Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Distorted NYT story

This one is making the rounds. Looks like a NYT reporter mis-reported a hearing to make it match his opinion. "Media Blog" has the story.
Media Blog

Stephen Spruiell Reporting

The Markup
NYT Abandons Reporting for Assertion

Via Powerline, New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau appears to have asserted something in his wiretapping story today that just isn't supported by his own reporting, much less a transcript of the hearing. In the second paragraph of the story, Lichtblau wrote:

In a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the secretive court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, several former judges who served on the panel also voiced skepticism at a Senate hearing about the president's constitutional authority to order wiretapping on Americans without a court order. They also suggested that the program could imperil criminal prosecutions that grew out of the wiretaps.
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Throughout the long line of questioning, each judge appears to support the argument that the president did not act illegally when he used his constitutional authority to order the NSA to eavesdrop on people in the United States receiving phone calls from suspected al-Qaeda terrorists. Baker merely stated the obvious — that if the president had circumvented a statute without having the constitutional authority to do so, he would be doing so at his peril.

I wonder if Lichtblau can point to anything in the transcript that justifies his assertion that "several former judges who served on the panel also voiced skepticism at a Senate hearing about the president's constitutional authority to order wiretapping on Americans without a court order." Because the transcript I read indicates that the exact opposite is true. Read it all


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