Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Gray Lady On Her Knees?

The Los Angeles Times finally answers the question I have posed a couple of times on this here blog: when, exactly, did the New York Times know about Bush's illegal spying on American Citizens. I was curious if this story was being sat on while we were doing the re-electing of George Bush.

Now my curiosity has been slaked. The NYT could have published the story before the 2004 elections. But the LA Times article makes this revelation into the best he-shaid-she-said quasi-objective bullshit:

The Times report has created a furor in Washington, with politicians in both parties and civil libertarians saying that President Bush was wrong to authorize the surveillance by the National Security Agency without permission from a special court.

Bush and his supporters have fired back, saying that the eavesdropping was needed to protect Americans after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. On Monday, the president called the public reports on the once-secret surveillance "shameful."

Politicians, journalists and Internet commentators have feverishly aired the debate over the timing of the New York Times story in the last four days — with critics on the left wondering why the paper waited so long to publish the story and those on the right wondering why it was published at all.

Conservatives suggested the Times had timed the story to persuade members of Congress to oppose reauthorization of the Patriot Act, the federal law that granted the government sweeping surveillance powers.

They also charged that the newspaper wanted to short-circuit good news for the Bush administration — Iraq's high-turnout, relatively violence-free elections.

See how everything is now a question of opinion? The timing of the story hurts the wingnuts, too! Somehow we are forgetting the fact that the New York Times KNEW over a year ago that the president was spying on American citizens and didn't tell the American citizens. If there were true security reasons for not publishing the story then, have these reasons now evaporated?

Nah. The Gray Lady was scared and fawning on this administration which employs Karl Rove to keep people quiet. They only came out with the story because one of their reporters was going to talk about it in a forthcoming book. This and the Judith Miller debacle may well spell the end of the Gray Lady. Too bad. At least they employed the most inane opinon columnist in the whole world: David Brooks.