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Did The NYTimes Endanger Our Safety For Profit?

Annie

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Whether right or wrong, it's the most rational explanation I've seen, other than they are working for Al Queda:

http://ktcatspost.blogspot.com/2006/06/compromising-national-security-as.html
Friday, June 23, 2006
Compromising National Security as a Marketing Strategy
Being a marketer by trade, I tend to see everything through the prism of marketing. To me, the recent article by the New York Times that revealed classified details about our efforts to uncover the banking connections that sustain global terrorism can only be explained as a marketing effort.

If you haven't seen it yet, Hugh Hewitt, Powerline, the National Review and Instapundit all have excellent summaries of the subject.

The New York Times is in a steep dive. It's circulation is dropping, it's stock price is dropping, it's gross income is flat and it's net profits are declining 5-10% per year. All of this in the middle of an economic boom.

5 year chart of NYT stock price.

nyt7mp.jpg


On its surface, the most recent article uncovering classified information doesn't make any sense at all. For one thing, it's an article about banking. Other than business types like myself, banking articles are MEGO articles. (My Eyes Glazed Over.) It doesn't break any new ground at all. The administration said repeatedly that it was working to roll up Al Qaeda's financial network. There is no question that it is legal to do so. The NYT article simply publicisized the classified details of a legal program that was known to exist.

In exchange for this, the risk of government court action is very real. Knowingly revealing classified information is a crime, plain and simple. The fact that the NYT was repeatedly requested by the government not to reveal these secrets condemns it further. Why would you print such an article?

I suggest that the NYT is hoping, praying, begging the Bush administration to take them to court. That stock price drop is no fluke. The NYT is an uncompetitive product. Unless they change consumers' attitudes, their revenue will continue to drop.

People who see all sources of information as equally good will, in time, drop those that cost money. I no longer subscribe to any newspapers at all. I can get everything I want on the Internet for free. The NYT has to make clear it's value proposition to the consumer. My bet is that they are positioning themselves as being the only news media large enough to uncover government scandals. They are appealing to the fear that in their absence, government agencies will run wild with corruption and deceit. The San Diego Union is currently running just such an ad campaign.

The New York Times does not have an efficient advertising channel to get this concept in front of the public quickly and easily. If the Bush administration takes them to court, the entire country will have it propped up in front of them day and night until well after the trial is over. All of the usual suspects will rally to their defense. The ACLU, the MSM news channels, other newspapers and the Democratic Party will broadcast that concept morning, noon and night. In one fell swoop, the NYT will execute a marketing campaign that it hopes will change consumer sentiment.

In order for the NYT and the other newspapers to survive, they have to change the public's perception from this:

"If I don't support big media, I will still be able to get my information from other sources without cost"

to this:

"If I don't support big media, there will be no one left to watch the government and all of my civil liberties will slowly erode away."

I can't think of any other reason to have printed that article.
 

Adam's Apple

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I don't think profit was the utmost priority they had in mind on this one, Kathianne. ;)
 
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Annie

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Adam's Apple said:
I don't think profit was the utmost priority they had in mind on this one, Kathianne. ;)
:laugh: I said which one was my preference of opinion!
 

Adam's Apple

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I agree with Ann Coulter that it is too bad that The Times building was not targeted by Al Quada on 9/11/01. Maybe it would have ended their misery once and for all.
 
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Annie

Annie

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http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/007301.php

June 24, 2006
The Washington Post Doesn't See The Problem, Either

The New York Times has come under fire from a wide spectrum of observers for their hysterical and tabloidesque revelation of a national-security program that turns out to break no laws and endanger no one's civil liberties. Today, the Washington Post joins the chorus of criticism, albeit sotto voce, in their lead editorial today:

THE TREASURY Department's just-disclosed program of searching records of overseas bank transfers may provoke outraged comparisons to the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance and data-mining of telephone call records. At least if news reports and government statements concerning the revelations are correct, however, this program is far less troubling. As with all revelations concerning the secretive Bush administration, you have to worry about what you don't know. So far, however, it seems like exactly the sort of aggressive tactic the government should be taking in the war on terrorism.

For one thing, it appears to be legal. The government is receiving large volumes of data detailing financial transfers from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a Belgium-based consortium that acts as a kind of messenger service for banks around the world, electronically notifying banks of transactions other banks are attempting to complete. The government, if it develops suspicions about a person, can search the system for any transactions that person may have engaged in. While customer banking data are generally private under federal law, the statute does not appear to cover the society, which isn't a bank and doesn't have individual customers. What's more, a different law gives the president broad powers in a national emergency situation to investigate, or even prohibit, certain financial transactions.

It is also the sort of information the government should be examining in any effort to frustrate terrorist financing and develop leads about who is funding whom.
The Post doesn't come out and explicitly call the NY Times out for hyping a non-story nor say anything at all about the damage done to national security; that may be because their own news editors saw fit to run their own take on the NYT's story yesterday as well. However, it goes a long way to pointing out how little news Lichtblau and Risen reported, and how much hyperbole and bias it comprised instead.

Make no mistake: if this program doesn't violate the law or threaten civil liberties, both of which this editorial stipulates, then it serves no public purpose to report the clandestine efforts involved in pursuing terrorist financing. This editorial rebukes the argument offered by Bill Keller, before he disappeared to a "vacation", that the public interest outweighed national-security concerns.


