Daniel Okrent, public editor of the NY Times, just devoted a column to the Times handling of the Tony Hendra book review and the Times subsequent story about serious allegations against Mr. Hendra which seemed to be relvant to the book.
The Times recently ran a very positive review of Joseph Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth".
Since then, they have devoted just a few paragraphs to the follow-up on Wilson's credibility, buried in a larger a story; shouldn't we expect more? Surely the question of how both sides approached the debate on our use of intelligence is newsworthy.
For example, missing from the Times rowback in the James Risen piece is any mention of the book review or the two Nick Kristof columns or the NY Times op-ed that launched Mr. Wilson's balloon. (Subsequent sourcing info in the WaPo.)
For a sense of how the media storm built, let's re-print the lead from the second Kristof column:
Condoleezza Rice was asked on "Meet the Press" on Sunday about a column of mine from May 6 regarding President Bush's reliance on forged documents to claim that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa. That was not just a case of hyping intelligence, but of asserting something that had already been flatly discredited by an envoy investigating at the behest of the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
The Times archive is on display here.
Daniel Okrent can be reached at: Public(at)NYTimes.com
UPDATE: Getting warmer! The NY Times tiptoes up to the issue with a Sunday piece titled "New Reports Again Question Whether Iraq Sought Uranium in Niger".
Some of Mr. Wilson's credibility problems are cited. However, the Times remains sphinx-like on the Senate report finding, undisputed by Mr. Wilson, that the Ambassador gave "misleading information" in anonymous leaks to the Washington Post and by extension, Nick Kristof of the NY Times. They also mention that Mr. Wilson's credibility is challenged by the news that his report to the CIA included information about an Iraqi trade delegation, but they fail to mention that Mr. Wilson omitted this key fact from his famous NY Times op-ed, and they slide past the fact that George Tenet disputed this part of the Wilson op-ed a year ago.
We also note that the Times gives one sentence to the Senate finding that Wilson lied about his wife's involvement, and four sentences to Wilson's response, thereby giving space to Wilson to rebut a case the Times never presents. Bah.
Much as we would like to credit the InstaPundit, we infer that the Times was stung by this:
Referring to Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page on Thursday said, "It now appears that both leaders have been far more scrupulous in discussing this and related issues than much of the media in either of their countries, which would embarrass the journalistic profession, if that were possible."