NYT ombudsman: JFK story ran on page 30 because editor questioned the timing
posted at 12:48 pm on June 10, 2007 by Allahpundit
A decision by editors not to play charges of a terrorism plot at Kennedy Airport on Page 1 last Sunday puzzled me and some readers — and angered others. Among the questions raised: Was the paper properly skeptical of officialdom, in this case the Bush administration? Was it too skeptical, just because it was the Bush administration? Was a political agenda at work?…
I asked Marty Gottlieb, the weekend editor and the senior editor in the newsroom when the decision was made, and [managing editor John] Geddes, who made the call from home, for more detail about their thinking…
Gottlieb told me he was mindful of a history of orange alerts that came at politically convenient times and previous terror plots that wound up amounting to less than they first seemed. He mentioned the case of Jose Padilla, who was accused in 2002 of planning to detonate a radioactive bomb. Padilla’s arrest was announced by John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, in an unusual news conference via satellite from Moscow. After being held for years without charges, Padilla is now on trial in Miami, accused of conspiring to aid terrorists. A dirty bomb is no part of the case.
Was he also mindful of the fact that this bombshell dropped before noon on Saturday, the graveyard of the news cycle, and that there was absolutely nothing burning up the front page (except Bush’s own beloved amnesty bill) that it would have or could have distracted from?
Here’s another one from Allahpundit Studios, from my cubist period. I call it, “The Soft Trutherism of the Mainstream Media.”