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January 27, 2011

Best False Equivalency Ever

From a long new article about WikiLeaks by New York Times executive editor Bill Keller:

I’m the first to admit that news organizations, including this one, sometimes get things wrong. We can be overly credulous (as in some of the prewar reporting about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction) or overly cynical about official claims and motives.

Yes, there was that time when the New York Times gleefully passed along government lies and helped start a war that has killed perhaps a million people and will cost three trillion dollars. And then there was that time when they were overly cynical about official claims, which caused such a gigantic catastrophe that Bill Keller can't exactly remember what it was.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 27, 2011 05:41 PM

OH MY GOD. Where's the LIKE button on this blearch?!?!?

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at January 27, 2011 06:15 PM

OH MY GOD. Where's the LIKE button on this blearch?!?!?

You can't see it, but it's on my heart.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 27, 2011 06:31 PM

Let's be fair. Wasn't the New York Times overly cynical about Saddam Hussein's official claims and motives when he said that he didn't have weapons of mass destruction? I'm sure the NYT regrets that now.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 27, 2011 06:33 PM


Posted by: Mobutu at January 27, 2011 07:29 PM

But what happened to the flame of truth?

Posted by: rob payne at January 27, 2011 09:09 PM

This internet is a fucking monster. When facebook can break Mubarik's back, break Tunisa, AND make the Ayatolla's ass pucker, ALL that and I just thought it was an easy way to pick up chicks. Then a WEBSITE that can make Hillary humble.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 27, 2011 09:39 PM

Dear Mr. Keller....


Posted by: Sam at January 28, 2011 12:28 AM

The Post title Best False Equivalency Ever made me think that you were going to point out that equating what the NYT does (describe documents to support positions, e.g. invade Iraq) with what Wikileaks does (make documents available without comment) would be a stupid thing to do. Alas, you make the correct, but obvious point that Bill Keller is a blind to the truth.

Posted by: drip at January 28, 2011 06:27 AM


That's even worse than the pat on the back he gave himself for having the courage to publish the warrantless wiretap story...

...13 months and one presidential election after they had it.

Posted by: Jeff at January 28, 2011 06:08 PM


okay i give

what is a blearch ???

god these are some of the best comments i have ever read.

i am just sittin' here, blowin' boogs and laffin' so damn hard that tears are falling out of my eyeballs. right here.


i think the ability to be phunnie is the greatest of all human traits. there is nothing better than a phunnie or to be phunnie.

Posted by: just effin' laffin' here at January 31, 2011 10:46 PM

When I read that quote in the story, I believe it was on page 8, I thought that that was the end of the story since it seemed so summy-uppy. I was also a bit startled at how ham handed it was. How self congratulatory. Even when he dissed the Guardian as being left leaning, saying in effect that the NYT is more fair'n'balanced. Then when I realized that there were another 2 pages remaining, I was thoroughly finished. Two more pages of hype? No thank you.

Posted by: protean girlfriend at February 2, 2011 06:57 AM