Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Adam Nagourney and the Times scramble to get on the story they missed Monday

On the front page of this morning's New York Times, Adam Nagourney kind-of, sort-of stumbles over the realities that escaped him Monday:

Howard Dean emerged Tuesday as the almost assured new leader of the Democratic National Committee, as one of his main rivals quit the race and Democrats streamed to announce their support of a man whose presidential campaign collapsed one year ago.
Dr. Dean's dominance was secured after Martin Frost, a former representative from Texas, whom many Democrats viewed as the institutional counterpart to Dr. Dean . . .

Maybe co-writer Anne E. Kornblut acted as his guide?

Again, check out Rebecca's entry at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude to get a better picture of the Fall of Frost.

Question for the Times: Having allowed Tom DeLay and Richard Bond to both utilize "scream" in their comments about Dean (almost as though they're working out of the same playbook -- but that never happens, right?) isn't it incumbent on the reporters to clarify that media "mistake?" They are, after all, bringing it up and the reporters are choosing to quote it. Since Nagourney's never shown any reluctance to run with a cheap shot at Howard Dean, perhaps the Times should have either not included the quotes (is Tom DeLay really pertinent to what's going on in the DNC race -- or just another indication of Nagourney's love for his own rolodex?) or perhaps, having alluded to a distortion, they should have ensured it was clarified in the article?

Informing is what the press is supposed to do, even if informing might get in the way of running with a cheap shot at Dean's expense.

Amy Waldman's story noted yesterday was apparently an online only story (unless it made later editions). Today, Waldman has Nepal's "King Ousts the Government and Declares an Emergency" which appears on A3 this morning.

It's worth reading. But where in the paper is Douglas Jehl's story of the CIA's reluctance/refusal to hand over documents: "Senator to Ask C.I.A. to Explain Nazi-File Stance?" This is Jehl's second story on this topic in the last four days [see "Douglas Jehl's 'C.I.A. Said to Rebuff Congress on Nazi Files' belongs on the front page of this morning's New York Times" from Sunday] but I'm not finding it in the print edition. (I may be missing it.) [Correction: Shirley & Ben e-mailed to point out this is on the bottom of page A6.]

Here's Jehl's opening paragraphs:

A Republican senator said Tuesday that he planned to demand a public explanation from the director of central intelligence about his agency's decision to withhold from a government working group hundreds of thousands of pages of documents related to Nazi war criminals.
The senator, Mike DeWine of Ohio, spoke after convening a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill between C.I.A. officials and representatives of the working group. The group has a broad legislative mandate to make public all classified materials related to Nazi criminals.
Mr. DeWine, an author of the legislation, said that the meeting had not resolved sharp disagreements between the sides, and that he expected the director, Porter J. Goss, to appear before his committee.
"We have a fundamental difference, and I think the C.I.A. is interpreting the law incorrectly," Mr. DeWine said. The dispute between the C.I.A. and three public members of the working group was disclosed in a report in The New York Times on Sunday.

Not too excited by David E. Sanger & William J. Broad's front page story "Uranium Testing Said to Indicate Libya-Korea Link" due to the constant use of "official," "Officials," "retired Pentagon official," etc. Lot of unnamed sources for this story about a "classified briefing that has been described to The New York Times" but apparently not seen by the reporters. Sanger & Broad may have everything correct, their sources may be accurate. But there's nothing that really clues the reader in on why this article should carry anymore weight than they'd give to something with Judith Miller's byline.

Hopefully, Jehl's article will appear in tomorrow's paper (if it's not in this morning's -- I could be missing it). [I did miss it. It was in this morning's paper.] And hopefully the paper will front page it. Or anything more newsworthy than today's "Promised Seat on Air Shuttle is Perk of the Past" which makes the paper look like one of those quick, instant-read guides as opposed to a real newspaper.

[Note: This post has been altered to correct that Jehl's story appeared on page A6 in this morning's paper.]