Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, gave an interview yesterday to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post about the Times’ bogus Al Qaqaa story. Backpedaling furiously, Keller said that the piece was rushed into print–my words, not his–because it was “starting to leak on the internet.” Consequently, Keller says he told CBS: “You know what? We’re going to have to run it Monday.” Got that? When the Times runs a false, half-baked story it isn’t their fault; they had to do it lest people get wind of the false, half-baked story from some other source first.
Keller also can’t quite understand what all the fuss is about:
The principal uncertainty about the story involves the timing of the ammunition’s disappearance. The White House says the explosives may have gone missing while Saddam Hussein still controlled Iraq.
“Sure there’s a possibility” that happened, Keller said, “and I think the original story accounted for that possibility. . . . I don’t think we’ve ever claimed there was a definitive answer to what became of this stuff.”
Really? Then what was the point of the story? And someone better tell John Kerry, quick.
Actually, of course, Keller is just making it up, as the Times so often does. Here is what the paper wrote in its original Al Qaqaa story:
White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.
That statement was untrue, of course; just one of many in the Times hit piece. Keller’s revisionist history shows, I suppose, that the Times knows its coverage of this “story” is indefensible. But don’t expect a correction, at least not until after the election.
Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the tip.