Monday, July 10, 2006

 
Newspapers and Fact-Checking

I noticed that the Philadelphia Inquirer, in defending the New York Times, ignored rudimentary fact-checking:
Concerning the New York Times disclosure of the SWIFT program you parroted Bill Keller's justification when you wrote:

"Here's another key point: Despite the screeching in the partisan blogosphere, these stories endangered no lives. They did not tell al-Qaeda anyting it didn't already now."

In the original article in question the New York Times wrote:

"Among the successes was the capture of a Qaeda operative, Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of a Bali resort, several officials said. The Swift data identified a previously unknown figure in Southeast Asia who had financial dealings with a person suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda; that link helped locate Hambali in Thailand in 2003, they said."

Apparently, Mr. Hambali didn't know.

Newspapers which can't give a consistent story nor those papers which don't do some basic fact checking of other newspapers do not have the credibility nor the responsibilty to determine what can and cannot be leaked to the public. That is the responsibility of Congress and the White House.

Then, I noticed a Reuters article which said Bush pulled out of the Koyoto accords. If memory serves, it was voted down during the Clinton administration, 97-0.

And then, Captain's Quarters caught the New York Times in a glaring omission.

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