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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:07am

    The real reason why the NYT didn't send anyone, most of the media nowadays will blindly follow the government if it says "You can't report it for security reasons", even if it's clearly not the case, like in Wikileaks.

    90% of the media organizations today are owned by one of 5 giant multinational corporations.

    50 years ago 90% of the media organizations were owned by 50 different people/corporations.

    There's simply much less diversity in the traditional news media nowadays, most of them are largely exactly the same, including the same biases at what stories they report and don't report.

    If you want diversity in the news media then read online blogs, or foreign news websites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:14am

    A leak to a US paper is dealing the dirt on US agencies, but the same leak to a foreign paper is traitorous.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    a few possibilities here, i think. they have been ordered not to cover the trial, the editor has friends in high places and doesn't want to risk anything bad happening to himself and/or his family, the owner has friends in high places and doesn't want to risk anything bad happening to himself and/or his family, they are real scared of the truth, real scared of publishing the truth and the world having proof of the hypocritical attitude of the US over freedom, privacy and justice etc, just dont give a shit because they think it will never happen to anyone there.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:27am

    I agree - this is a relatively straight-forward story: person leaks info, government goes crazy over it, said person is arrested and tortured.

     

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  5.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    The New York Times is The Establishment newspaper.

    It's neither liberal nor conservative, only serves the ends of The Rich. Like any media organization, it largely tells the truth but only to build credibility to put across the few essential items that The Rich need to increase their power and control. Much of true goals are easily deduced by what is NOT reported: that's the case here. The Establishment started the Afghan and Iraq wars on lies (many directly in The Times by Judy Miller), and it's not going to examine the results nor the conduct of those wars.

     

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  6.  
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    gorehound (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Re: The New York Times is The Establishment newspaper.

    True !
    Big Content spews out the Tales which they hand pick and hand write.And Big Content owns all your TV News so they own it all.
    But now people go on the Net and read News not just from NYT but other sources...........even sources from other Nations.
    You have to Dig thru the Net and then you find out many things.

     

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  7.  
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    gorehound (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: The New York Times is The Establishment newspaper.

    True !
    Big Content spews out the Tales which they hand pick and hand write.And Big Content owns all your TV News so they own it all.
    But now people go on the Net and read News not just from NYT but other sources...........even sources from other Nations.
    You have to Dig thru the Net and then you find out many things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Oops, Masnick forgot to give the entire response of Washington Bureau Chief, David Leonhardt:



    Obviously the full quote undermines Masnick's bias, so he only gives you the part that does.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Hmmm, somehow the quote didn't make it. Here it is again:

    The A.P. article recounting the main points of Mr. Manning’s testimony about his conditions of confinement that ran on page A3 of The Times conveyed fundamentally the same material as a staff story would have. And Charlie Savage covered his conditions of confinement, as they were being debated, in two previous articles: http://goo.gl/dvFV0, http://goo.gl/gYTX7.

    Again, though, readers can definitely expect more coverage of Mr. Manning in the weeks to come.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    "gross governmental misconduct"

    Business as usual.
    Rather than stop the misconduct, the leaks are plugged. But leaks have a way of reappearing, so then you shoot the messenger and plug the leaks again. Rinse and repeat.

     

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  11.  
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    Loki, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Re:

    Correct. The difference here is that a "real patriot" would leak it to a major news outlet so that it can be properly monetized to make massive profits for rich people who already have more than enough money.

     

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  12.  
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    Loki, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: The New York Times is The Establishment newspaper.

    Agreed. It is very interesting when you read stories from enough different sources, and see the details that often get added or left out to put a particular spin on whatever point of view is trying to be pushed.

     

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  13.  
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    Richard, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Manning

    Manning is being treated differently than Daniel Ellsberg because Ellsberg was not in the military. These useless wars were supported by Israel and Israel's supporters. Their power in our government has grown hugely over the last 40 years. Vietnam was supported much less because of the draft. Finally Ellsberg is Jewish and Manning is not. This matters.

     

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  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    bob, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Where's TechDirt?

    Are you sending someone to cover it? Unless you've got boots on the ground, you don't have a basis for complaint.

    While I see much more original reporting at TechDirt than at comparable blogs, there's still plenty of cutting and pasting from the hard work of others.

    Get out there and get to the trial yourself. Then you'll have a basis for criticism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    You forgot to give it too.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Free press in the US?

    Suuure, buddy....

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re:

    Governments will always gravitate towards gross misconduct, as power monger will always try to subvert the system in inverse proportion to the level of conscientious oversight by those governed.

