April 13, 2006

Hard Times at the Old Gray Lady

It is becoming apparent that the New York Times is going through some desparate straits. But did anyone think that things were this bad?

A front-page article in some copies on Sunday reported that a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney said he had been authorized to disclose to a reporter that one of the key judgments in a 2002 National Intelligence Estimate was that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium." The assertion about the aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr., was based on a court filing last Wednesday by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor overseeing the indictment of Mr. Libby in the C.I.A. leak case.

Yesterday, Mr. Fitzgerald filed a letter with the court correcting his original filing to say Mr. Libby had been authorized to disclose "some of the key judgments of the N.I.E., and that the N.I.E. stated that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure
uranium." This revised account of his filing undercut a basis of the Times article — that Mr. Libby testified that he had been told to overstate the significance of the intelligence about uranium.

Although Mr. Fitzgerald formally filed his corrective yesterday, accounts of it were provided to some news organizations on Tuesday night, and were the basis for news articles yesterday.
The Times did not publish one, as other organizations did, because a telephone message and an e-mail message about the court filing went unnoticed at the newspaper. An article on the filing appears today, on Page A17.

ROTFLMAO. That is the kind of excuse you use when you tell your wife you neglected to buy flour at the supermarket.


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