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The Battle of the (Bush) Bulge: Why Did the 'NYT' Kill Its Story?
Editor and Publisher ^ | 02/09/05 | Brian Orloff

Posted on 02/09/2005 4:50:00 PM PST by Pikamax

The Battle of the (Bush) Bulge: Why Did the 'NYT' Kill Its Story?

By Brian Orloff

Published: February 09, 2005 1:00 PM ET

NEW YORK "It's just as important a story after the election, and they've dropped it," says freelance writer David Lindorff, referring to the alleged bulge under President Bush’s suit jacket during the first presidential debate late fall. Lindorff’s take on how, and why, The New York Times killed a story on the controversy just before the November election gained wide attention this week after it was published in Extra!, a magazine produced by the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

Lindorff first wrote on evidence supporting the bulge-is-real theory last fall for Salon.com.

His Extra! story, "The Emperor's New Hump," partly based on e-mails from a Times reporter, revealed that reporters at the newspaper extensively reported a story -- only to see editors kill it in the week before the election -- raising questions about a subject that had been treated as something of a joke by many in the media and dismissed out of hand by the White House.

The Times’ story got as far as it did mainly because a respected NASA scientist had produced enhanced photographic evidence that the president was wearing something -- a bulletproof vest, electronic device, or back brace, no one could say.

The fact that the story was killed is not news. In a December 19 note on his Web page, the paper's public editor, Daniel Okrent, quoted Times Executive Editor Bill Keller saying, "In the end, nobody, including the scientist who brought it up, could take the story beyond speculation. In the crush of election-finale stories, it died a quiet, unlamented death."

But that Web note also revealed that science reporter Andrew Revkin, who contributed the bulk of the reporting, had told Okrent that the scientist’s assertions “did rise above the level of garden-variety speculation, mainly because of who he is. ... He essentially put his hard-won reputation utterly on the line."

In Lindorff’s view, the Times got cold feet after it published a story about the ammunition dumps in Iraq allegedly overlooked by invading U.S. forces and in response was “getting hammered from the right for having done an October surprise on Bush.”

But, in an interview with E&P, Lindorff noted the difference between the two stories, with the ammo dump involving “incompetence of subordinates to the president and the other one is actually attacking the president's personal character, which is harder for a real mainstream paper like the Times to do.

"This story was saying that he probably cheated, and it was saying that he definitely lied, because that picture has something under his jacket, and he was saying it was an ill-fitting suit," Lindorff said. "Calling the president a liar, the Times doesn't do that recently."

E&P attempted to reach Okrent for comment this week, but his office said he would be out of town until late today.

According to Lindorff's timetable, the Times postponed the Bulgegate story from the day it was initially slotted, the Tuesday before the election, until Thursday, five days before the election, when it was more likely to be deemed too late. "Five days before an election is enough time for a seasoned political machine to respond,” he said. s

In his Extra! story, Lindorff traced the postponement by documenting, and quoting from, a series of e-mails between Robert Nelson, the NASA scientist, and Times reporter John Schwartz. For example, in his first e-mail to Nelson, Lindorff quoted Schwartz as writing, "This story is shaping up very nicely, but my editors have asked me to hold off for one day while they push through a few other stories that are ahead of us in line. I might be calling you again for more information, but I hope that you’ll hold tight and not tell anyone else about this until we get a chance to get our story out there."

Now Lindorff suggests further revelations in this case. “It's obviously not the final word," Lindorff said of Okrent's column. "It's not conclusive what the thing is, but it sure as hell is conclusive that the president lied.

"This administration has really cowed the media into really being afraid to call it for what it is," he said. "They did it with Nixon. It got to the point where they recognized that Nixon was a crook. But they haven't done that here because we're not dealing with criminality. We're dealing with just deceit. ... But they can't bring themselves to say that about the president. ... They're just too polite."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bulge; conspiracy; firstdebate; gwb2004; nyt; okrent

1 posted on 02/09/2005 4:50:01 PM PST by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

2 posted on 02/09/2005 4:52:32 PM PST by MisterRepublican (Liberalism kills.)
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To: Pikamax
Let's see, Bush fell on his face in the first debate and did reasonably well in the second two.

