Americans Deserve Better Than Keller's Open Letter

Robert Cox, in his debut op/ed as a member of The Examiner’s blog board, says that Americans deserve better than what they have gotten from NYT’s Bill Keller.

This past Sunday, The Times’ executive editor published an open letter in which Keller incoherently weaves together disparate threads of past Times coverage of the run-up to the Iraq war, the Bay of Pigs invasion, administration criticism of media reporting of terror attacks in Iraq and other recent disclosures of covert intelligence operations appends a detailed critique of what purports to be the Bush administration’s case for holding off on the SWIFT story and ties up the entire package with the risible assertion that The Times decision was not borne of “any animus toward the current administration.” Nowhere does Keller address the particulars of why he felt it necessary to run the SWIFT story last Friday.

Americans deserve better.

It comes down to a matter of trust, something in short supply for most Americans when it comes to The New York Times. Since Sept. 11, The Times has published fabricated quotations (Maureen Dowd), fabricated datelines (Rick Bragg) and stories manufactured out of whole cloth (Jayson Blair). The Times, by many estimates, made the administration’s case for war by publishing now-discredited claims about Iraq’s WMD program (Judith Miller). Dan Rather may have made “fake but accurate” famous, but it was The New York Times that honed the practice to an art form. Maybe they could sell T-shirts?

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