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April 22, 2009

NYT Buries Story About Enhanced Interrogations' Effectiveness

No surprise.

I asked Richard Stevenson, who is the Times' deputy Washington bureau chief, what was going on. He told me Baker got the Blair information late in the day Tuesday, and there just wasn't room for it in the paper. "We already had three stories on this subject," Stevenson explained, "and it was late, there was no more space to do this separately…We just didn't have the space to put it in the print newspaper."


One reason Baker's story has attracted so much attention is that it provided some balance to a number of interrogation stories we have seen in the Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. There is a legitimate argument to be made by the defenders of the Bush administration's interrogation program, and to see it echoed by Barack Obama's national intelligence director is striking. My guess is that, even given the attention Baker's story has gotten on the Web, it would have had even more impact were it the paper, as well.

Stevenson denied that there was any bias in the Times' decision not to run the story in the paper edition. "If your implication was there was some sort of ideological or value judgment made about the subject matter, that's preposterous," he told me. "It was 8:30 at night, we had a lot of stories going, a limited amount of space, and the ability to get that news into a different story." Stevenson stressed that the Times, after all, broke the news that all those blogs are talking about. "We no longer think of the print paper as the sole definition of the New York Times," he said. "We can get a big pop on a story by putting it on the Web, faster, more completely, and with more impact."

Captain Ed notes the Times did report it online, but is baffled at how such a big story failed to bump additional stories or even get the printing of the paper delayed in order to be included.

The Times is lying, of course. This is so transparently obvious I will not belabor it. They are lying, as they frequently lie. Lies are their stock in trade and have been for some time.

My teeth grind every time I hear the Times or MSM claim that some people -- conservatives -- need to stop reading partisan papers and read "objective" papers like the Times (giggle). Both for real truth, and "nuance" to counter the agitprop they receive from partisan papers.

But for the Times and MSM, "nuance" is a one-way ratchet. They want conservatives to believe more liberal claims, and thereby become more "nuanced" in their judgments and beliefs.

But when a story comes along that would add "nuance" to a cherished dogma of the left -- here, a memo from Obama's own DNI -- explaining that waterboarding in fact saved lives, the Times doesn't seem moved to inject that nuance into the debate. The left it is quite willing to let live with its silly fantasies, devoid of nuance.

Because the Times buried the story, and thereby signaled to the follow-the-leader sheep media that the story was unimportant, it will not get much play from anyone but that nasty conservative media the Times thinks you shouldn't be reading anyway.

Nuance is healthy, apparently, but only the right isn't getting its recommended daily allowance of the stuff.

The media freaks out whenever conservatives believe something that is untrue (or that they have collectively determined is untrue), publishing story after story, for example, about conservatives' wrongful (?) belief that Barack Obama was at one time a Muslim, or that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.

They make a major issue not only of the facts (or "facts"), but do stories about the stories, meta-stories, concerning conservatives' ignorance of the facts ("facts").

But here? The left will continue screaming that waterboarding -- or any coercive technique that disrupts one's soulpatterns -- never works. And the Times is quite willing to leave the left undisturbed in believing that fiction.

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posted by Ace at 02:50 PM

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