Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Worst Of Times

So let me see if I've got this straight.

The New York Times had the NSA terrorist surveillance program story ready to go before the 2004 presidential election, but Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller decided to put it on hold because he - correctly - believed that it would help President Bush's re-election chances rather than hurt them. However, Keller concocted a cover excuse that the NSA story didn't actually arise until the month after the election, and a subsequent interview with his own public editor, Byron Calame, he deliberately obfuscated the question of the story's timing.

Now Keller his admitted that he lied about the whole thing, and his far Left constituents are all pissed that he spiked a story that they, in their fevered partisan dementia, cannot be convinced wouldn't have been the killing blow that sent Dubya back to Crawford, Texas to dig postholes for the rest of his life. And, true to form, they think that this is another Rovian conspiracy and that Bill Keller - Bill Keller - is in on it. I guess he released the story last December (in tandem with the Democrats' attempt to kill the Patriot Act, don't forget) to, what - make amends? Or cover up his White House connections?

Now there is speculation about whether Keller's boss, publisher Arthur Ochs "Pinch" Sulzberger, Jr., will even survive, and whether the Times itself is doomed to the historical ashheap onto which it has done everything in its power to hurl the President.

Time (not the magazine) will tell. But what makes this instance different is that it is the neoBolsheviks - the market segment to which the Times has pigeonholed itself - that they have crossed now. If they take a walk, what will "the paper of record" have left?

And without the New York Times, where will the Left be?

Forget time (the concept and the magazine, at least until the latter gets rid of the execrable Andrew Sullivan); Pinch and Keller are screwed.