Read about it here.
One month ago, I told you that Ed Whelan had written the New York Times about a fairly blatant conflict of interest by Linda Greenhouse. In 2006, despite the fact that her husband filed an amicus brief in the Hamdan case, Greenhouse reported on the case without disclosing the conflict to readers. Worse, she gushed about the result in a way favorable to her husband’s position, saying that the opinion “shredded each of the administration’s arguments” and was a “sweeping and categorical defeat for the administration” that
left human rights lawyers who have pressed this and other cases on behalf of Guantánamo detainees almost speechless with surprise and delight, using words like “fantastic,” “amazing” and “remarkable.”
In his e-mail to the NYT ombudsman, Whelan also referenced a slightly less obvious but more recent conflict involving the Boumediene case — namely, Greenhouse reported on the case despite the fact that her husband had filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals.
With the lightning speed characteristic of our Dinosaur Media, the New York Times ombudsman has gotten back to Ed. Already! It’s only been a month! Here is the ombudsman’s response:
Thank you for writing. I am aware of your blog post and am looking into the issue. Linda Greenhouse tells me, categorically, that her husband, Eugene Fidell, has never represented any detainee, is not involved as a lawyer in the case about which you wrote and did not file a brief in that case. I’d appreciate it if you could steer me to the brief you said he filed.
None of this has anything to do with the conflict I referenced in my post: Greenhouse’s reporting on the Hamdan case, where her husband did file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court.
In any event, the defense regarding the Boumediene case is obfuscation. Greenhouse’s husband “has never represented any detainee” — he just filed an amicus brief on their behalf. He didn’t file a brief in the Boumediene case in the Supreme Court — he filed one in the Court of Appeals . . . and Ed says “the entity he heads filed a brief in the Supreme Court proceeding.”
Ed has replied, but I don’t envy his task. He will likely wait another month and get another deliberately obtuse reply.
They just want Ed to give up.
Ed finishes his new blog post with this:
Memo to Greenhouse: It’s well past time for you to come clean. Remember, it’s always the coverup that kills you.
Yup — for politicians. Because Big Media knows how to investigate politicians, with a dogged refusal to accept the sort of B.S. the NYT is feeding Ed. But Big Media doesn’t know how to investigate itself. (To be fair, who does? That’s why we bloggers are here.)
You see, with Big Media, they think it’s the coverup that covers things up. Because they get away with stuff like this all the time.
We’ll see if they get away with this. It wouldn’t hurt for more people to be discussing it.