You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

February 10, 2007

New York Times Reveals "Reporter" Michael Gordon Actually Voice-Activated Tape Recorder

NEW YORK—New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller today announced that the paper's longtime staff writer Michael Gordon is not an actual person, but rather a voice-activated tape recorder.

"I'm not sure why everyone didn't figure this out before now," said Keller, pointing to the fact that, in Gordon's 26-year career, all of "his" stories have consisted entirely of transcribed statements by anonymous government officials.

According to Jill Abramson, the paper's Managing Editor, Gordon was purchased for $27.95 at a Radio Shack on West 43rd Street. Describing the situation as a prank that had "gotten slightly out of hand," Abramson said the paper had decided to acknowledge Gordon's identity because—after the tape recorder's front page story today, "Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says"—there "was no place left to take the joke."

Keller described how he and Abramson laughed continuously while editing the Iran story, which is based on the following sourcing:

U.S. Says...United States intelligence asserts...reflects broad agreement among American intelligence agencies...civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies provided...military officials say...The officials said...The assessment was described in interviews over the past several weeks with American officials...Administration officials said...according to the intelligence...According to American intelligence...Some American intelligence experts believe...they assert...notes a still-classified American intelligence report...a senior administration official said...according to Western officials...Officials said...An American intelligence assessment described to The New York Times said...Other officials believe...American military officers say...American officials say...According to American intelligence agencies...Assessments by American intelligence agencies say...Marine officials say...American intelligence agencies are concerned...Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week.

"You can't deny that's funny," said Keller, adding that the lack of skepticism displayed by Gordon was "literally inhuman." Keller and Abramson asserted that the Iran article is "even more hilarious" than Gordon's 2002 stories on Iraq's purported nuclear program, written with Judith Miller.

According to the paper's management, the Times plans to keep the tape recorder on its staff indefinitely, given that it does not require health insurance and its voice-activation feature saves a lot of tape. Indeed, the tape recorder formerly known as Michael Gordon has already filed its own story on the matter, consisting entirely of transcribed statements from anonymous government officials.

Posted at February 10, 2007 10:59 AM | TrackBack

Well that explains why he never answers my emails. I thought it was just elitism.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at February 10, 2007 01:03 PM

I'd like to point out purely in the interest of self-promotion that I made a similar joke a while back which I was quite proud of:

But, less relevantly: I'm not sure what exactly the plan is, here. They have ~2 years to prosecute a war on Iran. The Iraq war took about a year of build-up to launch. If this one goes similarly, that leaves them 1 year to defeat Iran before someone else comes in (assuming they don't get impeached). I can't believe I'm saying this, but even they aren't THAT crazy. Would they honestly believe, like, "THIS time we'll be greeted as liberators for SURE!"? Seems dubious. What's the game plan?

Posted by: saurabh at February 10, 2007 01:05 PM

Just sent the following to vs. bods at the senile, gray, neocon bag lady

Dear New York Times,

Yup, I've had my fill of it too. The Times' jiggery pokery - or is it the Times' or are you just the water-carrier? - as evinced, in its latest manifestation, by Michael Gordon's front page Judith Miller impersonation today (Feb. 10th).

So by way of brightening up your day, chew on this. I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend spreading the following far and wide on the internet.

The "following" being this proposal:

Here's a suggestion. Can someone in this "community" please create a website listing New York Times advertisers and subsidiaries. And with it a "searchable download" that can go into palmtops. So if I'm in a shop - or indeed online - thinking about purchasing this or that I can tap in the product manufacturer - or indeed the name of the shop retailing the product - and get an instant report back "has advertised in the New York Times". Or "has not advertised in the New York Times".

Whereupon I'll act accordingly.

The which non-sale is to be accompanied by a "ping" that goes out then and there - or later - to said advertiser, saying "you just lost a sale because you advertise in the New York Times and because the New York Times Pravda'd us about Iraq and now it's trying to Pravda us about Iran. And this is just to let you know that advertising in the New York Times doesn't work."

Or words to that effect.

Come on you computer whiz kids who loathe what's going on as much as this ancient technophobe does...please get busy and help out here.

