In your article "Wake up the Watchdogs" you state that "As Congress wades through the failures in intelligence gathering that preceded the 9/11 attacks and the
Well, that was amusing, coming from a "watchdog" organization (remember the fourth estate?) that is both insolent and somnolent. First, you did not mention the third major intelligence failure the
May I suggest that you follow your own advice and "take a close, corrective look at (your) own oversight responsibility" and "end what has been a period of dangerous passivity and deference toward the hydra-like intelligence community" (and passivity and deference to those who are currently in power, I might add)? And perhaps some deep and sincere self-examination would lead to a recognition of your own momentous failures to get the truth out to the American people. One of those truths is: we started an optional war for bogus reasons. And some self-examination of the postwar situation might be in order. How many Iraqis have been killed and injured? Are we bringing them "freedom and democracy" or just the winning lottery ticket to the gateways of hell?
The article closes with the statement "Changes in the way the agencies operate are increasingly likely, but they will mean much less if Congress fails to reform itself."
I think you could substitute "mainstream
Well, sometimes you are good for a chuckle. - dancewater
Dear Ms. xxxxxxx,
The positions taken by the editorial board of The Times are not within my purview, nor should they be; the editorial board is entitled to its views, and readers are free to agree or disagree with them. However, as I know that the editors are concerned with reader response, I have forwarded your comments to editorial page editor Gail Collins.
Dear Mr. Okrent,
Well, I have to admit: you gave me another laugh there . Sorry I've been to busy to answer sooner. Now, let's see if I got this straight: the editorial board writes a piece calling "Wake up the Watchdogs" telling the congress to get better intelligence, since they are only figuring things out from the "news" media. And there is no mention of the "watchdogs" of the "news" media getting things right, or even trying to do so. And, since you are in charge of the "news" section of the paper, you forward my comments on to the editorial section. Well, maybe the editorial editor could transfer to the comic page, perhaps? And then you could put Judith Miller on the editorial page, except she is even more boring than most editorial writers.
So, here's the summary of the NYT mode of operation:
CREATIVE WRITING = BAD (example: Blair's embellishment of inconsequential stories)
STENOGRAPHY = GOOD (except when stenography turns out to be totally fictitious, then it is sorta bad, for example: Miller's reporting on WMDs from unnamed "official" sources)
JOURNALISM = WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING JOURNALISM!!
Did I get it all straight?
And, here's another one: A recent lead story in the NYT had this headline: "Errors Are Seen in Early Attacks on Iraqi Leaders. 50 Raids Missed Targets." Well, gee, that's some reporting..... except that information was reported by Human Rights Watch some months ago. Glad you dug that one up, and got your reporters busy on that. And then there was the recent report (a few months back) that our State Department put out saying that terrorists attacks were down in 2003! Wasn't that wonderful!! Except, of course, IT WAS NOT TRUE!!! And darn near anyone with a passing knowledge of world events in 2003 and a functioning memory knew that..... but where was the NYT evaluation of that State Department report? I must have missed it.
Here's one for you to report on sometime next year: NEGROPONTE HAS A HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND OF HELPING RIGHT WING TERRORISTS IN THE PAST. That, of course, will come sometime after there is solid proof that he is doing the same thing in
Really, I think all would be fine if you just call the "news" section the "conjecture" section and the "editorial" section the "comedy page".
Oh, by the way, Ms. Collins did not respond to my email. Please pass this one along to her. - dancewater