Navel-Gazing at The NYT

Many other blogs are covering the Times‘ ongoing mea culpa process for basically accepting and reprinting White House spin on WMD in the run-up to the Iraq War. For example, in his latest bit, Editor Daniel Okrent writes

To anyone who read the paper between September 2002 and June 2003, the impression that Saddam Hussein possessed, or was acquiring, a frightening arsenal of W.M.D. seemed unmistakable. Except, of course, it appears to have been mistaken.

… Some of The Times’s coverage in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq was credulous; much of it was inappropriately italicized by lavish front-page display and heavy-breathing headlines; and several fine articles by David Johnston, James Risen and others that provided perspective or challenged information in the faulty stories were played as quietly as a lullaby.

This piece is a follow-up to an earlier unsigned piece by “The Editors.” In response to the first piece, many observers pointed out that the editors failed to mention the most egregious spin-recycler by name, Judith “From Chalabi’s Mouth to Your Eyes” Miller. For more on Miller, see Franklin Foer’s New Yorker New York Magazine story, “The Source of the Trouble.

While they’re in a reflective mood, the Times Editors might want to take a look at Elisabeth Bumiller, who today decided to devote an entire story, 900 words, to comparing the bikes that the presidential candidates ride, concluding insightfully that

“… maybe as a sideshow to the presidential debates Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry should have a bike race, which would add new meaning to political spin.”

And yes, that’s from the hard news section, not the Style section. While they’re taking a look at Bumiller’s alleged work, perhaps they should look for a mirror, for it is the editors who agreed to print this triviality. Link to “story” via Pandagon.