Sunday, May 30, 2004

Brief Blips

The NYT 'public editor' writes a mildly blistering self-examination of the Times' pre-war and mid-war coverage, which he (quite correctly) characterizes as 'credulous'.

He identifies many of the worse practices; reliance on anonymous sources, who may or may not have a dog in that particular hunt (think Chalabi), the breathless rush to print on page A1 and correct on page A10, and the failure to revisit a story that has been disproved by subsequent events.

He includes this charming assessment: "Times reporters broke many stories before and after the war - but when the stories themselves later broke apart, in many instances Times readers never found out. Some remain scoops to this day. This is not a compliment."

Read the whole thing and wonder - why wasn't this level of clarity possible a year ago?

The NYT also features an editorial on the lack of visibility into the testing of electronic voting machines. This is a must-read.

Finally, the WashPost features an editorial by a retired Marine Major General who calls for the resignation of the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy SecDef and assorted "senior uniformed leaders". Failing that,he concludes:

Absent such a change in the current administration, many of us will be forced to choose a presidential candidate whose domestic policies we may not like but who understands firsthand the effects of flawed policies and incompetent military strategies and who fully comprehends the price.



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