We can do it you know. They can be Liliputted. Big time. Think of what Nader all by his lonesome did to GM all those years ago. Think of that "effect" - and then "exponential it". Exponential it because where there was one of him there are hundreds of thousands of us. And where he had, in effect, a cardboard megaphone...we've got cyberspace. We can go "viral" on them.

So, yes, let's go 21st century mediaeval on them. Let's give the New York Times its very own tanker spill mess to deal with. As Billmon neatly put it, Consequences!

Posted by: 3rd & 33rd at February 10, 2007 01:11 PM

I confess, I didn't realize it was a joke until "the Times plans to keep the tape recorder on its staff indefinitely".

Posted by: owlbear1 at February 10, 2007 01:29 PM

""There are tubes and then there are tubes," the administration official said."

Posted by: something polish at February 10, 2007 01:29 PM

Sure, no health insurance...but keeping Mike in AA batteries has gotta be killing them.

Posted by: Robert Earle at February 10, 2007 01:35 PM

This post and the comments don't give a fair representation of Gordon's work. As a reporter, one of his jobs is to get on record what the representatives of the administration are saying. It's worthwhile to have this, both for decision-making purposes now and for historical purposes later.

It's not adversary reporting, and it's not analysis. But it provides others a basis for moving forward.

Why jump with such eagerness on a reporter who gave us, after all, 640 pp. of severe analysis of administration incompetence in Cobra II? Are the complainers representing _Gordon_ accurately by omitting that? I doubt that any of us could have written that book, and we can all benefit from it. So I think there's some reason for restraint here -- although I did find the tape-recorder bit funny.

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: Dan Tompkins at February 10, 2007 01:41 PM

Don't those recorders get squeeky after a while?

And all the other office workers just put up with it ;)

Posted by: bleat my little headacher bleat at February 10, 2007 01:42 PM

"You can't deny that's funny," said Keller

You bet your spoiled, sorry ass I can .....

Outrageous. I'm ----ing tired of Republicans, Rush Limbaugh and now the NY Times trying to save their filthy hides by saying "it was a joke! " I'll tell you what is a joke. The fouth estate as it is "upheld" at the NY Times. It's time to get serious. This is unacceptable. These pricks in the media party set make me angry. They have no idea what their responsibilities to their country is.

Posted by: s at February 10, 2007 01:44 PM

When will the Times upgrade to an inbox e-mail address? If they don't cut costs now, we'll all just subscribe to the White House Press Corps e-mail address and get our "news" directly and cheaper.

Posted by: MDtoMN at February 10, 2007 01:53 PM

Dan Tompkins:

Why jump with such eagerness on a reporter who gave us, after all, 640 pp. of severe analysis of administration incompetence in Cobra II?

Why? BECAUSE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO BOMB IRAN. Because when you live in a country WHERE THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO BOMB IRAN, "not completely horrible reporting all the time, every time" is not a sufficient standard to get someone on the front page of the NY Times.

If you can't understand this, you've gotten to that place where appreciation for "nuance" and shades of grade has turned into insanity.

Note also that the joke is not just about Gordon, but about the NY Times' editors.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 10, 2007 01:57 PM

& just think, a RadioShackâ„¢ tape recorder is *still* a better writer than Elisabeth Bumiller!!!!

Posted by: n69n at February 10, 2007 01:58 PM

Brilliant, Jon!

Michael Gordon is not just a voice-activated tape recorder, he is the world's funniest voice-activated tape recorder (or, as anonymous sources call it, WFVATR).

The WFVATR writes this: "The manufacture of the key metal components required sophisticated machinery, raw material and expertise that American intelligence agencies do not believe can be found in Iraq."

Ok, so fancy bomb-making expertise just can't be found in Iraq.

But back in '02 the WFVATR wrote: "Iraq's push to improve and expand Baghdad's chemical and biological arsenals have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war."

Those Iraqis, boy, can they make bio/chem/nuclear weapons, mushroom clouds and all! But fancy IED? No way. They just don't have the expertise.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at February 10, 2007 01:58 PM

beautiful piece--thanks very much.

