Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Empty Suit Does it Again

A few weeks ago, the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame put on an extra-convincing show of mimmicking a real newspaper ombudsman. He posted on his Web Journal a letter asking why the Times wasn't covering an issue of importance:

a Democratic senator from NEW YORK has had two top aides accused of illegally tracing credit information from a potential Republican senatorial candidate. The aides have resigned and there is a FEDERAL investigation into the matter. And The New York Times has not printed ONE word about it.

The New York senator referenced in the letter was Chuck Schumer. Here's Michelle Malkin's piece on the thing. Barney's response, way back on Sept. 30:

I’ve been asking editors since Monday about the situation involving the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and confidential credit records of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican. The Times now has reporters looking into it.

Well, that was that. Not one word since then. So a curious reader followed up, and received the following response:

Dear XXX: The editors said the story fell between the cracks, with one part of the paper assuming another part of the paper was checking on the situation. The Times is a big place and that can happen.

It is a subject that I am watching over the longer term. I feel there also may have been a reluctance to spend time on a story that had been broken by another publication. If this unconfirmed hunch is correct, that is not an appropriate response.

I didn't find any evidence of political bias. I don't have any special problem with the level of detail in story The Times ran.

Byron Calame
Public Editor
The New York Times

"Fell through the cracks"? And since when has the appearance of a story in another publication kept the Times from jumping on a Republican?

Re the "one part of the paper assuming another part of the paper was checking" excuse--wow. Is he for real? Calame has parrotted that exact line of bureaucratic doubletalk before. See this item in the American Thinker from some weeks ago. Barney has got to come up with some new lines, if he is going to put on a convincing "ombudsman" act.

As for political bias -- what does Barney expect, a Democratic National Committee banner hanging from the newsroom?

There is a word for what I've described. It was Michelle Malkin's verdict on Calame some weeks ago, and I'm taking the liberty of repeating it today: Useless.

UPDATE: Calame may have been shamed into writing something about the Judith Miller disaster. Naah. Give it a few more months, Barney. Take it easy. They'll still pay you, right?

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