Wednesday, June 28, 2006

House Criticizes Times; MSM Ignores the Question

Roll Call (subscription required) reports that the House will today consider a resolution criticizing the NYTimes. I'll be curious to see the Democratic response. My bet is that the dyed-in-the-wool liberals stay true to form, while many in the rank and file criticize the Times, but say that a resolution such as this one will 'have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press:'

GOP Measure Slams NYT for Bank Story
June 28, 2006
By Ben Pershing,
Roll Call Staff

The House will vote today on a hastily written resolution that is expected to criticize The New York Times for its recent disclosure of the government’s secret use of information from a massive international finance network to fight terrorism.

At press time Tuesday, the resolution was still being drafted by a handful of different committees under the direction of Majority Leader John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office. Republican sources said they expected the finished product would condemn both the leaking of the law enforcement program and its publication by the Times and a handful of other newspapers.

A House vote would mark only the latest Republican offensive against last week’s story, which detailed the Treasury Department’s use of information from the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

The White House lobbied the Times and other newspapers not to publish their stories, and the administration has been vocal in its criticism since they appeared in print.

President Bush himself said Monday that the disclosure “makes it harder to win this war on terror,” and Vice President Cheney also joined the chorus of complaints.

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) has called for an “investigation and prosecution” of the Times, and other Republicans have used similarly harsh language, making it likely that the vast majority of Republicans will vote for today’s resolution.

What is less clear is how House Democrats will react. Both Democratic leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers have complained in the past about the administration’s conduct of the war on terrorism, particularly after The New York Times disclosed last year that the National Security Agency was listening to some domestic phone calls without a warrant.

But in the case of the SWIFT story, most Democratic leaders have been noticeably silent. The administration even enlisted some Democrats, reportedly including Rep. John Murtha (Pa.) and ex-Rep. Lee Hamilton (Ind.), to try to lobby the Times not to publish its piece.

The Hill covers this as well:

GOP bill targets NY Times
By Patrick O’Connor and Jonathan Allen

House Republican leaders are expected to introduce a resolution today condemning The New York Times for publishing a story last week that exposed government monitoring of banking records.

The resolution is expected to condemn the leak and publication of classified documents, said one Republican aide with knowledge of the impending legislation.

The resolution comes as Republicans from the president on down condemn media organizations for reporting on the secret government program that tracked financial records overseas through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), an international banking cooperative.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), working independently from his leadership, began circulating a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) during a late series of votes yesterday asking his leaders to revoke the Times’s congressional press credentials.

The Standing Committee decides which organizations and reporters can be accredited, according to the rules of both the House and Senate press galleries. Members of that committee are elected by accredited members of those galleries.

“Under no circumstances would we revoke anyone’s credentials simply because a government official is unhappy with what that correspondent’s newspaper has written,” said Susan Milligan, a reporter for the Boston Globe, which is owned by the Times, who also serves the standing chairwoman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents. “The rules say nothing about the stories a newspaper chooses to pursue, or the reaction those stories provoke. The Times clearly meets our standards for credentials.”

This article again demonstrates the cluelesness of the MSM. Susan Milligan says 'Under no circumstances would we revoke anyone’s credentials simply because a government official is unhappy with what that correspondent’s newspaper has written.'

As someone pointed out the other day, Milligan is either stupid, or thinks you are. The question is not whether a governmnet official is 'happy' with a story or not - government officials are unhappy with newspaper stories 26 hours our of every day, 420 days per year. The question is whether credentials will be revoked for recklessly revealing the classified details of national security programs that are legal and effective - as the Times itself reported that the program in question is.

Back to the top.

1 comment:

Hepzibah The Watchman said...

What a waste of time - voting on a resolution to 'criticize' the NYT? Do we need a resolution to criticize someone who places our security at jeparody?

Where is our Attorney General? We have laws that address treason during times of war, so we do not need resolutions.

What we need is an indictment of those who have handed military and surveliance secrets over to the enemy. The only difference between the NYT and Benedict Arnold, the Rosenbergs and others is that instead of covert treason, they committed overt treason through their publication.