Sunday, June 25, 2006

New York Times editor Bill Keller's letter

Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, has written a letter to its readers and those who have corresponded with that newspaper about its revealing of the secret SWIFT monitoring program. You may find the letter here.

I have not read the letter in its entirety. I read only four (4) sentences.

Sentence number four in the second paragraph of Bill Keller's letter:
(I could ask, if that's the case, why they are drawing so much attention to the story themselves by yelling about it on the airwaves and the Internet.)
I stopped right there. What a ridiculous, self-serving and hypocritical thing to say. The New York Times strokes itself as "the paper of record" and then blames others for the publicity which the Times itself has generated. And the sentence has not only set the tone for the remainder of his letter but is also the letter's summary. Doesn't one usually leave the summary for last? However, Keller did us a favor, I suppose, by stating the summary so early so that we might put down his missive immediately and go on to other things.

Hugh Hewitt, who read it all, comments on the above:
The very first thing Mr. Keller does is suggest that "conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits" are behind the uproar. This is not responsive at all to any of the many criticisms of the decision to publish, and the parenthetical aside is absurd --does he really think that the story is more publicized among terrorists because critics react to it? He must believe the terrorists to be very stupid indeed, but in so arguing reveals himself to be ignorant of the very sophisticated internet tacticians among the jihadists.
Don Surber:
Rather than give a reasoned and calm reply, Keller played politics, citing "the angry words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits" and engaging in parenthetical well-so-are-you playground games:
Ace of Spades:
Bill Keller offers up a gassy melange of generalities and bromides to justify his treason.

Here's a question. If the press is indeed the Fourth Estate of government, as they ceaselessly tell us they are, why do they not make themselves available for tough questioning as do all other branches of government? (Well, okay, except the judiciary.)
Wizbang could have saved me even the short time I spent reading only the first four sentences:
Dear Reader:
1) We have no reason to believe the program was illegal in any way.

2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists.

3) We ran the story anyway, screw you.

Bill Keller
Political Musings:
Their (sic) was no compelling interest in the Times’ publication of this story other than to sell papers and stick a finger in the eye of the administration. The story didn’t even attempt to make an argument that there was anything illegal or even questionable in the SWIFT monitoring.

The Times has chosen sides in the war. Sad to say it isn’t ours.
Because, Mr. Kellor, you and your newspaper already shouted the story from the rooftops. What little we add to the cacophony you have produced is minor.

If anything it gets even more sanctimonious and self serving from there. This is elitist lecturing at it's worst. And it explains nothing. Not one bit of useful information as to why Billy and Pinch thought a good, useful, effective and legal program should be exposed and ruined.
Dan Riehl read the whole thing:
Keller is simply spinning the issues to his liking. The core issue is and has always been tipping off terrorists to a program which even the Times is forced to admit works, and is legal.
Barry Ready:
Why are we drawing so much attention to the story? Because he published it after being informed that doing so would threaten our National security. It boils my blood that this idiot tries to shift the blame to others before he even finishes the second paragraph. How stupid does he think we are?

Here's a scoop for you Bill: If you had kept your trap shut, we wouldn't even be having this discussion now! What a moron!

The Squiggler:
Mr. Keller, some of us become very offended when we are patronized, lied to, and generally treated as fools, especially when it is a true fool trying to play God.

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