pressure because their decision to publish isn’t defensible in the face of the criticisms that are being thrown their way?

    Perhaps. I happen to think appeasement doesn’t work. So if they want to say what they did was indefensible, they should. But they’re not going to be able to appease their critics.

    If secret terror programs that are legal, in check, and effective should be thrown out in the open, what shouldn’t be?

    The swift website?

    actus (6234ee)

  22. Appeasement? I always thought you were an intelligent talking pretzel, now I don’t know what to think.

    When you catch someone doing something they shouldn’t be doing and call them on it, then they start changing their story, that is something other than appeasement. It tells you their actions weren’t done in good faith or according to principles. People who do things they truly think are right do not appease “mouthbreathing hordes” that pose no real threat to them and do not need to lie to justify their deeds.

    “The swift website?”

    Har…but do you have a better answer?

    thelinyguy (e32b76)

  23. Actus, as a liberal your first, last, and middle names are “appeasement”, so how can you think it doesn’t work. Kerry? Murtha? Their pictures are in the dictionary under the word.

    scott (d64e37)

  24. john kerry wasn’t appeasing anybody when he went up the mekong river exposing himself to fire. murtha, likewise a veteran. care to tell us about bush and cheney’s combat experience? it’s axiomatic that people who have seen war are less likely to send others into it. you can call it appeasement, or prudence…i don’t care.

    assistant devil's advocate (e15801)

  25. Actus, as a liberal your first, last, and middle names are “appeasement”, so how can you think it doesn’t work.

    well, you’re wrong.

    actus (6234ee)

  26. What all i can say is that it’s really amazing and wonderful post to read. I also wanna say that when somebody is caught doing something that he should not do then that person will start giving end number of stories and excuses!

    Neel Willson (3d9aef)

  27. Murtha and Kerry are veterans. So am I, a retired Spec Ops Officer (with a DD214 available to prove it, available to the public). Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one. The NYT is a disgrace. But the argument seems to target the NYT and less on the leakers, who HAVE broken the law. As a holder of a Top Secret SCI clearance with numerous tickets, it is against the oath they took to reveal these secrets. Those of us in the military who have worked with civilians at NSA, CIA, etc. realize they just wait until this military appointee leaves. They never serve the folks in the field, doing the job. They leave them out to hang. GET THE LEAKERS!

    Gene Webb (865bea)

  28. “john kerry wasn’t appeasing anybody when he went up the mekong river exposing himself to fire.”

    True. But he was a traitor when he came back and blasted other soldiers in the field while testifying to Congress. And maybe all those questionable medals of his are disgusting as well. But appeasement? Nah. Just cut and run.

    “murtha, likewise a veteran.”

    Yep. Don’t know a single person critical of Murtha’s current pomposity that question his military record. But since he’s an ex-Marine and trying to get his name in front of the press, he certainly has become a complete idiot. Oh, wait. He must have learned well from his Democratic counterparts.

    “care to tell us about bush and cheney’s combat experience?”

    They have none, as do about 85% of all Americans. Does that mean that they have no right to serve in office? Don’t remember that requirement in the Constitution and liberals were the same whiners saying it was unimportant when their guy was in the White House.

    “it’s axiomatic that people who have seen war are less likely to send others into it.”

    Really? You got a statistic for that? Maybe guys who’ve seen war (like my dad who was in 3 of em) also recognize that it’s disgraceful to bad-mouth the military once one is safely ensconced in one’s easy chair and unavailable for combat.

    “you can call it appeasement, or prudence…i don’t care.”

    Nope. I call em Democrats.

    sharon (fecb65)

  29. Dave,

    I didn’t mean to ignore your comment. Last July 4th I was at a fireworks celebration where the Republican party had a booth. I asked them why we couldn’t do anything about Kerry and Kennedy. It’s all about money. Apparently Kennedy has about $8m in his coffers, and of course Kerry has Teresa.

    Jane (5a66ce)

  30. it’s axiomatic that people who have seen war are less likely to send others into it.

