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The Grey Lady Only Figures It Out Now?

The New York Times has made a startling discovery: things are much improved in Iraq. Yes, the Times reporters hedge and predict reversal and doom behind every success, but they also reveal a kernel of the larger truth: Iraq is much better.

For weeks and months other outlets including some of the Times’ major competitors, the Times’ own editorial writers, government officials, and independent observers have been saying much the same thing, indeed saying it without much of the self-conscious double-talk we read in the Times. Yet the Times neither reported itself on the developments which other outlets did or acknowledged other’s reports. What to make of this?

Like Barack Obama, the Times has largely been frozen in a narrative of defeat and disaster and generally ignored significant political and military developments which would possibly help Americans reach a different conclusion about the prospects for a successful outcome. Obama has an excuse — he has a major political problem if he reverses course and admits error now. But what is the Times excuse? And what end did they serve by ignoring news?

I eagerly await Clark Hoyt’s next explanation of the most egregious example yet of the Times’ journalistic malpractice. (Well, the most recent egregious example, that is.)


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