October 22, 2006

NYTimes Does An About Face

Those self rightous blankety blanks at the New York Times publish a Mea Culpa on the SWIFT banking story.

There were reasons to publish the controversial article, but they were slightly outweighed by two factors to which I gave too little emphasis. While it’s a close call now, as it was then, I don’t think the article should have been published.
I haven’t found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws. Although data-protection authorities in Europe have complained that the formerly secret program violated their rules on privacy, there have been no Times reports of legal action being taken. Data-protection rules are often stricter in Europe than in America, and have been a frequent source of friction.
And these are the folks that want us to trust them on matters of knowing which security matters they can publish.

And where are the self righteous bloggers on the left? Will they publish a Mea Culpa also or will their BDS continue to blind them.

Read the whole NYT article then come back and comment.

A tip 'O The GM Derby to Instapundit

Posted by GM Roper at October 22, 2006 02:09 PM | TrackBack

I'm done with the NYT. Done, I say! Coming from Mennonite stock, I really know how to shun.

Posted by Always On Watch at October 22, 2006 03:29 PM

I think the New York Times published this mea culpa because it wants the SWIFT program to continue now that it seems Democrats may get control of the House. If not for the Times' reversal, how awkward would it be for the Democrats to regain the majority but decline to axe the SWIFT program? This is just one more example of left-wing flip-flopping: The Times' editors were against the SWIFT program before they were for it.

Posted by DRJ at October 22, 2006 03:40 PM

I would guess that this rubbish is just a response to some further reduction in circulation/subscription numbers; They undoubtedly receive tons of emails, telephone calls and snail mails commensurate with these reduced figures, and know exactly why people are discontinuing their NYT purchases.

I would hardly expect the portside blogosphere to offer any such mea culpas, however. If anything, they'll be more likely to throw some rocks at the Times for "selling out" their dubious cause rather than stick with the party lie (no n intended).

Posted by Seth at October 22, 2006 03:44 PM

However, having been typing my comment simultaneously with DJR's, DJR has a good point.

"The Times' editors were against the SWIFT program before they were for it." -- ROTFLMAO!!!!

Posted by Seth at October 22, 2006 03:46 PM

The New York Times Co. reported Thursday that its third-quarter 2006 profit from continuing operations plunged 39.2% .... http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003285206

Would they like to consult us to know what's wrong?

Posted by Woody at October 22, 2006 05:35 PM

Woody, if they do, I'm charging them one hell of a lot for a consulting fee.

Posted by GM at October 22, 2006 05:43 PM

Short of a conversion to Conservatism, this meas culpa is probably as much as we're going to get from a NYT editor. I give mixed reviews.

Mr. Calame did admit (in different words) that BDS had clouded his initial judgment. Of the two tipping factors he mentioned, the program's legality is something that he could have and should have looked at more closely at the time. However, the issue of "abuse of private data" looks to be a red herring, as it seems like something that he has shifted his position based on postpublication data.

I also am unclear as to what he is really concluding. He's moved from "strongly supporting" to "close call but no" but seems to be writing from the detached perspective of a post mortem, or "whoops, I guess I got it wrong that time". What I see lacking is 1) a lack of due recognition of the consequences of publication on the security of the U.S. and the failure to assess what weight that consideration should have had in the initial decision; and 2) no discussion as to what lessons were learned and how things will be different in the future.

I am unclear as to the relationship between Mr. Calame and other editors and the publisher. Is there something special about his title as "public editor" - what is a "public editor"?

My final grade: C- (I'm in a good mood; it's a glorious fall day outside)

Posted by civil truth at October 22, 2006 05:56 PM

Civil Truth,

I think you raise some good points.

As for the public editor, the New York Times describes this position as a readers' representative. Here's a link: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/opinion/calame-bio.html

Posted by DRJ at October 22, 2006 06:35 PM

I tried to TB to you but, well you know how that goes...

I wrote a little bit about this myself sir!

NYT and Lil Kim, We're Sorry

Posted by Big Dog at October 23, 2006 08:20 AM

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