    Yeah, like comparing US Presidents like John Kennedy, vet who got the US into VN, LBJ, vet who got the US deeper into the VN sh*t, Bill Clinton, draft dodger who had numerous military actions during his Presidency, Jimmy Carter, Navy vet who had numerous military excursions during his Presidency to Richard Nixon, Navy vet who got the US out of VN or Bush, an ANG fighter pilot, who had no choice but to bring the fight to AQ with Donald Rumsfeld, another Navy vet.

    Seriously, do you guys even care how stupid you look when trying to twist all of these facts into a Philly soft pretzel?

    benrand (d41ec2)

  31. Seriously, do you guys even care how stupid you look when trying to twist all of these facts into a Philly soft pretzel?

    Wait, was vietnam wrong?

    actus (6234ee)

  32. it’s axiomatic that people who have seen war are less likely to send others into it

    Yeah … just look at Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Abe Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt … what a bunch of chicken-hawks !!!!

    Giacomo (9c177b)

  33. Wait a second . . . you guys are actually indulging ADA in this chickenhawk BS? There’s a “chickenhawk” corollary to Godwin’s law, you know.

    TNugent (58efde)

  34. “Wait, was vietnam wrong?”

    Well, John Kerry says so, and all those movies seemed to think so, so I guess vietnam was wrong. Personally, I just blame the french for that one (I always do, though).

    Oh, before I forget, are you still working on that better answer, Actus? Or should I just move on? Just don’t appease! I’m not a mouthbreathing horde, I promise!

    thelinyguy (e32b76)

  35. Oh, before I forget, are you still working on that better answer, Actus?

    Not really, I’m mostly an open government kind of guy. But the principles for what can and cannot be published should be hard to derive. Such as knowing you’ll have a direct effect of harming people, having received information in confidence, etc…

    actus (ebc508)

  36. […] 3rd July 2006 THE BLABBERMOUTHS BACKPEDAL By Michelle Malkin   ·   July 02, 2006 08:40 AM ***update: Lichtblau is backpedaling too.***  […]

    politicalpartypoop.com » Blog Archive » More about the NYT Times mess (ef3398)

  37. That was a better answer actus, not that that’s saying much.

    But the principles for what can and cannot be published should be hard to derive. Such as knowing you’ll have a direct effect of harming people, having received information in confidence, etc…

    Actually it seems fairly simple to me. Don’t publish for partisan political gain. Don’t lie about your reasons for publishing. Don’t publish the details of top secret programs that are shown, and believed by the publishers, to be legal, effective, non-intrusive, and doing exactly what their own damn paper called for after 9/11. See, otherwise people get the idea they’re playing politics, with such brazen hipocrasy.

    Here, I’ll break it down in the way that I see it. Terrorists (or radical islamists, if you prefer) want to kill us. We know this because they say they want to and have done so repeatedly. We institute programs to thwart them, to protect our way of life without allowing our society to succumb to fear (or terror, if you prefer). Newspapers that print the details of these efforts, and thus nullifying their effectiveness, gives an advantage – however minor you choose to believe that is – to terrorists. I don’t have to be able to prove whether or not the NYT directly results in someone’s death to know that their decision did not represent “the public’s right to know” or the “public good.” It did quite the opposite, at least to some degree. I fail to see how any civilized person was enriched by this story, except those whom the NYT thought could use it as one more pedestal from which to cry foul at the Bush administration. Didn’t quite pan out that way this time, and now they’re trying to wiggle free from the backlash.

    thelinyguy (e32b76)

  38. Actually it seems fairly simple to me

    That was a bad typo. It should have said:
    “the principles … shoundn’t be hard to derive”

    Don’t publish for partisan political gain

    I actually don’t think this should be a concern. Its very uncertain what the partisan gain is (does bush gain or lose for being exposed by running a legal, successful, prgram with privacy protections?). Two, partisanship is quintessentially the freest most protected political speech.

    I fail to see how any civilized person was enriched by this story, except those whom the NYT thought could use it as one more pedestal from which to cry foul at the Bush administration.

