View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Times on Niger - Again! 

Today's NY Times carries the following correction:

Because of an editing error, an article on July 15 about an official British report that criticized the country's prewar intelligence on Iraq misstated one finding of a parallel report released the previous week by the United States Senate Intelligence Committee. Like the British report, the Senate report traced several sources that appeared to substantiate claims that Iraq had sought to buy uranium from Niger; the Senate report did not find that the claims were based on a single set of forged documents. This correction was delayed by an editing lapse.

Not only did it take them 5 weeks to make the correction (the "editing lapse" presumes that no one noticed or cared to notice for that long), the best they can do is that the documents "appeared to substantiate claims." The documents clearly did substatiate those claim. Substantiating a claim is not the same thing as proving it. Everyone now agrees that Iraq did try to buy uranium from Niger. But the Times, having campaigned on this issue almost as hard as they did for Martha Burke at the Master's, can't possibly print what actually happened.

How many front-page, above-the-fold stories did the Times run on Joe Wilson? Perhaps if they had bothered to notice when Wilson went south, they might have gotten this right. How many columns did MoDo write on the "16 words?" Surely, someone with as keen an interest in this story as she could be counted on to alert the editor?

Remind me again why anyone reads these guys.

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