BUSH WIRED UPDATE - The New York Times... "All the News That's Fit to Kill"
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Perhaps its about time to do a BULGE update.
Surprisingly (again), in the past months since I discontinued updating this blog regularly, the BULGE topic continues to live. Around the New Year, the Bulge topic repeatedly popped up here and there in the press... people are still wondering what the Bulge could have been. There certainly have been no conclusive answers or smoking guns. Bush Wired continues to receive a fair amount of traffic and numerous BULGE e-mails everyday... the Bulge is still with us, like it or not.
The Bulge was mentioned repeatedly in several 'years end" articles... The bulge appeared in many forms... as an example of what's wrong with politics today or listed near the top of many "stupidest stories of 2004", to the serious discussion of how blogs affected the political process. Additionally, Salon.com named the Bulge as 2004's SECOND most popular story... only after the election story as a whole. The BOSTON PHOENIX even published a new story about the Bulge Medical Theory, which was quite interesting, but not anything new or startling. Also, Karl Rove reportedly stated that the Bulge was his favorite election topic, and Bush Wired was his favorite web-site... Ha! Thanks for the traffic Karl!
But let's step back a bit to the last strange and serious twist in this story, the follow-up on the New York Times' "killing" of the Bulge story before the election. My last post to this site contained a letter from Daniel Okrent (the Public Editor for the Times) who seemed not to know about the Bulge story (or the story's untimely death). Later, the Times denied working on the Bulge story altogether, even after the naming of the authors. By December19th, the truth finally came out... the Times DID kill the story. (Full text of the NY Times admission is at the end of this post)
Three sources have told Bush Wired (independently) that Karl Rove put in a call to the NY Times editors on Wednesday, Oct. 27 (the day before the story was scheduled to run), and that this was the REAL reason for the story being "killed". While I have no concrete confirmation on this "scoop", previously my sources named the writers of the killed NYT story correctly immediately after story was "killed" and several weeks before the writers' names were made public. I'll go so far as to say that I believe these sources are within the NY Times itself... but make up your own mind.
I'll reserve my comments on this for later... however, if true, it makes me sick.
This week Dave Lindorff has again done some wonderful investigative reporting on the "incident" and adds some new revelations to the twisted saga of the Bulge, the Media, and the Times. Its a good read, Cheers to D. Lindorff!!
•--> Lindorff's story from COUNTERPUNCH.
•--> Lindorff's story from FAIR.
•--> Lindorff's story from the ILCA site.
Many Bulge-Watchers are still tuning in to President Bush's televised appearances looking for that odd "hump", and it should be noted that the Bulge has not been seen conclusively since the debates. I guess the Presidential Tailor has improved his handiwork, or something...?
So, again we wait to see what develops next... nothing about this story shocks me anymore, but I hope that some explanation for all the Bulge Hoopla will come out someday... I'm not holding my breath.
Full Text of the NY Times admission that it killed the Bulge story:
From: Daniel Okrent, Ny Times
The Public Editor's blog:
dokrent - 10:54 PM ET December 19, 2004 (#38 of 38)
President Bush and The Jacket Bulge
Online discussion of the famous bulge on President Bush’s back at the first presidential debate hasn’t stopped. One reporter (Dave Lindorff of Salon.com) asserted that The Times had a story in the works about a NASA scientist who had done a careful study of the graphic evidence, but it was spiked by the paper’s top editors sometime during the week before the election. Many readers have asked me for an explanation.
I checked into Lindorff’s assertion, and he’s right. The story’s life at The Times began with a tip from the NASA scientist, Robert Nelson, to reporter Bill Broad. Soon his colleagues on the science desk, John Schwartz and Andrew Revkin, took on the bulk of the reporting. Science editor Laura Chang presented the story at the daily news meeting but, like many other stories, it did not make the cut. According to executive editor Bill Keller, “In the end, nobody, including the scientist who brought it up, could take the story beyond speculation. In the crush of election-finale stories, it died a quiet, unlamented death.”
Revkin, for one, wished it had run. Here’s what he told me in an e-mail message:
“I can appreciate the broader factors weighing on the paper's top editors, particularly that close to the election. But personally, I think that Nelson's assertions did rise above the level of garden-variety speculation, mainly because of who he is. Here was a veteran government scientist, whose decades-long career revolves around interpreting imagery like features of Mars, who decided to say very publicly that, without reservation, he was convinced there was something under a president's jacket when the White House said there was nothing.
“He essentially put his hard-won reputation utterly on the line (not to mention his job) in doing so and certainly with little prospect that he might gain something as a result -- except, as he put it, his preserved integrity.”
Revkin also told me that before Nelson called Broad, he had approached other media outlets as well. None — until Salon — published anything on Nelson’s analysis. “I'd certainly choose [Nelson’s] opinion over that of a tailor,” Revkin concluded, referring to news reports that cited the man who makes the president’s suits. “Hard to believe that so many in the media chose the tailor, even in coverage after the election.”