Quite a bombshell, huh? Well, not exactly, as Times editors admit today on page 2:
A front-page article yesterday reported on an internal memorandum at the Central Intelligence Agency in which Porter J. Goss, the new chief, told employees their job was to “support the administration and its policies in our work.” In some copies, the editors’ headline referred to the instruction imprecisely, saying, “Chief of C.I.A. Tells His Staff to Back Bush.”Normally this would be just another in a series of outrageous NY Times smears whose entire thrust was later "corrected." The difference here is that, in addition to printing the "correction," today's Times also runs a nasty editorial on Goss: "[I]t's inappropriate for him to suggest that it's the job of the C.I.A. "to support" a particular administration and its political decisions." So much for the correction!
In the New York region, the headline format allowed space in late editions for a more accurate summary of the article: “New C.I.A. Chief Tells Workers to Back Administration Policies.” All editions should have made it clear that Mr. Goss was referring to policies and not to President Bush personally, or to his politics.
What's it all mean?
- NY Times fact-checkers don't read their own paper. Given the Gray Lady's lies and distortions, who can blame them?
- NY Times editorial writers don't read their own paper. Ditto.
- John Henke suggests a "Time Saving Tip: Run N.Y. Times Editorials on Corrections page."
Jack Shafer explains the gulf between new CIA Director Peter Goss and the Bush-hating CIA "old guard," where the weapons of choice make the battle "leak vs. leak."