Quit Whilst You're Behind

Ah, the exposure of the SWIFT program is still bearing fruit. As Wizbang’s own Lorie Byrd reported, the Saturday, July 1st number of The New York Times contains a nervous op-ed by Dean Baquet and Bill Keller, respectively the editor of The Los Angeles Times and the executive editor of the Gray Lady. The question that serves as its title, “When Do We Publish a Secret?,” seems pretty easy to answer: Whenever they see fit.

And, quite frankly, we think these media bigwigs protest a bit too much. It’s getting a mite pathetic. For example, take a gander at this portion of the piece:

A few days ago, Treasury Secretary John Snow said he was scandalized by our decision to report on the bank-monitoring program. But in September 2003 the same Secretary Snow invited a group of reporters from our papers, The Wall Street Journal and others to travel with him and his aides on a military aircraft for a six-day tour to show off the department’s efforts to track terrorist financing.

You can be darn sure you’ve lost the argument when you stoop to the level of “Oh, yeah, well this one time….” If Messrs. Baquet and Keller are capable of such silliness, why don’t they join The Nation‘s Katrina vanden Heuvel, who can’t even admit that this brouhaha pertains to national security? To the dimwitted Ms. vanden Heuvel, everything is simple: It’s all about the evil Bush administration attempting to destroy our storied freedom of the press.

In the meantime, we feel as if some conservatives have gone a bit overboard in their criticism, suggesting that The New York Times hopes for Osama bin Laden to win the War on Terrorism. We think this is wrong: If the Islamists take over the US, it’ll prove tough to sell lots of copies of the Paper of Record. We have the feeling that the imams won’t really take to the sassy Maureen Dowd. That infidel.

Rather, we believe that the rationale in printing the SWIFT story is simple: The New York Times believes that the Bush administration is a greater threat to the United States than is Osama bin Laden. The staff at the Gray Lady doesn’t pine for an Islamic caliphate, but it does fear Dick Cheney more than al Qaeda.

In the context of leftists’ hysterical carpings about the Bush administration, it all makes a certain amount of sense. And some liberal commentators, who are currently–and ridiculously–making accusations of racism against critics of the Times for disliking a paper with the words “New York” in the title, ought to stand back for a moment and think things through.

After all, our friends on the political Left have shouted about the Patriot Act as the mark of a police state. They have donned “Bush Lied, Thousands Died” T-shirts, and clutched “Bush: The Real Terrorist” placards.

Nor has the Times been immune from this hyperbole. For example, they have offered hagiographical coverage of Cindy Sheehan, blithely overlooking her loony, anti-Semitic, Castro-loving ravings, and portraying her as a beacon of sanity. And Bob Herbert has composed the same column about the evils of George Bush’s foreign policy around 3,456 times by now. To read the opinion pages of the Times, you’d think that President Bush isn’t just wrong, he’s the spawn of Satan.

It’s no surprise, then, that the folks at The New York Times have concluded that the SWIFT story must be printed, even though they could not dredge up anything illegal about it. If the country is run by Chimpy McHitler, it follows that he should be allowed no secrets. Why can’t Bill Keller simply admit this?

(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently printing secrets about Bill Keller’s homosexual love trysts. They seriously considered the harm that the exposure of such secrets may bring, but decided to print them anyway. What the heck. At least they don’t aid a mortal enemy of the US.)

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