Obvious explanation is that he was wired and somebody was feeding him the answers in the first debate. Yeah, right.

3 posted on 02/09/2005 4:53:29 PM PST by Vigilanteman (crime would drop like a sprung trapdoor if we brought back good old-fashioned hangings)
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To: Vigilanteman

It was a Rove plot.


4 posted on 02/09/2005 4:54:37 PM PST by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax
The Times’ story got as far as it did mainly because a respected NASA scientist had produced enhanced photographic evidence that the president was wearing something -- a bulletproof vest, electronic device, or back brace, no one could say.

Humph!

I did a scientific study of Kerry during the debates, and based on what came out of his mouth, can prove conclusively that NOTHING is in Kerry's head!

Real NASA scientists agree with me, too! Hey they saw the bunny pic stuff in real time!

MSM blew off that story, as well...and the evidence was overwhelming...

5 posted on 02/09/2005 4:55:41 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Freedom. Brought to you by the grace of God and the Red, White and Blue...)
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To: Pikamax

Ha!


6 posted on 02/09/2005 4:56:44 PM PST by Cold Heat (What are fears but voices awry?Whispering harm where harm is not and deluding the unwary. Wordsworth)
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To: Pikamax
"The Battle of the (Bush) Bulge: Why Did the 'NYT' Kill Its Story?"

They killed the story because we would have ridiculed them for making a big deal out of a bulletproof vest or poorly laundered suit.

In other words, they spiked the story to protect some of their own (whatever remains) credibility.

7 posted on 02/09/2005 4:58:57 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: MisterRepublican
Yes it's this sh** again. -Tom


8 posted on 02/09/2005 4:59:10 PM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb Republicans - Capt. Tom)
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To: Pikamax
"This administration has really cowed the media into really being afraid to call it for what it is," he said.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: SOme of these just write their own punchlines.

9 posted on 02/09/2005 4:59:38 PM PST by Darkwolf377 ("Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."-Ronald Reagan)
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To: EternalVigilance

This is really silly. Lsst time I checked NASA does not specialize in determining that a person lied about whether a bulge in their shirt in a photo was a "something" or a wrinkle. I don't care if the bulge looked like a cheese sandwich with Jesus Christ appearing on it - as just one example - stuff often "looks" odd in a photo but NASA scientists cannot determine this. Really stupid stuff, the story being that the NYT even considered going with this.


10 posted on 02/09/2005 5:02:32 PM PST by Williams
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To: Pikamax

We all know that the George W Bush in that debate was a robot, the hump was a swollen battery pack.

/no dumber than the other theories


11 posted on 02/09/2005 5:02:54 PM PST by AlbertWang
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To: Pikamax

Wow, Democrats really ARE in their own little delusional world, aren't they?

Frankly, I hope they keep trying to push this story. It reveals them for the fools they are, and they will lose whatever credibility they once had with whatever swing voters are still out there.


12 posted on 02/09/2005 5:05:06 PM PST by alwaysconservative (Dean as chairman of the DNC: who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?)
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To: Williams

Not only that, 'NASA scientists' don't have much credibility when it comes to analyzing photographic evidence if you think back to the foam insulation/ Columbia shuttle story.


13 posted on 02/09/2005 5:11:39 PM PST by elli1
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To: Pikamax

TIN FOIL HAT BUMP!!


14 posted on 02/09/2005 5:25:51 PM PST by conservativecorner
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To: Pikamax
Go here to see what the little shit looks like.
15 posted on 02/09/2005 5:30:44 PM PST by conservativecorner
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To: Pikamax

Hmmm, POTUS wears bullet resistent vest - that's news? The story was killed for obviousness and lameness.


16 posted on 02/09/2005 5:51:01 PM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite, it's almost worth defending.)
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To: Capt. Tom

I believe that's called "backbone"...something unknown to most Bush critics.


