(Update 2: FP on Buzzflash! Wow, folks - thanks!)
On the last day of 2007, the New York Times published an editorial, titled "Looking at America," bemoaning what the nation has come to. It starts out like this:
"There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency."It's a great editorial, and I agree with pretty much every word in it.
So why am I so pissed off?
Because the NYT was no small contributor to the state of affairs in which we find ourselves today. In fact, this little tid-bit:
"We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant."was information that the Times knew about before the 2004 election - and sat on so as not to hurt George W. Bush's chances for re-election! Like the Supreme Court in 2000, who delivered a ruling that only applied to Bush to guarantee his civil right to be President by not counting votes, a lot of institutions seem dedicated to protecting at all costs one man's divine right to the Presidency. Funny - I thought the first responsibility the press has (and the reason that it is the only profession singled out in the First Amendment for special protection) is to the public interest and the public's right to know the truth - not covering the President's rear end. But the New York Times held back what they knew about warrantless wiretapping, and Dubya was able to weasel into another deadly term.
This supposed 'liberal rag' was a cheerleader for this war that they are now wringing their hands about. Judith Miller delivered article after article filled with 'information' trumpeting 'weapons of mass destruction', which gave credibility to the Bush Administration's insistence that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat who could only be dealt with by pre-emptive military attack.
Every time the Times had a chance to stand up and tell the truth, they cravenly rolled over for their corporate masters. Now they're blubbering about how awful these last seven years have been.
Boo hoo hoo.
You can bite me, NYT.
The editorial finishes up like this:
We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.Unlike 2004? You mean when you kept vital information from the American voters so as to assure another Bush presidency? How about looking in the mirror as a newspaper, instead of a propaganda mouthpiece?
And, to add insult to injury, at the same time you're sniveling into your hankie about how horrid it's all been, you serve up more of the same, hiring Bill Kristol, neocon war-monger extraordinaire, as your newest 'columnist'. Could you possibly find a more credibility-challenged candidate? Practically every word out of his mouth has been proven wrong, and yet he continues to be treated as an 'authority' of some kind. David Corn writes in the Nation:
On March 5, 2003, Kristol said, "I think we'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq."
Such vindication never came. Kristol was mistaken about the justification for the war, the costs of the war, the planning for the war, and the consequences of the war. That's a lot for a pundit to miss. In his columns and statements about Iraq, Kristol displayed little judgment or expertise. He was not informing the public; he was whipping it. He turned his wishes into pronouncements and helped move the country to a mismanaged and misguided war that has claimed the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. That's not journalism.
This is someone who should be writing for the 'Paper of Record'?
So pardon me, NYT, if I'm not buying your sob story. Save it for some other chump.
The Gray Lady doth protest too much, methinks.