Posted by: casual observer at February 10, 2007 02:07 PM

I dated Michael for a while, and I always felt he was never really there. We didn't communicate very well, and now I know why.

Posted by: JaneaneTheAcerbicGoblin at February 10, 2007 02:07 PM

Breaking news, 2055:*

"In retrospect, I'd say the dismantling of the Sun in an effort to find Satan's living room was a bad idea."

-Anonymous Government Official

*assuming we survive that long

Posted by: Joe Vecchio at February 10, 2007 02:10 PM

His name must be an inside joke, Mic Gordon, like Flash Gordon ... maybe he was the most advanced in a series and this is just the tip of the iceburg....

Posted by: sam at February 10, 2007 02:12 PM

I'd say it's more like some kind of conduit (pipe? gutter? sewer?) than a tape recorder.

Posted by: abb1 at February 10, 2007 02:38 PM

It's worthwhile to have this, both for decision-making purposes now and for historical purposes later.
What part of unnamed sources spreading disinformation is an important part of the historical record? Will there be a single historian that uses Judith Miller's "reportage" on Iraq to find out the real story?

Posted by: George Johnston at February 10, 2007 02:47 PM

I share Jonathan Schwarz' concern about invading Iran. No question there.

The question is, how to treat Michael Gordon, when he's provided a pretty good case of administration incompetence and Cobra II and now writes a fairly simple report about what administration officials are saying. It's not a matter of nuance, but of getting the admin on the record.

In the past few weeks, the NYT has told us that Iranian nuclear program is moving slower than claimed, that evidence of Iranian interference is not very powerful, that "echoes of Iraq" are everywhere, that attacking Iran in any case is dangerous. They've given space to the ambassador (Zarif), and they've had good articles from within Iran about the eagerness for peace there.

I wish they'd had a bit more, but I view Gordon's piece as part of the effort to get full coverage. What American leaders say is newsworthy. Reporting it is not endorsing it, and Sanger and Fathi have provided good evidence for opponents of military action.

In any case, even if Gordon did err in this piece, he's got a pretty good track record for weighing in vs. the administration, against Tommy Franks -- a major target of Cobra II -- and others. That is not a nuance or a shade of grey, it's a pretty solid track record that earns him the right to a balanced critique, not the open ridicule of comparing him to a tape recorder.

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: Dan Tompkins at February 10, 2007 02:50 PM

Has Bill Keller learned nothing from the Miller"s fiasco? Gordon's article could be re-titled "WMDs: the Sequel". What infuriated me the most was the article inflammatory title which jumped at me from the front page. We all need to write to the NYT's ombudsman and bitterly complain about this article.

Posted by: Devil's Advocate at February 10, 2007 03:06 PM

One other point should be made about the reliability of the sourcing of the Michael R. Gordon's 02/10/2007 New York Times story about a claimed Iranian connection to the Explosively Formed Penetrator type of IEDs being used in Iraq. DO A GOOGLE SEARCH OF "Lt. Col. James Danna", AND YOU WILL FIND THAT HE REALLY GETS AROUND WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING COMMENTS WHICH SUPPORT BUSH ADMINISTRATION ARGUMENTS/POSITIONS/CONVENIENT FANTASIES, AND HAS BEEN DOING SO SINCE FAIRLY EARLY IN THE IRAQ WAR. Read the articles such a search uncovers, and tell me whether Bushian spin has consistently been planted with dear old Lt. Col. Danna so it can be regurgitated to whatever press can be convinced to listen, which can then be counted on to re-regurgitate the lies and spin.
Perhaps it is unsurprising that the Neo-Con war blusterers have decided to embark on another campaign of lies as a prelude to another hoped for conflict, but to think that the so-called "paper of record" hasn't learned a lesson from its really tragic involvement in the build-up to the attack on Iraq, and continues at the garbage in, garbage out level of journalism.

Posted by: Bob Ewing at February 10, 2007 03:21 PM

This is why Robert Fisk suggests rechristening The New York Times as "Officials Say".