    There will, of course, be those who will strive to correct that shift, but as the Founding Fathers clearly state in the Declaration of Independence:

    "accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

    However:

    when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

    And, in fact, if you really take time to read the whole document, you see that about half of it is really nothing but a very long "laundry list" of abuses and usurpations that have led them to abolish the English governance of them and set up their own.

    If you really sit back and look at it, you can start to compile a similar list for our own government over the past few decades. It's just at this stage of the game those abuses are still sufferable enough that most people are unwilling/unmotivated enough at this point to do much about it.

    But make no mistake, thousands of years of history have shown that such abuses will continue to escalate until enough people are under enough suffrage to do something about it (at which point despotism/tyranny is generally - but not always - to the point a changing of the guard necessitates some level of violent opposition).

    This is, of course, why we are seeing the tactics currently being taken by excessively large corporations and governments to try to gain some measure of control of the internet. The internet allows an ever increasing amount of sharing to the rising levels of abuses, it allows them to be compiled in one place, and it allows fast easy dissemination to an every increasing number of people who may not have the time or ability to discover the increasing nature of those abuses for themselves.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Re: Where's TechDirt?

    Oh hi, reoccuring bob:

    Unless you are at "the trial yourself", you cannot comment on it?

    So by this logic, unless you are a direct reporter, can you not comment on people not being direct reporters to this trial?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    Re: Where's TechDirt?

    Accept, as you already pointed out, TechDirt is a BLOG not a news reporting agency.

    See a blog is about OPINION, and discussion, you don't need to have 'boots on the ground' to have an opinion or discussion.

    A news reporting agency such at The New York Times, on the other hand, is supposed to report news NOT opinion (except of course in the editorials). As such it would make sense for them to have a presence. I bet they would be there if it were a big time celebrity.

    ---
    blog [blawg, blog] Show IPA noun, verb, blogged, blog·ging.
    noun
    1. a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.
    ---
    news·pa·per [nooz-pey-per, nyooz-, noos-, nyoos-] Show IPA
    noun
    1. a publication issued at regular and usually close intervals, especially daily or weekly, and commonly containing news, comment, features, and advertising.
    2. a business organization publishing such a publication.
    3. a single issue or copy of such a publication.
    4. newsprint.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    Re:

    "Obviously the full quote undermines Masnick's bias"

    Obviously - you are not

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re:

    until enough people are under enough suffrage


    Merrian-Webster: suffrage
    suf·frage   noun

    1: a short intercessory prayer usually in a series
    2: a vote given in deciding a controverted question or electing a person for an office or trust
    3: the right of voting : FRANCHISE; also : the exercise of such right


    Dictionary.com: suffrage
    suf·frage [suhf-rij]   noun

    1. the right to vote, especially in a political election.
    2. a vote given in favor of a proposed measure, candidate, or the like.
    3. Ecclesiastical. a prayer, especially a short intercessory prayer or petition.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps I feel different about Manning, however I'm not the one offering up only the half of the quote that supports my position- Masnick is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    secretagentman, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    Manning,wikileaks,Ellsberg

    You all are off in your own little worlds,babble on.
    The matter is mutch simpler in some aspects, more complex in others. 1, Ellsberg was a civilian, Manning was in the military and subject to a completely different set of rules.
    2, Wikileaks endangered the lives of US operatives and agents on other occasions by publishing names and where they were opperating. The actions of wiki had to be stopped and manning has to be made into an example. Were it up to me I would have had him sanctioned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Re: Manning,wikileaks,Ellsberg

    "2, Wikileaks endangered the lives of US operatives and agents on other occasions by publishing names and where they were opperating."

    Citation needed. I've been following this topic very closely since the very first leak, and not once have I heard confirmation about a single death that can be attributed to the leaks. The leaks mostly didn't contain high level material such as the names of US agents in foreign governments. It was mostly embarrassing stories, such as what Ambassador A thought of Ambassador B wearing that dress.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    NY Times is pro liberal.

    The NYT published the Pentagon Papers because that was central to making a Republican president look bad and out of control.

    The NYT will not publish anything concerning Manning because it has the potential to make a Democrat black look bad which would be bad for liberalism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    bob, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    No. You can comment on the trial itself all you want. You can't complain about the resources someone else is expending.

    If Mike's not putting in the hours, paying for a reporter to stay at a local hotel and paying that reporter's salary, pension and health care, Mike has no standing to complain about how the NYT chooses to deploy its resources.

    For the last umpteen years Mike has been slagging off the NYT for putting up a paywall and trying to make enough money to support the reporters. How does he expect them to pay for things?

    As it is, there are plenty of other important stories too. And the NYT has to cover them as well.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    bob, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    This has nothing to do with news versus opinion. It has to do with resource allocation. Mike's been ranting about how the New York Times should not put up a paywall and selling t-shirts was going to pay for all the reporters. I'm saying that he should show us how it's done. Get out there and really stick it to the NY Times by putting some boots on the ground.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    What? And then get sued when he's successful in that business?

