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NYT Delays Mullah Capture Story at Behest of White House

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Boom_70, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Hate these stories. I always feel manipulated and wonder what else they have colluded on. Always seems like a double standard.

    "The New York Times learned of the operation on Thursday, but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials, who contended that making it public would end a hugely successful intelligence-gathering effort. The officials said that the group’s leaders had been unaware of Mullah Baradar’s capture and that if it became public they might cover their tracks and become more careful about communicating with each other."

  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    I'm fine with it, as long as it serves a purpose, like keeping people safe or not jeopardizing a mission of great importance. But the embargo has to have a firm, or timely, deadline. As it seems like this one did.
  3. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    No problem for me, didn't bother me for Bush, doesn't bother me now. It's when they don't listen, and publish anyway that I'm offended.
  4. Well, the problem is that the government probably has a tendency to cry wolf, and also has a different perspective when it comes to balancing information vs. information than the public or news media would. So when they try to play this card, it better be rare, and it better be serious.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it was serious and it worked, this time. From all accounts, the guy is singing like a bird.
  6. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    Agreed, but I'd rather err on the side of caution when in doubt.
  7. What would have you done in the case of the Pentagon Papers or secret prisons story from two years ago?
  8. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    Not sure, honestly, I think I'd wait until I had evidence (enough to convince me, not beyond a reasonable doubt) that their insistence on my (temporary) silence was motivated by self interest rather than security. I'd probably lose out on a couple of scoops - maybe that's why I'm not in journalism.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    You have to consider these things on a case-by-case basis and with a fair degree of skepticism .
  10. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    The Pentagon Papers example might actually support what the Times did here, if they did indeed agree with the government that publishing this story would present a clear and present danger; in the PP case, the information posed no such danger.

    In this case, you're taking the government's word for it that publication would be dangerous.
  11. Cool. I don't know, either. They aren't easy questions.
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