Earlier today, Scott linked to comments from Clark Hoyt, “public editor” of the New York Times, about his paper’s addition of Bill Kristol as a columnist. Hoyt concluded that, because Kristol said the Attorney General had an obligation to consider prosecuting the Times for publishing an article that revealed a classified government program to find terrorists by examining banking transactions, the Times should not have “rewarded [Kristol] with a regular spot in front of arguably the most elite audience in the nation.”
Though quick to provide his opinion about which pundits deserve columns in his employer’s paper, Hoyt is taking his time when it comes to performing his job of investigating conflicts of interest (and appearances thereof) at the Times. A month ago, Ed Whelan notified Hoyt that the Times’ Linda Greenhouse was reporting on Supreme Court cases in which her husband has participated. Today, Ed reports that he only now has received a response from Hoyt. Here’s what Hoyt said:
Thank you for writing. I am aware of your blog post and am looking into the issue. Linda Greenhouse tells me, categorically, that her husband, Eugene Fidell, has never represented any detainee, is not involved as a lawyer in the case about which you wrote and did not file a brief in that case. I’d appreciate it if you could steer me to the brief you said he filed.
Ed has supplied Hoyt with the briefs in question, and has demonstrated that Greenhouse’s “denial” is a pathetic evasion. For example, though her husband has never “represented any detainee,” he has filed amicus briefs that expressly support detainees. For purposes of determining whether Greenhouse should be reporting on cases in which her husband has filed briefs, it’s difficult to see what the difference is.
Similarly, Greenhouse tells Hoyt that her husband