Skip to comments.New York Times Sent Unpublished Columns to the Obama Administration for Vetting
Posted on 09/15/2012 5:13:23 AM PDT by chessplayer
The New York Times is developing a bad habit of sending its columns to the Obama administration for approval. Daniel Harper at the Weekly Standard reported yesterday on a no-no committed by then-contributing Times columnist Peter Orszag, former director of Obama's Office of Management and Budget and an Obama-care booster in an October 20, 2010 column, "Malpractice Methodology." Halper wrote in part:
The latest Bob Woodward books reveals that Peter Orszag, at the time a columnist for the New York Times, sent a draft of an article to White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett for review and comments before publishing.
"Orszag continued his star turn in the op-ed spotlight and a month later drafted a column to appear October 20, 2010, on the sensitive subject of Obamacare," writes Woodward of Orszag, the former OMB director. "He wanted to focus on one of its weaknesses. The health care legislation does many things right, he wrote. But it does almost nothing to reform medical malpractice laws."
Woodward adds, "Should he alert the White House? [Orszag] wondered. Better not to surprise them. With some discomfort, because a columnist is supposed to speak for himself, not his former employer, Orszag sent his draft to Valerie Jarrett. It was about three days before the column was scheduled to run. Heres a draft, he wrote in an email to her. Let me know if you have any comments."
After the column ran, Jarrett was unhappy with Orszag's apparent disloyalty. According to Woodward, Orszag replied (though Woodward doesn't use quotes): "People think its a piece of crap. The weaknesses must be acknowledged." According to Woodward, "Jarretts answer was delivered with Politburo finality: You have burned your bridges."
(Orszag wrote for the Times for a few months, mostly on health care, after leaving the Obama administration. His last column appeared on December 10, 2010.)
And three weeks ago, it was uncovered that the paper's national intelligence reporter Mark Mazzetti leaked a Maureen Dowd column on the bin Laden killing to the CIA before publication. Dylan Byers of Politico reported August 28:
Newly available CIA records obtained by Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog group, reveal that New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti forwarded an advance copy of a Maureen Dowd column to a CIA spokesperson -- a practice that is widely frowned upon within the industry.
Mazzetti's correspondence with CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, on Aug. 5, 2011, pertained to the Kathryn Bigelow-Mark Boal film "Zero Dark Thirty," about the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a Times op-ed column by Dowd set to be published two days later that criticized the White House for having "outsourced the job of manning up the presidents image to Hollywood."
According to Judicial Watch, Mazzetti sent Harf an advance copy of Dowd's column, and wrote: this didnt come from me and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about!
Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet initially claimed he could not go into detail but insisted "it's much ado about nothing." Byers commented: "Baquet would not provide further details, which means his statements amount to a plea to readers to take it on faith that Mazzetti's leak was ethically sound."
A Times spokesperson later emailed that Mazzetti had goofed: "Last August, Maureen Dowd asked Mark Mazzetti to help check a fact for her column. In the course of doing so, he sent the entire column to a CIA spokeswoman shortly before her deadline. He did this without the knowledge of Ms. Dowd. This action was a mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards."
The paper's recently departed public editor Arthur Brisbane weighed in on the Mazzetti-CIA controversy on August 29:
I have searched The Timess body of ethics-related guidelines and cant find anything that directly addresses circumstances like this. The formal ethics policy has a statement saying that staff members may not seek any advantage for themselves or others by acting on or disclosing information acquired in their work but not yet available to readers.
Times editors, however, tell me they interpret that section to refer to financial or other material gain or advantage. I am advised further that The Times does not have a formal policy on sharing an entire article pre-publication for the purposes of fact-checking.
....The facts and appearances of this case strongly suggest that The Times should redouble its efforts to strengthen the boundaries that are so essential to cultivating reader trust.
“Obama censors ‘free’ press: White House demands final editorial approval”
July 23, 2012
By: Rustyn Rose
“The next time you read the paper, think of that old adage, dont believe everything you read. Most likely even that has been tampered with by your president or his staff. This is the freedom of the press our service members are dying to protect, usurped by the government who placed our brave soldiers lives in jeopardy for freedoms the Obama administration is corrupting......”
Wow. This is not surprising but still disturbing to see it coming true. Ministry of Truth is real.
Pravda did the same thing before publishing anything in the old USSR. That is the way “freedom of the press” works in totalitarian nations where government controls everything.
Sorry...this is not surprising news. And it won’t be considered “news” except here on the Right...The TIMES would say that they just wanted to be “accurate” so they checked first...and millions of liberals would nod their heads.
TIMES = Pravda
If obama had his way, Fox News and tallk radio would be gone. Just give him four more years...
And it is only the beginning. Why do you think they have been focusing so much on how "abuses" of the Freedom of Speech "cause" violence? It is a concerted Big Lie effort to "demonstrate" why Free Speech must be "moderated"...
I thought the MYTimes did the same thing with Clinton?
Maybe NYT’s spell check ain’t working.
The govt. censored what the media could say in WWII on security grounds, but this was about obamacare. And they still needed WH approval.
And, of course, if Romney wins the election, they will ask his approval before they print anything. sarc/
Cultivating trust is what liars, thieves, swindlers, creeps, and psychopaths do, not honest people.
There was a time when outrage would be appropriate. That’s not the case today.
The New York Times is like a hardened old whore complaining some “john” didn’t open the car door for her. Gimme a break... The New York Times puts out for dems - all of ‘em and this splitting of hairs over prior approval is crapola...
Gimme a break... The Times puts out for dems - all of 'em and this splitting of hairs over prior approval is self-serving and pathetic...
The almighty dollar will certainly loose some lips to tell all....I imagine the corruption that we get a glimpse to look at today is a thin veneer of a ocean of evil and malfeasance
Might some of this be explained by a discrete partial DNC ownership of the NYT in the form of say X number of online subscriptions to help stop the hemorrhaging?
I’m sure the NYSlimes will take strong exception when the Romney administration demands the same courtesy.
This administration, the leftists in it, and those who support it have absolutely no true understanding of human rights and freedom. None. Their whole shtick about ‘social justice’ is ill-conceived and pathetically self-serving and shallow. Further, I highly doubt that most in that administration would be talented enough to do much else in life than what they are currently doing, on the taxpayers’ dime.