The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
 

At last, the New York Times WMD climbdown!


As I look through my window, three squadrons of saddlebacks are looping the loop in formation.

Quite unexpectedly [1], the Times has issued an Editor's Note clarifying its coverage of issues of intelligence concerning Iraq's WMD and links to terrorism - which, in both cases, have proved mythical [2].

I shan't be barging my way to the front of the parsing detail [3]: cross-checking the Times' selection of pieces and comments thereon with Jack Shafer's work on Judith Miller, for instance. And, natch, looking once more at those fulsome endorsements of Miller from those funsters Sulzberger and Keller - who would now unexpectedly be available for barmitzvahs, if they were any justice, which there isn't.

One may salute the Times' management of expectations - but at least, in seeking to contextualise Miller's deficiencies, the Note recognises that the fault lay with the Times' editors, who drank as deep of the neocon/Chalabi Kool Aid as she:
Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper.

None of those editors, one suspects, has to fear for his position.

  1. As my May 24 piece shows, I certainly didn't expect it. The dateline of Jack Shafer's piece (May 25 1439 PT) suggests he didn't either, or was keeping it to himself.

  2. The Note links to a list of links to questionable articles.

  3. Some of the choices of words seem at first blush strange, though: it talks about information
    painstakingly extracted from intelligence agencies



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