I got to interview Fisk or a Slovene newspaper in November of 2002, on the impending invasion of Iraq. Relevant excerpt:

"..., you will know that the Bush administration intends to go to war if and when on the front page of The New York Times and The Washington Post you start getting the “officials say” story. It starts, “US administration officials are concerned that UN inspectors may not have received sufficient training or be sufficiently deployed widespread in Iraq to know whether indeed Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.” In other words, there’ll start to be a smear campaign against the inspectors. This will be building the ground work for saying, well, they couldn’t do their job, we went along with the UN, we gave them their chance, and it didn’t work.

Basically, the way the American press works now is everything is based on “officials say.” It’s sufficient to source a story simply by saying, “Officials say…” Seven stories in one day in the International Herald Tribune, which combines The New York Times and The Washington Post, had paragraph one ending “American officials say.” They should have a newspaper now called “Officials say.”

Four and a half years later, substitute "Iran" for "Iraq"--and here we go again.

Posted by: Jean at February 10, 2007 03:38 PM

Yeah, that Robert Fisk spiel about the New York Times being renamed "US Officials Say" is, dismayingly, still relevant and biting.

Posted by: Sean M at February 10, 2007 03:42 PM

I must admit the idea that so MANY in the Administration are unwilling to go on the record should be the shocking part of this story.

Posted by: owlbear1 at February 10, 2007 03:51 PM

So, Gordon's supposed to get credit for exposing incompetence after the invasion? And writing a bestselling book about it for which he gets paid? But prior to the war -- when there are questions that could be asked about whether the stuff he's reporting on has any validity, and the same incompetent people are running the show -- we're just supposed to shut our gobs?

If problems in the Iraq war's intelligence had been exposed before the war began -- and actually had a part in preventing the war from starting -- what would Gordon have written about? Easier to get a bestseller out of a war, isn't it?

Posted by: darrelplant at February 10, 2007 04:04 PM

What I wrote to the New York Times first thing this morning:

Your most prominent headline this morning horrified me: Deadliest Bomb in
Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says; Used against U.S. Troops; Intelligence Data
Points [sic] to Tehran as Supplying Roadside Weapon.
Think of al Qaeda and the Baathists plotting in Prague. Think of
stockpiles of assorted WMDs about to be launched at Kansas City. Think of
aluminum tubes that look like tent poles but can be used only for nuclear
reactors. Above all, think of weapons-grade uranium bought in Africa.
We've been down this road before, and it leads to quicksand.
Do not rely on unnamed "American officials" and "United States
intelligence." Before you amplify administration saber rattling, find a few
civil service analysts four or five layers down from the political
appointees and hear what they have to say.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative at February 10, 2007 04:12 PM

What will it take for the NYT to understand that this administration has lost the right to be quoted anonymously?

This government has exceeded its allowed quota of lies. Any quote from an unnamed government official should be followed by the warning: "On the basis of recent history, it's the NYT editors' judgment that this quote is most likely pure, unadulaterated propaganda crap."

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at February 10, 2007 04:31 PM

Mad-Libs, anybody?

Posted by: Mooser at February 10, 2007 04:50 PM

Wow. Harsh comments.

In fact, while I would have treated Gordon differently, and given the NYT credit for the good things it's done, I agree with all that keeping the pressure on the NYT is worthwhile, and I share everyone's revulsion for what has happened, and eagerness to prevent further madness.

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: dan Tompkins at February 10, 2007 04:52 PM

Dan Tompkins: "The question is, how to treat Michael Gordon, when he's provided a pretty good case of administration incompetence and Cobra II and now writes a fairly simple report about what administration officials are saying. It's not a matter of nuance, but of getting the admin on the record."

Um, Dan? "On the record" does not mean anonymous quotes.

You do know that, right?

Posted by: at February 10, 2007 05:00 PM

saurabh says: I can't believe I'm saying this, but even they aren't THAT crazy. Would they honestly believe, like, "THIS time we'll be greeted as liberators for SURE!"? Seems dubious. What's the game plan?

Your mistake is almost universal. You assume Cheney cares about winning. This isn't about winning- it's about getting rich by investing in companies that benefit from war, and then starting a war so those companies benefit. Why should Cheney care if the country "wins," or if the general public or the world is better off in any way, once he's filthy rich and living outside the reach of our laws?

