Friday, July 07, 2006

Paging Mr. Lichtblau... Mr. Lichtblau...

The incomparable Mark Steyn asks a fascinating question related to the New York Times during an interview on the Hugh Hewitt show. The Times has disclosed a series of classified U.S. programs that protect the national security interest, most recently Eric Lichtblau's article on the perfectly legal SWIFT program that tracks terrorists' international movement of funds.

[The Times'] defense now of their big scoop is that it wasn't a scoop, that in fact, everybody knew all this anyway, so they weren't telling anybody anything they didn't know. And I think that's nonsense. You know, Ann Coulter had a very good...she just said it as a throwaway line, really just en passant, and I'm not sure she realized actually quite what a good question it is. She said at some point in a column the other day, how many big al Qaeda secret plans  has the New York Times revealed?

And I think that's actually an interesting question. You know, when you go into a New York Times planning meeting, how much of their editorial resources are being devoted to getting inside the enemy? The British press is pretty anti-American, they're pretty anti-Israeli, they're anti-all kinds of things. But they still have journalistic instincts. Every week, I read a fascinating story in the London Times or some other paper, in which some guy has gone undercover... among the radical [extremists] in Yorkshire towns in England, where the July 7th bombers came from. And he's got all this fascinating material. A guy went undercover... [in] Brighton, in England, and came out with all kinds of material. How come nobody at the New York Times seems to be interesting in devoting any editorial energy to exposing what the enemy's up to?

A fascinating question. Methinks the Times won't be volunteering an answer anytime soon.

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