Karl Rove, the New York Times ...and the BULGE. --UPDATE!!!
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As the Bulge again begins to breathe life, controversy continues regarding the New York Times' "killing" or "spiking" of a Bulge story. While I still have some serious issues with the Times' account of the incident, I can't say that I fully believe that the killing of their story was responsible for the re-election of President Bush. That's a big "What If..." in my opinion.
Nevertheless, I felt it important to write a letter to the Times' Public Editor, Daniel Okrent, commenting on what the Times DID cover on the Bulge INSTEAD of the "spiked" story. My letter was a shorter version of my previous post (below) and can be read at: Daniel Okrent's Web Journal (it is also posted in the comments section below). To his credit, Mr. Okrent has responded to my letter in a very straightforward manner, which I'm sure readers will appreciate.
"I've said most of what I have to say about this matter. But if I haven't made it clear before, I should make it clear here: having now had the opportunity to read the story that was spiked, I believe it should have been published. It probably wouldn't have satisfied those who are convinced the bulge was evidence of a communications device, but it would have gone some ways toward clarifying a matter of public controversy.
There is a second facet to the Times' "spiked" story which also received feedback from Mr. Okrent... the report that Karl Rove placed a call to the Times. Allegedly, this was the real reason this story was "killed". The Newsrack Blog covered this report and received the following comment from Mr. Okrent:
"If this is true, it's because "Bushwired" has much better sources than I do. I have never heard this, nor do I believe it.
Because Bush Wired is the source of this information, perhaps I should clarify what I know of this Rove angle again. In late October 2004, after the Times' report was "spiked", I received several reports of the incident at Bush Wired. The reports ranged from simple information on the "spiked" story, to a laundry list of complaints against the Times' editors. One report mentioned a "near mutiny" in the Times newsroom and that people at the Times were "aghast" over the Bulge story's untimely death. All reports correctly identified both the authors of the story and the date the story was killed, several weeks before this information was otherwise made public. As these reports turned out to be correct, I feel these sources are somewhat credible. Because of the timing and accuracy of these sources, I can only ASSUME that they are within the Times itself. I promised NOT to reprint or post the original e-mails from these sources, and I will keep my word. Additionally, I have not heard anything more from these sources since early November.
Three of these reports mentioned that Karl Rove called the Times, and subsequently the story was killed. I have no way to independently verify this information, but I decided to simply post what I was told, based on the previous accuracy of the sources. Its very possible that my sources have an "axe to grind" with the Times, and the Rove angle should be taken with a grain of salt. Thats ALL I know. To be fair. lets say that the Rove call is a REPORT from several unnamed sources, and at this point, NOT 100% fact... but quite interesting nonetheless. I should also remind readers of the Brad Menfil saga early on in this twisted story.
As always, make up your own mind!