    I think knowing that privacy protections are taken seriously is enriching.

    actus (ebc508)

  39. I think the negative publicity with subsequent reduction in readers will have a more lasting effect on NYT than an indictment to which they can play the victim card. Monetary is the best way to hurt a corporation.

    docdave (200a90)

  40. So publishing a story to demonstrate that privacy protections are taken seriously outweighs the fact that they’re exposing the details of what they admit was a secret program to fight terrorism? Your feeling nice and comfy that privacy concerns are taken seriously justifies a good solid anti-terror program being blown? In such a light, that is piss poor judgement on the part of the NYT and LAT and unbelievable narcissism on your part. Especially considering there was bipartisan pressure to keep them from publishing the story. Didn’t do much appeasing then, did they? Nope, only when the public, whom they presume to work for, overwhelmingly questions the decision do they “appease.”

    If it was really their intention, why not run a story citing quotes from their sources about how the program to track international terrorist finances is legal and effective? Did they do that? No, they gave the details about how they were doing instead. To assuage your fears and all.

    Well, I’m off to paint the house, good bye.

    thelinyguy (e32b76)

  41. So publishing a story to demonstrate that privacy protections are taken seriously outweighs the fact that theyre exposing the details of what they admit was a secret program to fight terrorism?

    I don’t know how to weight those. Insert into here every J. Scalia argument against a balancing test.

    Your feeling nice and comfy that privacy concerns are taken seriously justifies a good solid anti-terror program being blown?

    I don’t know how blown it is.

    [Yeah. Maybe they don’t know yet. I hate to be rude, but do you realize how stupid you sound? — P]

    actus (ebc508)

  42. “I think knowing that privacy protections are taken seriously is enriching.”

    Do you seriously think that’s why they ran this story? Isn’t it more likely that they were playing the “Bush is a dictator trampling on your rights” card? Sounds more plausible.

    sharon (03e82c)

  43. Do you seriously think that’s why they ran this story?

    I don’t know why they ran it. Part of the beauty of our free press is that we don’t just get what people mean to say, but each can take from what is out there our own lesson.

    Isn’t it more likely that they were playing the “Bush is a dictator trampling on your rights” card? Sounds more plausible.

    Specially given how the program respected privacy.

    actus (ebc508)

  44. […] Risen and Lichtblau and Keller (and Clarke), backpedaling furiously, would now have us believe that everyone but you and me knew about the “closely held” SWIFT surveillance program. Well, you, me, and Hambali the Bali Bomber, whom we arrested in 2003: Among the successes was the capture of a Qaeda operative, Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of a Bali resort, several officials said. The Swift data identified a previously unknown figure in Southeast Asia who had financial dealings with a person suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda; that link helped locate Hambali in Thailand in 2003, they said. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » (See-Dubya) Which Terrorists Knew What About Terror Finance Monitoring? (421107)

  45. “I don’t know why they ran it. Part of the beauty of our free press is that we don’t just get what people mean to say, but each can take from what is out there our own lesson.”

    We’re not talking literature, Actus. Journalism isn’t designed for “each to take from what is out there our own lesson.” It’s designed to give readers facts and things that are IMPORTANT for them to know. In other words, reporting something is supposed to do some *good*. This is a point you’ve obviously not grasped yet, since you can’t answer it. But maybe you should try thinking about why they ran this particular story. Do you honestly think they ran it to pump up the Bush administration for respecting privacy? When was the last time you saw MSM run a story showing what a great job the govt was doing respecting privacy?

    “Specially given how the program respected privacy.”

    The story wasn’t about the govt respecting privacy. It was about how a SECRET govt program was monitoring bank transactions. You don’t think using the word SECRET in every sentence would leave the readers thinking there was something illegal or wrong about this operation?

    sharon (03e82c)

  46. In other words, reporting something is supposed to do some *good*.

    And for me, the good it does doesn’t have to be the reason why it was published. It can come later. Thats a feature, not a bug, of a society that determines truth via the marketplace of ideas.

    I’ve addressed the point. I’ve said I don’t need this filter of yours. Information is enough. I don’t see why the readers have to be limited to what it is publishers find good. I think readers can find whatever good they want.

    Do you honestly think they ran it to pump up the Bush administration for respecting privacy? When was the last time you saw MSM run a story showing what a great job the govt was doing respecting privacy?

    I think in general our government doesn’t do such a great job, so I can’t remember the last time I read any stories, MSM or not, about how wonderful privacy protection is in america.