It was treason to start the war in Iraq. It will be treason to start a war in Iran. Dick Cheney is guilty of treason. He has already violated his oath of office to defend the Constitution, and there is no reason to expect that he'll ever have second thoughts about the direction he's chosen.

He must be removed from office and brought to justice.

Posted by: smiley at February 10, 2007 05:01 PM

I think it's the same guy that keeps calling me in the middle of supper telling me I've been pre approved for a second mortgage. No matter how much I shout I don't even have a 1st mortgage, he just keeps on and on, I just hang up.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 10, 2007 05:04 PM

The publisher of the Times recently said he does ot care if the paper is being printed or not in 5 years. I should have believed that whn I read it.

Posted by: hodnipps at February 10, 2007 05:07 PM

Since this guy does not seem to exist who the f is that in this pic?

Posted by: Me at February 10, 2007 06:42 PM

I wonder if this type of reporting will remain when there is a Democrat in the white house? Of do you think it will suddenly be: "Critiques . . . Experts . . . Former Officials . . . Nonpartisan experts . . . Congressional staffers."

Posted by: MDtoMN at February 10, 2007 07:13 PM

What's the game plan?

I'll tell you: Vice President for Life Dick Cheney will find another dipshit to which he can attach himself - Santorum was the obvious choice, but that idiot couldn't get re-elected. Ahh, but there is Romney, with ZERO foreign policy experience. Dick will provide the steady, guinding hand for our ship of state in a world of troubled waters, and staging some sort of "Persian Style" Gulf of Tonkin will be all that's needed to encourage the lizard brains to elect them.

The sad thing is is that it's not rocket science.

Posted by: Spud1 at February 10, 2007 07:31 PM

Although I agree with the above critique, you should keep in mind the possibility that maybe it's true or partly true--maybe Iran is arming Shiite factions.

See, I don't think that even if the story is true that it would in any way give us a justification for invading or bombing Iran. We all know the US has supported death squads, terrorists, and every crime up to genocide and nobody here thinks that means other countries get to invade us. So if Iran is playing proxy war with our troops in Iraq (which if I recall correctly, is closer to Iran than to the US), what gives us the right to do any more than complain about it?

Just pointing out we should be thinking of plan B, in case there really is anything to this claim. But you guys are right to rip apart the Gordon story.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 10, 2007 08:46 PM

See, I don't think that even if the story is true that it would in any way give us a justification for invading or bombing Iran.

Yes, exactly right. By the standard Bush is about to wheel out, almost every country on earth would have the right to attack the U.S.

But it was such an appealling joke I couldn't help myself.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 10, 2007 08:54 PM

Oh, I'm not criticizing. I liked the rules laid out by the reporter (forgot who) at Glenn Greenwald's blog. If the Bush Administration said the Sun was shining at noon, I'd figure we were at the North Pole in December.

A commenter at Atrios had an interesting observation--Iraq, the same country which was piling up a sophisticated arsenal of WMD's ranging from biological warfare agents to nuclear weapons, is now the country that can't blow up an armored Humvee with a landmine without outside assistance.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 10, 2007 09:09 PM

"On the record": On rereading, I clearly erred in saying this. Even the best reporters do need anonymous sources, but this report has pretty much nothing but.

Gleen Greenwald is right, too, to call for ocular proof in such a touchy area.

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: Dan Tompkins at February 10, 2007 09:37 PM

Donald: I made the same point in my "Gordon the WFVATR" comment up above.

Now it pains me to think how much money Jon is going make out of all that: well over 6 billion web surfers landed on this site today, half of whom have by now ordered their own copy of Our Kampf.

I wonder if Jon isn't the one who arranged for the gift of a $27.95 tape recorder to Bill Keller.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at February 10, 2007 09:39 PM


All "Cobra II" does is show that even a Radio Shack tape recorder can only take so much of the NY Times failure to act as a real newspaper!

Posted by: Rick B at February 10, 2007 09:41 PM

What's sad, is that Michael Gordon was NY Times best reporter.

