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Times Editor Chris Lopez's weblog

Thursday, June 16, 2005

More on Downing memo

The reporter from the London Times who initially reported on the Downing Street memo discusses the story in this piece from the Washington Post.


Blogger Michael said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Chris, I deleted my first two comments because I tried typing the original comment into MS Word and then pasting it here, but the blog doesn't translate Word very well and the formatting was all screwed up.

Then I wrote a comment saying basically what the above paragraph said before I figured that, rather than make you wade through all of the weird formatting in the original, I'd just type the original into the space here.

Confused? I am. I just didn't want you to think that I wrote something untoward and then thought better of it and deleted it. If I write something untoward, it usually takes me a day to calm down. Then I go back and try to delete it.

So here goes. The original again (I hope this has a spell check).

While I don't agree with a lot of Times editorials, for example, I shudder to think about more American jobs going to slave nations if CAFTA is passed, I must admit that, although the chat with Smith overwhelmingly proved what many Bush supporters want to dismiss, he balanced his statements well.

I know you take a lot of flak about being part of the liberal media. I, of course, leaning left, think you shield officials by playing down issues that would show them in a negative light. Consequently, I find allegations that the media is liberal leaning absurd.

Here's what I see as the difference.

The group that sees the msm as "liberal" is usually angry about something that the media printed, allowed to be printed or allowed to be pictorially shown.

The group that considers the medial milquetoast and a "hand of the government", that would be me, becomes angry about something the media didn't print, didn't allow to be printed or didn't show, e.g., the returning caskets of soldiers killed in battle.

I very much appreciate the difficulty of a newspaper editor trying to "please" both sides.

What you need to do, in my humble opinion, is to print the news.

If Bush supporters don't like pictures of havoc coming out of Iraq but there is havoc in Iraq, tough for Bush supporters. The American people have a right to know what their fellow citizens are facing.

If left leaners, like me, don't like the fact that you're not on top of a story which we think you should be on top of because you have to be sure that the story is factually viable before you print it, though for left leaners. You do have a business to run and profitability is a fact of life in a business.

While I wish you'd be less objective, I don't expect you to be nor should you be. Tough for my wish!

However, if you don't print a story that "has legs" and is at least as important as the "Clinton scandal" was because you're afraid of repercussions from Sacramento or Washington, then you will have deleted yet another check and balance.

This would kill me, but you get lots of letters to the editor accusing you of focusing too much on the negative side of the war and ignoring the progress. What would kill me? If the people who accuse you of this can come through with facts, data, photos showing bright new schools and hospitals, proving that Iraqis enjoy full electrical service and clean running water day and night, then you would have to make that front page news. I guess I say it would kill me because people wouldn't be as eager for Bush to come clean about his reasons for going to war. People would find the war less distasteful. However, you'd have to show this progress, minus any editorializing.

Thing is, I bet you don't get lots of data and photos showing all of our so called progress because they don't exist. They don't exist because the progress we're making is just part of the larger WMD lie.

Knight Ridder and, consequently, The Times, were early in terms of American msm to pick up on the memos. That's a good thing.

You were courageous enough to put the "forum" held by Conyers on the front page. That'll get you flak, not doubt.

Maintain the courage is all I can say. It's appreciated, whether it supports my point of view or not.

I'll no doubt send you a nasty letter again in the future. After all, I'm passionate about what I see as social injustice and I'm supposed to write them and you're a newspaper editor and you're supposed to receive them.

Just know one thing. I will come to my senses and I will always think of the courage it takes to just print the truth, no matter who it upsets or who it pleases. Just print the truth.

It looks like truth is making a comeback and you're a leader in that movement.

Thank you.

To friendship,

10:30 PM  
Blogger neonormal said...


You can say there is no liberal bias in the MSM. And you can even believe there is no bias. But it doesn't make it true.

All the credible studies show there is left-leaning bias. Follow the link below to one of Mr. Lopez's blog entries and related comments. There are some facts there with attribution.

I have worked for four different newspapers. My experience and much, if not all, of the recent studies of meida bias point to the obvious.

Think of Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, Jason Blaire, Howell Raines, Newsweek, the NYT, the SF Chronicle. Then explain how there is no bias.

This is the link you should follow:

11:16 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Chris, some of us see a liberal media because, once in a while, the media does more than stenography for this administration.

Some of us see the media as not liberal because, as I mentioned, it would spend tons of time and effort on the "Clinton scandal", Michael Jackson, etc., and almost no time and effort on anything that might shed a negative light on this administration.

For example, please read the "coverage" which the Washington Post gave the "little game" that Conyers was playing, "pretending to be" the house judicial committe. It's, as you probably have guessed, an op ed piece and it was sleazed onto the page by Dana Milbank.

However one views the media, I want you to know that I, and I know many other people, want to thank you for merely reporting what happened on June 16 in the basement of The Capitol Building and for printing another article about the memos on Saturday.

There are still people who believe that Iraq has/had weapons of mass destruction. They are idealogical enough to not even ask themselves, "If Saddam had WMD, wouldn't he have used them against the troops that were invading his country?"

I've heard that he handed them to Syria to hold on to. I've heard he buried them.

If he wasn't going to use them against American and British forces, then what was he waiting for?

Did he actually think, "This time I'll let 'em invade. However, I'll hit them with my "stockpiles" of WMD next time they invade. This time I'll just hide out here in this hole in the ground."

If the media had a liberal bias, they wouldn't have merely reported that inspectors either sent by The UN or by Bush himself returned and said things like "We were all wrong". They'd have said that, amazingly enough, Saddam is missing and the statue of him has been toppled while, all the time, there's not been on weapon of mass destruction fired at the invading troops.

In truth, the day the statue was toppled, people like Rather and Wolf Blitzer and others were saying "Who would have believed we'd ever see this happen? I'm just so proud to be an American at this moment."

Again, however, whether one thinks that the media has a liberal bias or one does not think that the media has a liberal bias, thank you for printing the truth.

That's what The Times printed, Chris, the truth. A truth that all Americans have a right to know about their president.

You didn't print liberal or a conservative articles about the memos. You printed American articles, newspaper articles, just like the articles that were printed in the early seventies. The truth is all anyone can ask for from their news outlets.

To friendship,

1:08 PM  
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