    But no. I dont’ htink this was run to pump up the bush adminstration. But they did give me facts which lead me to conclude that they can protect privacy when they want to. Which is good. But it doesn’t have to be the good they intended.

    actus (ebc508)

  47. I think I have to agree with Sharon. What I see as the NYT editors principle concern when deciding whether or not to publish a government expose is this: Does it have potential to harm the Bush administration? If answer is yes, run the story. All other considerations like security, privacy and right-to-know are secondary and a smoke screen.

    docdave (200a90)

  48. Yes, actus the readers decided what was good and American readers in large numbers see this story as a political hitpiece that undermined couterterrorism measures. There was a small group however that was thoroughly grateful to the NYT – the jihadis.

    Kathy (c02b80)

  49. Yes, actus the readers decided what was good

    Yup. Not the government.

    actus (6234ee)

  50. “And for me, the good it does doesn’t have to be the reason why it was published. It can come later. Thats a feature, not a bug, of a society that determines truth via the marketplace of ideas.”

    Sorry, Actus. Every reporter and editor DOES take into consideration the impact of every story they run. It’s part of what makes something newsworthy or not. It’s important because the power of the press is so overwhelming. When editors and reporters do not consider the *good* involved with running or not running a story, they do their readers a disservice. You may be comfortable with the idea that the marketplace of ideas determines the good. This story, however, disproves your point. There was NO *good* involved in its publishing. I doubt seriously the NYT thought much about people being heartened that the govt protects their privacy. It was a hit piece through and through. That is irresponsible.

    sharon (fecb65)

  51. The easiest way to test the theory of why the paper ran this story is to ask yourself, “If the BJ pres was still in office would this story have seen the light of day?” Think “Whitewater, Monica, Swiftboats…

    emdfl (ca9d9d)

  52. Every reporter and editor DOES take into consideration the impact of every story they run

    I’m quite sure. But like I said, the good they do isn’t just limited to what they intend.

    This story, however, disproves your point. There was NO *good* involved in its publishing.

    I’ve told you what was good about it. It shows the bush administration fighting terror in a way that protects privacy.

    actus (6234ee)

  53. “I’ve told you what was good about it. It shows the bush administration fighting terror in a way that protects privacy.”

    And I told you that answer is horse hockey. No one connected with the story has mentioned this as any reason for publishing the story.

    It’s a pretty weak argument to say that because some nebulous (and highly doubtful) *good* (which wasn’t intended) comes of publishing something which was, by its very wording, supposed to create mistrust in govt, that it is therefore a *good* thing to publish it. This argument simply flies in the face of the facts given in the story and the behavior of those involved with producing and printing it. It’s still irresponsible.

    “I’m quite sure. But like I said, the good they do isn’t just limited to what they intend.”

    If this is your actual answer to my question, you need to come up with a better response. This one is laughable, particularly given the circumstances.

    sharon (fecb65)

  54. No one connected with the story has mentioned this as any reason for publishing the story.

    And I’ve also told you that doesn’t matter. The good they do isn’t limited to the good they intend. What people have mentioned as a good is that now the public knows about the policy shift in the administration. This wasn’t just a program, it was a reinterpretation of privacy protections. And now people know about the rules that the government is setting for itself. To me, open government nutcase that I am, thats a good.

    It’s a pretty weak argument to say that because some nebulous (and highly doubtful) *good* (which wasn’t intended) comes of publishing something which was, by its very wording, supposed to create mistrust in govt, that it is therefore a *good* thing to publish it

    Sorry if it doesn’t convince you. To me its the entire point of hte marketplace of ideas. Ideas come out to be tested, rather than being held back and restrained. Often the result is not what anyone expected or intended. And thats a good thing, a result of a dynamic society.

    This one is laughable, particularly given the circumstances.

    Like I said. Sorry. To me the entire point is to get things out htere, because hte collective makes better decisions than the individual.

    actus (6234ee)

  55. No one connected with the story has mentioned this as any reason for publishing the story.

    And I’ve also told you that doesn’t matter. The good they do isn’t limited to the good they intend. What people have mentioned as a good is that now the public knows about the policy shift in the administration. This wasn’t just a program, it was a reinterpretation of privacy protections. And now people know about the rules that the government is setting for itself. To me, open government nutcase that I am, thats a good.