    Not fucking likely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Re: NY Times is pro liberal.

    Um, Johnson was a Democrat.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Manning,wikileaks,Ellsberg

    "not once have I heard confirmation about a single death that can be attributed to the leaks"

    There certainly are lots of falsehoods and misrepresentations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Manning,wikileaks,Ellsberg

    "You all are off in your own little worlds,babble on."

    Is there a spell checker in your little world?
    Typo on

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: NY Times is pro liberal.

    Really? .... Heh, you are delusional (and most likely a bigot)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    The NYT paywall is old news and since when did he say t-shirts would pay for reporters?

    Either give us a citation that can't be easily debunked or STFU.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Except that the part of the quote that you provide does not undermine his position.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    If Mike's not putting in the hours, paying for a reporter to stay at a local hotel and paying that reporter's salary, pension and health care, Mike has no standing to complain about how the NYT chooses to deploy its resources.


    That's just nutty.

    We all have every right to complain about good and services that aren't up to our expectations. If I get bad food at a restaurant, I don't have to be a chef or know how to run a restaurant to get the right to complain about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: NY Times is pro liberal.

    Hints: Obama is not liberal (nor are the Democrats), and the New York Times has never been very shy about publishing stories that piss liberals off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    " 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."

    Translation
    Waaay to much effort to put a believable spin, and to much risk of our readers showing a difference of opinion for everyone to see

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: The New York Times is The Establishment newspaper.

    That is amazingly well put loki

    You know when you feel a certain way or think a certain way about something, but are never able to express it as well as you want, well thats what this is, thanks

    Multiple sources of the same story, what is added, what is ommited.....proof of bias.......12 step program for sheep

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    Perhaps you forgot what you said: "Are you sending someone to cover it? Unless you've got boots on the ground, you don't have a basis for complaint."

    That sure sounds like you want him report on news rather than blog.

    However, looking at your latest tangent. It is pretty obvious that the PayWall model doesn't work, and there are very good reasons why. It really boils down to an old law of Supply and Demand.

    Prior to the Internet (and especially prior to TV) There was a high demand for news, and relatively speaking a low supply.

    Today with the internet, Over the Air TV, Cable TV, Radio... There is a very high supply of news.

    Add to this that the internet moves much faster than most newspapers are set up to process news (at most twice a day for print).

    Finally, many people are just fed up with all the 'crap' that counts for news today and so demand has lessened.

    So when supply was relatively low and demand was relatively high it was easy for newspapers to charge for a paper. This also made sense because they had hard costs such as costs of paper, ink, printing, delivery...

    Today things are different. There is an excess supply of news, comparatively a lower demand for news. Add to that the fact that the hard costs for newspapers is going away, when you don't print and deliver a paper, there is very little cost to justify charging your readership.

    So, newspapers are signing there own death certificate by putting up paywalls. They need to do at least two things to remain viable.

    First, they need to increase readership. Paywalls do not help them achieve that goal. Pawalls limit readership, and encourage potential new readers to go elsewhere. So take down the paywall, and plan on making money in other ways.

    Second, they need to provide something of value that people won't find with every click of the mouse. For instance more accurate reporting than other places. More local news.

    Third, they need to get demographics on their users. This can be done a number of ways.

    If they accomplish one and two above they will increase readership, which will allow them to get more advertisers, if they accomplish 3, they will be able to charge more for the advertising.

    Instead, newspapers are choosing to put up a toll bridge, the article quality has fallen dramatically in the last 20 years and their readership has fallen off. So they put up a paywall, which reduces the desire of people to view their articles; which reduces the value to their advertisers; which reduces their income; which reduces there ability to pay staff; which reduces article quality; which reduces readership; which reduces ad revenue; which reduces ability to pay staff...

    It is a cycle certain to be repeated until the business can no longer be sustained.

    The world has moved on, yet the newspapers (and many others) are desperately trying to hold onto their old worn out, broken business models while trying to stay relevant.

    It doesn't work that way, it is always much easier to get to the top than to stay there.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Where's TechDirt?

    "You can't complain about the resources someone else is expending."

    Really? - Who's going to stop me?
    You really are delusional.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2012 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: NY Times is pro liberal.

    "Obama is not liberal"

    In fact he is a centrist, but don't tell this to the Fox News fanatics because they will blow a gasket.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:57am

    Re: The New York Times is The Establishment newspaper.

    Did your media bother to tell you that there weren't any WMD in Iraq, or did you have to read it on the BBC?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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