Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Empty Suit Clarifies His Column


The Suit: No hard feelings

The Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (alias "public editor") Barney Calame, dusted off his web journal this afternoon to make something perfectly clear: There are no hard feelings between the Suit and Times editors. Even though the Times "stonewalled" him on the warantless-wiretap issue, he is still a loyal corporate shill!

As I indicated in a recent item, the Suit threw all pretense of objectivity out the window in his Jan. 1 column and sided with opponents of the war. In his item today, Barney deals with one of the complaints about the story from supporters of the war and -- surprise surprise -- he comes down squarely on the side of Times editors.

Here's what Barney had to say:

"E-mails from many readers have inquired about my thoughts on a possible link between the timing of the article and the recent election in Iraq or the congressional debate on the Patriot Act. To fit the column into the allotted space, I had to cut a paragraph that addressed those two points. For those who are interested, here is that paragraph:
"'Despite the complaints of administration supporters, I'm prepared to accept Mr. Keller's statement that the timing of the eavesdropping exclusive wasn't a Times effort to detract from upbeat assessments of the Iraqi elections or to stir emotions in advance of the congressional debate on the Patriot Act.'"

Hey, they don't call him a parody of a public editor for nothing.

Note that Barney still won't come anywhere near the elephant in the room: whether the Times was irresponsible by publishing that article in the first place. But I have a funny feeling I can guess his opinion on that issue. Am I right, Barney?


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