In their most recent effort to influence the election, the editors of the New York
Times demonstrated a cluelessness so vast it makes the politically maladroit Sen.
John Kerry seem tuned in by comparison.
Last Friday, the Times published a lengthy story by reporter William J. Broad
decrying the publication on the Web of Iraqi intelligence documents about Saddam
Hussein's nuclear weapons program.
"The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and
lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say
go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet," Mr. Broad wrote.
"Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s
and 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned
its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say at the
time, Mr. Hussein's scientists were on the verge of building an atomic bomb, as
little as a year away."
The message the Times' editors expect you to take from this is: "Those dumb
Bushies. They permitted publication of information that could help terrorists build
a nuclear bomb."
In their zeal to dump on the Republicans, it appears not to have occurred to the
editors of the Times that they were undermining their favorite meme: that "Bush
lied" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The Times wants to argue that this information posted on the Web is dangerous, but
that it wasn't dangerous in Saddam's hands. This is the Abu Ghraib of tortured
If Saddam had nuclear weapons plans so advanced and detailed that any country could
have used them, this supports President Bush's primary reason for going to war with
And the editors of the Times see no irony in advocating suppression of these
documents, when they have published classified information exposing the NSA's
intercepts of terrorist phone calls, and the means by which the U.S. has been
tracking terrorist financing.
"The sad reality is that the New York Times has done far more damage to national
security by the disclosure of vital, classified intelligence programs than is likely
to be caused by the inadvertent disclosure of decades old information that had
already been in the hands of Saddam's regime," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich),
chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The editors of the conservative Weekly Standard said they were pleased the Times was
finally paying attention to the captured documents.
"When the documents did begin to trickle out, the Times summoned only enough
interest to dismiss the effort as a waste of time," the Weekly Standard said.
One of the captured documents hasn't told its readers about confirms that Saddam's
regime trained thousands of non-Iraqi terrorists between 1998 and 2003," the Weekly
Standard said. Another lists thousands of jihadists imported from Gulf countries
before the war.
Polls taken over the weekend show the election tightening. The Democratic "wave"
many have been predicting may not materialize. We'll know shortly.
If Democrats fail to capture both the House and Senate and especially if they
fail to capture either it won't be the Democrats who'll be the biggest losers.
The news media have to an extraordinary degree dropped the mask of objectivity to
electioneer openly for Democrats. The double standard in news coverage has never
been more vivid.
Once America's "newspaper of record," the New York Times has become a national joke.
But the worst offender has been the Washington Post, in its coverage of the senate
races in Virginia and Maryland.
In her column Sunday, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell acknowledged her
newspaper's coverage has been biased.
"Supporters (of GOP Sen. George Allen) think he can't catch a break: I sympathize,"
she said. "The macaca coverage went on too long, and a profile of Allen was
relentlessly negative without balancing coverage of what made him a popular governor
It's bad business to convince (at least) half your readers that you are
untrustworthy. Of the nation's largest newspapers, all save the conservative New
York Post have lost circulation. The most liberal newspapers have lost the most.
Many papers are laying off employees.
I think it a poor bargain for a newspaper to trade its credibility for a few
additional Democratic seats in a midterm election. But imagine the weeping and
gnashing of teeth among editors and reporters if they load the dice at the risk of
their own jobs, and the Democrats still roll snakeyes?