Just as Slate’s Jack Shafer was asking if we trust President Bush more than Bill Keller, we saw the New York Times editor on Charlie Rose quoting a particularly “cynical” member of his staff. The staffer, he said, noted that a lot of the denunciations of the Times’ coverage of the terror banking story came through microphones at Republican Party fundraisers. “Beating up on The New York Times is red meat for a certain part of the Republican base,” Keller said.
“This is personal,” he said later, answering criticism of the Times’ supposed lack of patriotism, and pointing out the risk reporters take to get stories. “It’s not something we take lightly.”
Keller (at about 27:40 on the video, available free today), says part of the reason for running the story in the Times was because of the Bush admin’s track record in lacking credibility, and that this admin puts a high premium on holding its secrets close. Worth the watch, if you’re interested in this story.