Sunday, July 2, 2006
After more than a week of vociferous criticism from the administration and its supporters, the New York Times today published an article and an editorial concerning the June 22nd story on the government's secret tracking of possible terrorist financing through a Belgian banking system. Scott Shane's "A History of Publishing, and Not Publishing, Secrets" reviews when, and why, newspapers publish stories that governments ask them to withhold for national security reasons. Frank Rich's op-ed "Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!" offers another perspective. Byron Calame, the Times' Public Editor, comments here that he thinks Executive Editor Bill Kellar was right to publish the story, in spite of the overwhelming number of negative emails the paper has received concerning Kellar's decision. (L. A. Times editor Dean Baquet ran a similar letter to his paper's readers on June 27). Eric Lichtblau, one of the authors of the June 22nd article, appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources this morning, and ably defended the Times decision to go to press.