17 posted on 02/09/2005 6:02:20 PM PST by Harpo Speaks (Honk! Honk! Honk! Either it's foggy out, or make that a dozen hard boiled eggs.)
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To: Pikamax

"This administration has really cowed the media into really being afraid to call it for what it is," he said. "They did it with Nixon."

Nixon was driven from office by the WP. Where is this guys head?


18 posted on 02/09/2005 6:32:32 PM PST by Smartaleck (CD "Never argue with an idiot, he'll bring you down to his level - then beat you with experience")
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To: elli1

"Not only that, 'NASA scientists' don't have much credibility when it comes to analyzing photographic evidence if you think back to the foam insulation/ Columbia shuttle story."

What are you talking about?


19 posted on 02/09/2005 6:37:16 PM PST by Flightdeck (Liberals see Saddam's mass graves as half full. I prefer to see them as half empty.)
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To: Pikamax

What happened to the actually legit story about Kerry cheating with his folded up paper of notes and pen? As opposed to this one which is written by a turd-for-a-brain who hadn't realized that it was already determined to obviously be a bullet-proof vest.


20 posted on 02/09/2005 6:40:30 PM PST by Flightdeck (Liberals see Saddam's mass graves as half full. I prefer to see them as half empty.)
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To: Williams
I don't care if the bulge looked like a cheese sandwich with Jesus Christ appearing on it - as just one example - stuff often "looks" odd in a photo

Yeah, and he wears a wire so people can feed him the answers even when he is bumping around his ranch in his pick-up in Texas. Sheesh.

21 posted on 02/09/2005 6:46:03 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: eno_

Geeeeeez! I thought the issue was settled as being the bullet-proof vest. I cannot believe they're still trying to make an issue out of this.

This is just another AWOL story run amuk!! I wonder if they hand onto this one for 5 years like they did the last one?


22 posted on 02/09/2005 6:48:56 PM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: Flightdeck
What are you talking about?

They had film of the foam hitting the wing but after analyzing it dismissed it as not very important without telling the crew of the potential hazard. Only after recreating the hit in a wind tunnel did they finally admit that it was the cause of the failure.

23 posted on 02/09/2005 6:49:01 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls

I guess folks have never seen a concealable vest with a trauma pad - cuz that's what that is.


24 posted on 02/09/2005 6:51:53 PM PST by Terabitten (A quick reminder to the liberals. The election in Iraq was done NOT IN YOUR NAME.)
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To: Capt. Tom

Actually NASA has developed a clone of "W" with robotic implants. Our first bionic president...

Now it's possible from him to appear to be in public when he's actually fishing at the ranch. (he wishes!)
;^)


25 posted on 02/09/2005 6:53:16 PM PST by hoosiermama (It's more than an election...It's a change of heart....an enlightenment....life is important)
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To: Pikamax

Cashmere and Kevlar? Bulge Affair Has Tailor Miffed (Bush's back bulge in debate)

 

Posted by Jenya
On News/Activism
11/08/2004 11:29:32 AM CST · 20 replies · 1,786+ views

NY Times ^
Cashmere and Kevlar? Bulge Affair Has Tailor Miffed By ELISABETH BUMILLER, The New York Times WASHINGTON (Nov. 8) - Now that the election is over, there remains a piece of unfinished business: Whatever was that strange bulge in the back of President Bush's suit jacket that was visible during the three debates? New York Times The White House was flooded with calls about the bulge in Bush's jacket at the first debate. In an effort to find out, it seemed like a good idea to drop in on Georges de Paris, the longtime presidential tailor who got dragged into the...

 

 

SECRET OF BUSH'S 'BULGE'

 

Posted by kattracks
On News/Activism 11/06/2004 1:10:18 AM CST · 28 replies · 1,468+ views


New York Post ^ | 11/06/04 | Post Wire Services
The mysterious bulge on President Bush's back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding a bulletproof vest.[snip] Bush's team did not want to admit he was wearing a vest for fear of disclosing information that related to his personal security while he was campaigning across the country.

