Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Bashes MRC, Brent Bozell
To this the editorial wrote:
To prove that the Bozell column is "blatantly false," the editorial quotes Bill Keller and LA Times editor Dean Baquet jointly saying:
So fulminated conservative propagandist Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center last week. His statement was part of an anti-Times frenzy whipped up by Republican strategists, then echoed ad nauseam by Pavlovian talk shows and blogs.
For these folks, bashing the Times (and journalists generally) is a hobby.
This time, though, the rhetoric has ratcheted up beyond reason: accusing Keller of a heinous crime, treason. One talk-show host talked of sending the editor to the gas chamber.
What's amazing about Bozell's statement is that he sent it to hundreds of journalists' in-boxes, even though it is so blatantly false.
"Make no mistake, journalists have a large and personal stake in the country's security. We live and work in cities that have been tragically marked as terrorist targets. Reporters and photographers from both our papers braved the collapsing towers to convey the horror to the world.Even in this explanation, the two editors try not to seem "biased" in the War on Terror. Saying you don't want your journalists to die is not exactly the same as saying you want freedom to triumph over terror, or you want America to defeat its enemies.
"We have correspondents today alongside troops on the front lines in Iraq... . We, and the people who work for us, are not neutral in the struggle against terrorism."
The editorial page board provided an interesting spin on the meaning of the bank-monitoring revelation:
Indeed, when it suited its mood, this administration has trumpeted its efforts to pierce terrorists' financial networks. The Times story actually reinforced a message the United States wants to send al-Qaeda: The swift, global ease of electronic banking is closed to you now. To move money, you must use slow, awkward means.You must use other means where we won't be able to track you. But when we discover your next maneuver, we'll tell you about it so you can adapt again.
The editorial closes with the familiar refrain: New York Times = First Amendment, you can't have one without the other.
Can't just blame "liberal media" bias, not when Fox News is No. 1 and Ann Coulter tops best-seller lists. So, up the ante: "Bill Keller is a traitor."
This is false. This is mean. This is reckless and over the line.
It should be denounced by any American who prizes the First Amendment and the ideals of civil, democratic discourse.