News that the New York Times and Washington Post kept secret until recently the secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia is once again raising questions on the paper's politicized double standards on keeping state secrets related to the war on terror.
Contrast the deference paid to the Obama administration's request for secrecy, going along with the national security arguments advanced by Obama (until Wednesday's expose of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, Obama's choice to head the CIA) with how the paper routinely leaked secrets during the Bush administration that may have hurt anti-terrorist programs. Here are just some of the national security low-lights and double standards Times Watch has documented at the Times over the years.
Mark Thompson, a former director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, began his new job Monday as president and CEO of The New York Times. The lack of embarrassment was remarkable. Thompson claimed he was the worst kind of ignorant buffoon, knowing nothing about the massive sex-abuse scandal – and then its censorship – that’s rocking the BBC.
Scotland Yard has been conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by the late disc jockey and TV personality Jimmy Savile over six decades, describing him as a "predatory sex offender.” In mid-October, the metropolitian police stated they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims. Chris Patten, the head of the BBC’s government body called it “this great tsunami of filth.” BBC’s “Newsnight” was about to broadcast an expose last December – but BBC bosses spiked it, and incredibly, aired Christmas tributes to Savile instead.
Throughout the very long presidential election cycle, two trends remained consistent. The media lauded Obama no matter how horrendous his record, and they savaged Obama’s Republican contenders as ridiculous pretenders.
From the start of the Republican race in 2011, every candidate who took the lead then took an unfair beating. They even slimed Sarah Palin in case she decided to run. Martin Bashir announced she was “vacuous, crass, and according to almost every biographer, vindictive too.” Newsweek mocked Michele Bachmann on its cover, making her look pale, confused and nutty, with the headline “The Queen of Rage.” Politico and other media outlets tried to pin sexual harassment claims on Herman Cain without naming, or even knowing the accusers.
Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller visited Rep. Paul Ryan's alma mater, Miami University in Ohio, to examine Republicans in their natural element for his Monday column "The Republican ID," and seemed very concerned about the mindset of a college that actually favored the Republican candidate.
This patch of southern Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton is not the up-for-grabs Ohio you’ve read so much about. This is decided country, where House Speaker John Boehner is running for re-election unopposed, where “Defeat Obama” and “Romney/Ryan” lawn signs glisten in the chilly drizzle.
Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller went after Republicans and the party's "disciplined conservative infrastructure" in his 1,200-word Monday column on Romney's vice presidential pick Paul Ryan – "The Romney Package." Pecking at a multitude of conservative targets, Keller also said Reagan conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork was "attacked (with justification) as a radical," and accused the Swift Boat Veterans for truth of a "slander" against John Kerry in 2004.
In his Monday online column, "The Leak Police," former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller worked in a cheap shot against Mitt Romney while arguing that the Obama administration "without really setting out to do so, already surpassed all previous administrations in its prosecution of leakers, has begun new investigations into disclosures by The Times, Newsweek, The Associated Press and others." Keller wrote:
Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller's Monday column defended Obama's embattled health-care law against Republican "slurs" and "lies," in "Five Obamacare Myths." And Keller calling the Democratic-slanted "truth squad" FactCheck.org "impartial" won't do much for his credibility among conservatives, even if he does call himself a "devout capitalist."
On the subject of the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare, to reclaim the name critics have made into a slur -- a number of fallacies seem to be congealing into accepted wisdom. Much of this is the result of unrelenting Republican propaganda and right-wing punditry, but it has gone largely unchallenged by gun-shy Democrats. The result is that voters are confronted with slogans and side issues -- “It’s a tax!” “No, it’s a penalty!” -- rather than a reality-based discussion. Let’s unpack a few of the most persistent myths.
On Thursday's edition of the New York Times's daily TimesCast, liberal columnists Charles Blow and Bill Keller discussed Mitt Romney's appearance at the NAACP convention (which Keller, the paper's former executive editor, found condescending).
They took on the issue of voter ID laws in various states. Over a montage of still photos of blacks in line to vote, Keller called voter fraud "kind of a tiny problem comapred to voter participation." Blow one-upped Keller, saying "not just a tiny problem I mean, it's minuscule."