Posted by: trutheau at February 11, 2007 12:01 AM

In the same vein as Donald Johnson--the overwhelming bulk of the ordnance in Iraq that is killing, shattering, and maiming was manufactured, supplied and used by the United States.

Why aren't NYT reporters writing about that?

Posted by: Jean at February 11, 2007 02:07 AM

There is another problem with the Gordon article. As Juan Cole said this morning, Gordon seems to inflate the damage done by this bomb: ' In the last three months of 2006, attacks using the weapons accounted for a significant portion of Americans killed and wounded in Iraq, though less than a quarter of the total, military officials say.'

Most casualties in those months were in Sunni areas, and Cole notes that Iran is not arming the Sunnis. This brings another line in Gordon's article into relief, from the seemingly ubiquitous Col Danna: ' “To me it is a political weapon. There are not a lot of them out there, but every time we crack down on the Shia militias that weapon comes out. They want to keep us on our bases, keep us out of their neighborhoods and prevent us from doing our main mission, which is protecting vulnerable portions of the population.”

A "political weapon" intended to keep US soldiers out of the neighborhoods they're "protecting." There are many ways to read that claim.

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: dan Tompkins at February 11, 2007 07:00 AM

The pity is that the NYT is regarded by anyone as anything other than a mouthpiece for the 'hegemony through war' branch of the global elite.

It also amuses me that anybody (as have some above) believes the NYT cares one wit for the opinion(s) of the unwashed serfs. We must all remember that serfs...... are simply chattel and therefore, have no opinions....

Posted by: medicis at February 11, 2007 09:06 AM

At this point in time all any NEWSPAPER is , is free fishwrap and asswipe.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 11, 2007 09:30 AM

More penance.

It sounds as if a lot of folks are already aware of Michael Gordon's role as co-author with Judy Miller in 2002. I'd like to see a careful unpacking of that collaboration, but such is not needed to agree with Michael Massing's conclusion that "In retrospect, the September 8, 2002, article by Michael Gordon and Judith Miller about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction seems one of the most serious cases of misreporting in the entire run-up to the war."

Part of a longer response to Gordon at:

Massing goes on to provide a counter-example: Jonathan Landay's pursuit of the story beyond the quotations, which led him to "a veteran of the US uranium enrichment program who told him that the data on the tubes were far from conclusive."

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: Dan Tompkins at February 11, 2007 10:14 AM

Is anyone watching out for the rest of the pattern of the Miller WMD stories: a series of high-level administration people scheduled on the Sunday talk shows to today to hold up copies of the Gordon article for the camera, arguing that if the Times says it, it must be true? Plant it in the Times, then go on TV and point to it- it worked last time.
I think that would be the signal that the bombing is about to start.

Posted by: Basil McDonnell at February 11, 2007 12:27 PM

I guess you could call him, "Judy in Disguise"

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein at February 11, 2007 01:02 PM

Bombs made in Israel and planted by Mossad (as usual) in Iraq.

Posted by: Not Tony Blair at February 11, 2007 01:13 PM

I'm amazed that nobody...regardless of the credibility of this story, points out that American-made F-16s, American-Made cluster bombs and American made weapons of all stripes (including Cat bulldozers) kill innocent civilians every day in Lebanon and Palestine...and nobody seems to give a hoot.
Oh, yes...and we did similar things in Afghanistan with out Stingers...supporting bin Laden.

Posted by: ECMPuke at February 11, 2007 02:01 PM

The 8 ft. sewer pipe is pumping out more IED-Iranian rhetoric as we speak. It's ALL this talk of investigations and impeachment that does it. W&DEADEYE need a backdoor escape out of OUR RATHOLE WE'VE DUG ourselves into and it looks like it opens up in Iran.(George in all his "wisdom" didn't think Syria was the easier way, oh well) WHEN THE TREASURE'S GONE, ALL THAT'S LEFT IS THE BLOOD.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 11, 2007 03:04 PM

good idea posted by Posted by: 3rd & 33rd at February 10, 2007 01:11 PM. any follow-up?

