Times Watch Quotes of Note -Preening Over Publishing Stolen Cables, Snooty Over Swiped Climate-Gate Email
Plus: Frank Rich's latest excruciating metaphor and his lament that "homophobia" is merely a "misdemeanor" in official D.C. circles. And Kate Zernike claims her slanted book on the Tea Party movement is balanced and objective.
Published: 12/16/2010 11:02 AM ET
Times Preens Over Publishing Stolen Cables, Was Snooty Over Swiped Climate-Gate Email
"Of course, most of these documents will be made public regardless of what The Times decides. WikiLeaks has shared the entire archive of secret cables with at least four European publications, has promised country-specific documents to many other news outlets, and has said it plans to ultimately post its trove online. For The Times to ignore this material would be to deny its own readers the careful reporting and thoughtful analysis they expect when this kind of information becomes public. But the more important reason to publish these articles is that the cables tell the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions, the decisions that cost the country most heavily in lives and money...As daunting as it is to publish such material over official objections, it would be presumptuous to conclude that Americans have no right to know what is being done in their name." - Executive Editor Bill Keller, in his "Note to Readers" on November 29, 2010.
"The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here." - Former Times environmental reporter and current blogger Andrew Revkin, November 20, 2009.
Frank Rich's Latest Excruciating Extended Metaphor
"Wall Street is already celebrating the approach of bonus season by partying like it's 2007. In The Times's account of this return to conspicuous consumption, we learned of a Morgan Stanley trader, since fired for unspecified reasons, who went to costly ends to try to hire a dwarf for a Miami bachelor party prank that would require the dwarf to be handcuffed to the bachelor. If this were a metaphor - if only! - Wall Street would be the bachelor, and America the dwarf, involuntarily chained to its master's hedonistic revels and fiscal recklessness with no prospect for escape." - Excerpt from Frank Rich's November 28 column.
Sounds Fair and Balanced to Me
"I mean, I've just written this book that very consciously tried to come up through the middle, and look at the Tea-that we, you know, the publishing house and I made a very conscious decision that there was a lot of polemic out there. I'm not a columnist so I couldn't write a polemic about the Tea Party. What I could do is be a reporter. And we made a decision that we felt that there were a lot of people out there who just didn't understand what the Tea Party was And so there was merit in saying, OK, we're going to take as objective as possible a look. And certainly, you know, conservatives think I'm not objective. Liberals think I'm too objective, whatever. You can't win on this score. But we were really gonna try and I think we produced a pretty good, balanced effect." - Kate Zernike, speaking at the "Bipartisan Policy Center" in New Orleans on November 9.
"It was difficult, if not disingenuous, for the Tea Party groups to try to disown the behavior. They had organized the rally, and under their model of self-policing, they were responsible for the behavior of people who were there. And after saying for months that anybody could be a Tea Party leader, they could not suddenly dismiss as faux Tea Partiers those protesters who made them look bad." - An excerpt from Zernike's book "Boiling Mad," taking as fact unsubstantiated assertions that Tea Party members shouted racial slurs at black congressmen during a Capitol Hill protest against Obama-care.
You can read the full list of the latest biased quotes from the New York Times here.
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