Saturday, December 17, 2005
Eavesdropping: Let me just say that I'm not outraged about The New York Times' revelation that the NSA has been eavesdropping on international phone calls without a court order. It's unclear whether or not this is legal, Fox News had on author and former investigative reporter Ronald Kessler who claims that it is legal.
However, the Times report has a couple of problems journalistically.
First, the paper has apparently had this story for the better part of a year, yet decides to run the story on the same day that the Patriot Act is up for a vote in the Senate. The timing is suspiciously fishy. Was the time really journalistically ripe? Or was this a supposedly nonpartisan newsroom playing a partisan game?
Second, Drudge reports that one of the authors of the Times piece has a book on the subject coming out -- a book that he turned in to the publisher three months ago.
The paper failed to reveal the urgent story was tied to a book release and sale.
I anxiously await public editor Byron Calame's take on this issue. I'm prepared to be underwhelmed.