Friday, October 14, 2005

NY Times Response To Its Lack of Coverage On Judith Miller

In a story from Editor and Publisher, some of the New York Times' Op-Ed columnists responded to the factthat the Times lacked any real coverage on the Judith Miller story. Here is part of the piece:
Frank Rich, [when] asked about the lack of commentary, replied: "We are independent operators who work outside the newsroom." Thomas Friedman said: "We are truly home alone. We can write whatever we want."

John Tierney, however, explained, "I didn't feel a need to weigh in," indicating that his "Nadagate" column represented all he had to say on the issue. "A column really works best when you really have something to say about something. I haven't had a great original thought on this."

Tierney also said that he did not have any more information on the case than any other Times reader, so he was reluctant to give an opinion. When asked if he could have at least acknowledged the issue in a column and written about how it is affecting the media or Washington, he dismissed such an approach. "An awful lot of my columns are not about Washington," said Tierney, who is based in the nation's capital. "I don't have inside knowledge of this case and when I write a column, I try to say something that is original..."

But when asked why he could not have weighed in on the matter during the past few months as Miller waited in jail and the topic received major scrutiny in several news outlets -- including the Times own supportive editorial page -- Friedman repeated that he "just had nothing important to say."

These excuses are simply cop-outs. New York Times Op-Ed columnists never have "nothing important to say." The opinions of these journalists are a major "information" source for a large number of lefties, not to mention a guiding standard for how the rest of the MSM will eventually weigh in on issues.

To say that there was "nothing important to say" is like saying that the people of the New York Times support the president. It simply isn't true. These columnists ALWAYS have something to say, and their reason for not speaking up is merely because they did not want to investigate one of their own, for fear of what they might find.