Thursday, May 3, 2007

New York Times Names New Public Editor

On World Press Freedom Day a new Public Editor was named by the New York Times, and I am beside myself with joy at their choice.

The Times new Public Editor is Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Clark Hoyt – you remember Hoyt – he was the Editor in Chief of the Washington bureau for Knight-Ridder, assuming that mantle after serving as the Washington Bureau Chief – and if that still isn’t ringing any bells, maybe this will: He is the guy who got Iraq right.

In the prelude to the Iraq war and the early days of the war, Knight-Ridder stood apart from most of the mainstream news media in raising doubts at times about the Bush administration’s claims, later discredited, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda. Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, said that record contributed to his selection of Mr. Hoyt.

“There was a lot of work Knight-Ridder did that was prescient, that wasn’t easy to do,” Mr. Keller said. “It’s always hard to go against conventional wisdom. I think it probably brings him a measure of credibility that helps in getting started on a job like that — that he’s been associated with a brave and aggressive reporting exercise like that.”

Mr. Hoyt said that in 2002 and 2003 he had fielded a great deal of criticism “from angry readers who believed that we weren’t being patriotic, from government officials who said that what we were doing was wrong.”

To this long-time subscriber to the Times this is welcome news indeed. Nothing will ever atone for the complicity of the Times in aiding and abetting BushCrimCo in their quest to spy on Americans by sitting on the NSA Wiretapping story for a full year; and don’t even get me started on Judith "Iscariot" Miller. Bush’s Illegal War could not have been launched without her words. That unchangeable fact will be a mark of shame to be worn like a large, scarlet A on the Times forevermore. To the extent that redemption for Miller’s fecklessness and warmongering is possible, hiring her antithesis is the logical – the only – place to start.

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