Posted by: mallee at February 11, 2007 04:45 PM

When I canceled my NYTimes subscription a year or so ago, the guy taking down my information couldn't believe it when I complained that the paper was too Right-wing. Apparently they didn't have such a box on the form for canceling subscribers.

I would be interested in hearing whether any subscribers who cancel over this story (as they should!) find that this is still true.

Posted by: Reb Yudelson at February 11, 2007 05:55 PM

I have my standards. Never would I use the NYT for an asswipe, as suggested. Besides, at this point in time, I'm of the opinion that the damned thing is just another imaginary arrow in the fabled quiver of virtual reality anti-reality nonsense of the Bush gang of outlaws.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at February 11, 2007 06:30 PM

What is the motivation of Michael Gordon?

Dan Tompkins wrote: "Why jump with such eagerness on a reporter who gave us, after all, 640 pp. of severe analysis of administration incompetence in Cobra II?"

Why, indeed? In answer, it would be illuminating take a look at this article from Editor & Publisher:

The most relevant comment is at the bottom of the article:

"Last month, Byron Calame, public editor at The New York Times, and the paper's Washington bureau chief, Phil Taubman, agreed that Gordon had stepped over the journalistic line in a recent TV appearance by starkly backing the "surge" in Iraq. Gordon had said, "So I think, you know, as a purely personal view, I think it's worth one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we've never really tried to win. We've simply been managing our way to defeat.""

Thus it all begins to make sense - Cobra II was in no way a criticism of the Iraq invasion per se, but merely of the tactics involved in carrying it out. Which, by the way, seems to be a perfect statement of the current Neocon ideology on the subject.

In other other words, Mr. Gordon is simply a Neocon who is pushing the Neocon agenda.

The fact that the New York Times would permit this reveals its own agenda.

Posted by: John Cabal at February 11, 2007 08:41 PM

I think the problem here is a disconnect between what newspapers see their job as being, and what citizens want and need in order to do their job as citizens of a free nation. Newspapers see their job as being accurate transcriptionists of people in power. But citizens want newspapers to go beyond simply transcribing the words of people of power, and find out what the truth is and report the truth. Newspapers today don't see their job as reporting the truth. They see their job as accurately transcribing. And that is why it is so easy for venal and evil politicians to manipulate the public by spewing bullshit to newspapers -- and why those of us who care about democracy have to form blogs to search for the truth. If we had newspapers interested in the truth, we could read newspapers. But we don't. We don't. And the nation is poorer for it, and we're right to be pissed about it.

Posted by: BadTux at February 12, 2007 02:42 AM

Thanks to John Cabal. I agree.

Dan Tompkins

Posted by: Dan Tompkins at February 12, 2007 04:34 AM


Posted by: SpinyNorman at February 12, 2007 09:24 AM

Sort of pathetic that they would follow up with an attempt at humor.We should not be surprised that the Old Lady has taken up slumming since her ranks is full of educated idiots.
GARBAGE IN!GARBAGE OUT!....At least the New York Post now has some company in the pigsty.

Posted by: Ronin at February 12, 2007 10:07 AM

Ah, the benefits of having a few corporations owning all the press. (I clip the coupons)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 12, 2007 01:26 PM

That's really just breathtaking.

Posted by: buermann at February 12, 2007 05:23 PM

no no no no no no, no. you misunderstand. this is not about michael gordon's credentials, because of his reliance on leak-a-ganda. this is about the new prestige that anonymous sources rightly deserve.

i am an anonymous source, you must listen to me. here is what will happen.

before the end of the year, we will run air raids in iran, targeting "proven" weapons and support facilities. this will wreck civilian services in iran, bust up their economy, and make it incredibly difficult for them to organize against us in the region while we lick our political wounds and try to fight off the russians, indians, chinese, etc.


Posted by: hibiscus at February 12, 2007 06:01 PM

An earlier commenter said, "At this point in time all any NEWSPAPER is, is free fishwrap and asswipe."

In the words of an great outhouse graffitist (written over the box where the newspaper was stacked):

"These are the Times that dry men's holes."

Posted by: Ranulf the Destroyer at February 13, 2007 04:51 PM