    It’s a pretty weak argument to say that because some nebulous (and highly doubtful) *good* (which wasn’t intended) comes of publishing something which was, by its very wording, supposed to create mistrust in govt, that it is therefore a *good* thing to publish it

    Sorry if it doesn’t convince you. To me its the entire point of hte marketplace of ideas. Ideas come out to be tested, rather than being held back and restrained. Often the result is not what anyone expected or intended. And thats a good thing, a result of a dynamic society.

    actus (6234ee)

  56. Sharon, your posts are well-thought out, you write well, and your positions are supported by facts and logic.

    Pay little mind to actus’ compulsive attempts to discredit your positions.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  57. “And I’ve also told you that doesn’t matter. The good they do isn’t limited to the good they intend.”

    Of course it matters, Actus. Reporters and editors don’t merely publish everything they come across in the hopes that some future, ill-defined good will come of it. They pitch story ideas based on what they are *sure* is a good reason for doing so. You’ve yet to make any case that the NYT ran this piece to bolster American support for its govt. That you find some unintended consequence as a *good* reason for running it just shows how desperate you are to support it.

    “Sorry if it doesn’t convince you. To me its the entire point of hte marketplace of ideas.”

    Yes, and you’ve obviously had soooo much experience here that you can cavalierly throw out such hackneyed phrases like “hte (sic) marketplace of ideas” as an excuse to cover journalistic excesses.

    “Ideas come out to be tested, rather than being held back and restrained. Often the result is not what anyone expected or intended. And thats a good thing, a result of a dynamic society.”

    Journalism is not philosophy. Any reporter who walked into his editor’s office spouting worn-out phrases from old court cases would first be given a long stare, then sent to cover the latest car crash. Usually (at least, in the old days when the viewpoints of the readers mattered,) reporters and editors determined what sorts of things readers would *want* to know about and reported those. Even when readers would call and rant about such things (for instance, the printing of real estate transactions), we could, at the very least, argue that it was in the public’s interest to know what houses went for in their neighborhoods. Here, some poor schmoe who is forced to answer the telephone can’t even give his irate readers that excuse. I doubt seriously that pompously stating that “hte (sic) marketplace of ideas” dictated running this hitpiece won’t satisfy those “mouthbreathing hordes” that pay the salaries.

    sharon (fecb65)

  58. That you find some unintended consequence as a *good* reason for running it just shows how desperate you are to support it.

    Not quite. It shows that I value a system where truth is arrived at by all. And In order to have that, we need to all have access to information, rather than be limited by the MSM filters. I think its a good thing if we know more than what editors and reporters think is “good.” But not you. You want to only hear what the MSM filter tells you. Sorry. Thats not how I roll.

    Journalism is not philosophy.

    No but finding truth is.

    I doubt seriously that pompously stating that “hte (sic) marketplace of ideas” dictated running this hitpiece won’t satisfy those “mouthbreathing hordes” that pay the salaries.

    Me neither. I think mouthbreathing hordes don’t go for philosophy or journalism. I think what they want is a cowed, controlled, and jingoistic media to filter facts for them. But I also don’t think that the marketplace of ideas dictates running stories. I just think thats what makes it ok.

    actus (6234ee)

  59. Privacy is not a major concern with the NYT. If it was, then they would be calling for the resignation of a congressman who was convicted of releasing the contents of a cell phone call of a political opponent.

    If it was they would be calling for the resignation of the head of a party’s Senatorial campaign who was found checking the credit history of of a political opponent.

    Tim (a4d2cb)

  60. actus,

    Do you see any role for classification of information in government, period?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  61. Privacy is not a major concern with the NYT.

    They’re the press what do you expect?

    Do you see any role for classification of information in government, period?

    Sure. We’ve talked about the names of covert agents, of codes, for example. Those are criminal for the press to divulge, no?

    actus (ebc508)

  62. “Not quite. It shows that I value a system where truth is arrived at by all. And In order to have that, we need to all have access to information, rather than be limited by the MSM filters.”

