Wednesday, April 28, 2004

New York Times sends in the clowns: Jodi Will-Whore-'Em buries the Bush AWOL story yet again 

Surprise! I hate to read stuff like this on my morning commute, because it ruins the mood of the morning, but readers, it's my job. Here's Jodi Wilgoren doing what I imagine, if she's not a complete whore, she must think of as reporting. I've done some deletions and added the bracketed material to clarify the true state of play:

[Kerry's aides] offered reporters a provocative [useless! Who cares if it is provocative? Is it true?] four-page handout [document] headlined [titled], "Key Unanswered Questions: Bush's Record in the National Guard."

Mr. Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1973, but there is some dispute, [a long-running controversy] about how he got a coveted pilot spot, [why he was grounded for missing a medical exam,] [whether he was present for the entire term of his service,] and about missing attendanceservice records, [including the DD214 that would document the grounds for his discharge]. Mr. Cheney received deferments from the draft because he was a student and an expectant father. [Although Senators McCain and Kerry have authorized the unconditional release of all their service records, Mr. Bush has never done so.]

The Kerry handout, reviving questions that swirled around the White House earlier in the year, asked why Mr. Bush missed a medical exam while enrolled in the National Guard in 1972; why he requested not to be sent overseas for duty; how he got in over other applicants despite low scores; and where various records are.
(via NY Times)

And check that last sentence: "where various records are." Wilgoren buries the story right there. Readers, you know the detail (back), so you know that these records are the ones Bush must release to clear his name. They are:
  • The missing mandatory report on Bush's grounding

  • The missing DD214 discharge (that would give the grounds for his discharge)

  • The missing accumulation of total retirement points (that would show when he served)

And paystubs and a W2 would establish his attendance. Where are they? (Answer: On microfiche that Bush won't release.)

So Wilgoren does a "he said, she said", throws up her hands, and does no reporting. Meanwhile, what runs on page A1? A fluff—and I mean fluff—piece on Kerry's personal handler (see the essential Howler).

What a sick farce.

Readers, the address of hapless, overworked Times Bud Man Daniel Okrent is here: public@nytimes.com. Remember, he's the inventor of what is rapidly becoming known as Okrent's Law (back):

The pursuit of balance can create imbalance, because sometimes something is true.

Feel free to write Mr. Okrent a polite, detailed letter sharing your views on how Jodi Wilgoren, and the World's Greatest Newspaper (not!) are doing on finding out the truth.

Alert reader 56K suggests:

perhaps we should email the Howler link to the NY Times's largest investor, T Rowe Price and ask them if a newspaper who lied about this can be trusted to tell the truth about its financials


Put NYT/Wilgoren in the subject line

Well, maybe this link too...

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