 

 

The last word on Bush’s 'bulge'

 

Posted by JerseyRepub
On News/Activism 11/05/2004 5:46:35 PM CST · 70 replies · 2,518+ views


The Hill ^ | 11/5/2004 | Albert Eisele and Jeff Dufour
The last word on Bush’s bulge Call off the conspiracy freaks. Now it can be told: That mysterious bulge on President Bush’s back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding his bulletproof vest in place. Speculation about the bulge on the Internet only increased since Georges de Paris, the Washington tailor who makes Bush’s suits, told The Hill last month that it was nothing more than a pucker on the back of Bush’s coat caused when he crossed his arms. But sources in the Secret Service told The Hill that...

 

 

The last word on Bush’s bulge (strap holding his bulletproof vest in place)

 

Posted by NavySEAL F-16
On News/Activism 11/04/2004 11:41:43 PM CST · 59 replies · 2,148+ views


The Hill ^ | November 4, 2004 | Albert Eisele and Jeff Dufour
The last word on Bush’s bulge Call off the conspiracy freaks. Now it can be told: That mysterious bulge on President Bush’s back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding his bulletproof vest in place. Speculation about the bulge on the Internet only increased since Georges de Paris, the Washington tailor who makes Bush’s suits, told The Hill last month that it was nothing more than a pucker on the back of Bush’s coat caused when he crossed his arms. But sources in the Secret Service told The Hill that...

 


26 posted on 02/09/2005 6:55:21 PM PST by delacoert (imperat animus corpori, et paretur statim: imperat animus sibi, et resistitur. -AUGUSTINI)
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To: Terabitten

Note the large square thing - most vests only have them in the front, but I'd certainly have one in the back if I was the Prez. It's a trauma pack - designed to provide additional ballistic protection over the vital organs. Some are soft (basically an extra later of kevlar, spectraflex, etc) but some are hard - made of metal. I'd imagine the leader of the free world uses a hard trauma plate.

27 posted on 02/09/2005 6:55:46 PM PST by Terabitten (A quick reminder to the liberals. The election in Iraq was done NOT IN YOUR NAME.)
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To: hoosiermama
If you want to read some real life paranoia on the subject of the Bush Bulge try this lunatic asylum.
28 posted on 02/09/2005 7:01:57 PM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb Republicans - Capt. Tom)
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To: FreedomCalls

OK I remember now.


29 posted on 02/09/2005 7:06:01 PM PST by Flightdeck (Liberals see Saddam's mass graves as half full. I prefer to see them as half empty.)
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To: Capt. Tom

I'll take your work for it.....It's just so rediculous.....Some people obviously have too much time on their hands....Maybe they should get a job.


30 posted on 02/09/2005 7:06:57 PM PST by hoosiermama (It's more than an election...It's a change of heart....an enlightenment....life is important)
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To: Capt. Tom

I browsed Schizoworld to check on the delusion du jour and saw that one and the ongoing "I believe" thread. Always good for a laugh.


31 posted on 02/09/2005 8:54:02 PM PST by Atchafalaya (When you're there, thats the best!)
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To: Vigilanteman
Obvious explanation is that he was wired and somebody was feeding him the answers in the first debate. Yeah, right.

Does anyone recall seeing X clinton wearing his two hearing aids? Sheese no one even questioned the sudden appearance of these hearing aids when they popped up.

http://deafness.about.com/cs/archivedarticles/a/clintonaids.htm

President Clinton Gets Hearing Aids

While he was President, the nation's deaf and hard of hearing community got a new member -- former President Bill Clinton. Clinton was fitted for new hearing aids, the completely in the canal type.

32 posted on 02/09/2005 10:20:28 PM PST by itsahoot (There are some things more painful than the truth, but I can't think of them.)
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To: Pikamax

Battle Of The (Bush) Bulge redux
http://www.theday.com/eng/web/news/re.aspx?re=706CAF00-8DC3-4B41-94BE-A6976E88F712


33 posted on 02/20/2005 9:14:31 AM PST by bitt ("Conservatism is the dominant political creed in America,")
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