    You do realize that everything you read has been filtered by someone, right?

    “I think its a good thing if we know more than what editors and reporters think is “good.””

    But you don’t. That’s the part you aren’t getting. The reporters and editors decided that the public desperately needed to know this classified information regardless of whether there was any good purpose for doing this. And, as has been shown already on another thread. There have been consequences of it. What will be your spin if terrorists strike again because this information was spread in the NYT?

    “But not you. You want to only hear what the MSM filter tells you. Sorry. Thats not how I roll.”

    ROFL You are funny. You get exactly what the MSM filters for you, little boy. The difference is that I recognize there are things the MSM runs that it should have sense enough (or patriotism, if you will) not to.

    sharon (03e82c)

  63. You do realize that everything you read has been filtered by someone, right?

    Sure. But like I said, I don’t have to have the good that their filter intends be the good which gets created by the release.

    But you don’t. That’s the part you aren’t getting.

    Sure I do. I mentioned to you something that I got from the story, and you keep telling me thats not the good they intended. So that means it must be that I know something which is not what they intend as good. Or you’re wrong when you tell me it wasn’t their intent.

    Thats why I don’t limit myself to just their intents. The facts can stand on their own.

    What will be your spin if terrorists strike again because this information was spread in the NYT?

    Something tells me that rather the spin will be that the terrorists struck again because of the NYT.

    You get exactly what the MSM filters for you, little boy.

    Not really, not if I can see goods and bads that they don’t. It means that I’m not bound by their goods and bads.

    actus (ebc508)

  64. “Sure I do. I mentioned to you something that I got from the story, and you keep telling me thats not the good they intended. So that means it must be that I know something which is not what they intend as good. Or you’re wrong when you tell me it wasn’t their intent.”

    Nope. You’re just trying to find a justification for that which can’t be justified.

    “Something tells me that rather the spin will be that the terrorists struck again because of the NYT.”

    Really? You think the NYT wouldn’t filter that out?

    “Not really, not if I can see goods and bads that they don’t. It means that I’m not bound by their goods and bads.”

    You’re confusing your conclusions with what they wrote. They filter what they think you need to know. You draw the conclusions you wish to see from it.

    sharon (03e82c)

  65. Nope. You’re just trying to find a justification for that which can’t be justified.

    You’ve decided it can’t be justified, so no justification will ever be found. And in circles we will go.

    Really? You think the NYT wouldn’t filter that out?

    Oh, I think they’ll report the spin. Plenty of people will be jumping up to say it. “as if on cue.”

    They filter what they think you need to know. You draw the conclusions you wish to see from it.

    I know. That’s why i don’t limit myself to whatever it is I (or you, for that matter) imagine is the good they intended. Partially because I don’t really know what they intended, but partially because I don’t want to be bound by them.

    actus (ebc508)

  66. “You’ve decided it can’t be justified, so no justification will ever be found. And in circles we will go.”

    So true. I just find it astonishing that someone would work so hard to justify this.

    “I know. That’s why i don’t limit myself to whatever it is I (or you, for that matter) imagine is the good they intended. Partially because I don’t really know what they intended, but partially because I don’t want to be bound by them.”

    And partly because you have to find some way to justify something that even the writers can no longer justify. How amusing.

    sharon (03e82c)

  67. So true. I just find it astonishing that someone would work so hard to justify this.

    Its reall not hard at all. Just a basic conception of how it is that free societies work, how it is that they dynamically discuss and contemplate truths.

    And partly because you have to find some way to justify something that even the writers can no longer justify.

    I’m not hte one that invented our system. But I sure am glad to have it.

    actus (ebc508)

  68. Some people learn from their mistakes and others just keep on doing the same thing expecting different results. There are no winners in a pissing contest with a skunk.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  69. […] In response to widespread public outrage at its decision to publish details of the government’s Terrorist Financial Tracking Program, the New York Times’ editor Bill Keller and reporter Eric Lichtblau have tried to defend themselves by pointing out that the program wasn’t really secret at all and the terrorists already knew everything about it. […]

    Hoystory » Blog Archive » That dog won’t hunt (322185)

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