Today’s article The Truth and Alberto Gonzales was another great public editor essay by Clark Hoyt. I love his reflections on the NY Times. This one is about the line between editorial and news, and how the Times responded to it.
I especially liked his response to the on the On The Media interview he recently gave – introspection.
He reviewed the paper’s coverage of the congressional hearings, and found that the Times had largely been neutral and factual. Except here:
Once, I felt The Times pulled a punch â€” in the front-page article reporting Goodlingâ€™s dramatic testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. The lead paragraph said her testimony â€œsuggestedâ€ that earlier testimony by Gonzales â€œmay have been flawed.â€ In fact, as the article made clear, her testimony that Gonzales asked her questions about her recollections of the firings contradicted his testimony that he had not spoken to his senior aides since the firings â€œto protect the integrity of this investigation.â€ More than a flaw was involved here; someone was telling the truth, and someone wasnâ€™t.
Hoyt then goes on to describe the editorial response and early call for Gonzales’ resignation/removal.
Here’s another On The Media podcast about truth and memory.