NY Times Published The Pentagon Papers, But Can't Be Bothered To Send Reporter To Bradley Manning Trial
from the not-a-big-enough-story? dept
The NY Times, of course, was the newspaper central to the case of the Pentagon Papers. That involved a huge dump of information concerning a Pentagon study highlighting how the Johnson Administration had lied to the public and Congress concerning Vietnam. The papers were leaked to the NYT by Daniel Ellsberg. The Times proceeded to release excerpts of it along with some reporting, and eventually the entire set of documents was released publicly. Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act — though eventually all the charges against him were dismissed, in part due to “gross governmental misconduct.” The NYTimes was hit with an injunction against publication, and a legal fight ensued, which the NY Times eventually won. There are, of course, significant similarities with Wikileaks. Again, we’re talking about a large amount of classified government documents, highlighting lies to the public by the administration, and which were leaked to Wikileaks by Bradley Manning. The documents were, at first, released in excerpts along with some reporting, and eventually the entire set of documents was released publicly. Manning has been arrested and is awaiting trial.
There have been some ongoing hearings, many of which we’ve covered, but some folks have noticed an oddity. The New York Times did not send a reporter. It merely ran a single AP wire story. Thankfully, the NY Times’ own public editor is scolding the paper for its failure here, noting that no matter what you think of Manning or the whole Wikileaks issue:
The testimony is dramatic and the overarching issues are important.
The Times should be there.
The excuse from NYT Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt seems especially weak. Basically, saying there just isn’t that much to the story:
We’ve covered him and will continue to do so. But as with any other legal case, we won’t cover every single proceeding. In this case, doing so would have involved multiple days of a reporter’s time, for a relatively straightforward story.
Apparently, when it’s someone else, rather than the NY Times itself… it’s just a “relatively straightforward story” not worth a reporter’s time.