No one elected Bill Keller to make those kind of decisions for our national security. The White House asked him to spike this story and explained to him why, and he chose to put us all at risk anyway, and as the Post notes, for no purpose other than to sell a few more papers. The Department of Justice needs to find out who leaked this information to Lichtblau and Risen, and at the same time hold Keller and the Times responsible for revealing classified information illegally. Until the Attorney General starts making Keller and his ilk responsible for their attacks on national security, no classified material will remain safe from exposure.
Posted by Captain Ed at June 24, 2006 02:41 PM
 

nt250

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I haven't bought a newspaper in more than 2 1/2 years. I don't have to. I can read all the news on the internet for free. The New York Times site requires registration, but I've never had to register there to read articles from the NYT. If I read about an article, or someone posts a link to an article at the New York Times, I just Google the author, or a few key words, and I can usually find it posted on a site that doesn't require registration.

I can find everything online. News. My favorite columnists. The comics even.

Although the down side of that is not having anything to read in the bathroom.
 

Adam's Apple

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Kathianne said:

Excellent find, Kathianne! That says it all right there. Expresses my sentiments about the NYT exactly.
 

Bullypulpit

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Since Al Qaeda, and other terrorist operators, have long since abandoned traditional financial institutions in favor of hawala or other underground banking systems, the answer would have to be "No."

It's simply another example of the Bush Administration attempting to set itself above the law and outside of the purview of Congressional oversight.
 

Bullypulpit

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Word II:

<center><img src=http://homepage.mac.com/leperous/.Pictures/reporter.jpg></center>
 

KarlMarx

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There is one thing that I can't understand.... it is a crime to knowingly disclosed classified information to an uncleared person who does not have a need to know.

So, why isn't the New York Times being prosecuted? The First Amendment does not apply here. Journalists are not above the law.

Secondly, how did they get their hands on classified information? Being in possession of classified information is a crime, too.

If any one of us had done either one of these things, you can bet that we'd be in prison.

Information is classified for reasons of national security. By revealing that the government knows this information, again, the press is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

How is this different from, ,for instance, the New York Times running a series of articles in the days before the Normandy invasion detailing that an invasion was not only imminent, but told where and when the invading forces would land?

So why do journalists get a pass?
 

KarlMarx

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Bullypulpit said:
Since Al Qaeda, and other terrorist operators, have long since abandoned traditional financial institutions in favor of hawala or other underground banking systems, the answer would have to be "No."

It's simply another example of the Bush Administration attempting to set itself above the law and outside of the purview of Congressional oversight.

Look this up in the Constitution... the Executive Branch is the head of the Armed Forces. Congress does not have any Constitutional authority to "oversee" military operations or covert ones. They only are supposed to be overseeing spending.

You advocate an abuse of the power of the Legislature over the Executive Branch of the government.
 

Abbey Normal

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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Kathianne again.


:beer:
 

KarlMarx

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nt250 said:
I haven't bought a newspaper in more than 2 1/2 years. I don't have to. I can read all the news on the internet for free. The New York Times site requires registration, but I've never had to register there to read articles from the NYT. If I read about an article, or someone posts a link to an article at the New York Times, I just Google the author, or a few key words, and I can usually find it posted on a site that doesn't require registration.

I can find everything online. News. My favorite columnists. The comics even.

Although the down side of that is not having anything to read in the bathroom.

Same here, I don't get the local paper because by the time it gets delivered, I'm already at work.

Besides, I get all the news I need online, anytime, day or night.

P.S. about not being able to read in the bathroom, get a laptop. Most, if not all, laptops come with wireless built in. You can get a wireless router for cheap (less than 50 USD). I use my wireless laptop at the breakfast table every morning. Some of my best posts were composed during breakfast.
 

Bullypulpit

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KarlMarx said:
Look this up in the Constitution... the Executive Branch is the head of the Armed Forces. Congress does not have any Constitutional authority to "oversee" military operations or covert ones. They only are supposed to be overseeing spending.

You advocate an abuse of the power of the Legislature over the Executive Branch of the government.

Let me refer you to this article

<blockquote><a href=http://www.rules.house.gov/archives/comm_gp_cong_oversight.htm>THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT</a>

What is the Basis for Congressional Oversight?

Congressional oversight is one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Congress. Congressional oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs and policy implementation, and it provides the legislative branch with an opportunity to inspect, examine, review and check the executive branch and its agencies. The authority of Congress to do oversight is derived from its implied powers in the U.S. Constitution, various laws, and House rules. In affirming Congress' oversight powers, the Supreme Court in McGrain v. Daugherty stated that "the power of inquiry – with process to enforce it – is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function." In Watkins v. United States the Court described Congress' oversight power by stating that the "power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process. That power is broad." The Supreme Court also observed that "a legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change." The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 mandated that House and Senate committees exercise "continuous watchfulness" of the administration of laws and programs under their jurisdiction. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 permitted House standing committees to "review and study, on a continuing basis, the application, administration and execution of laws" under its jurisdiction.

Why Does Congress Need to Do Oversight?

* Ensure executive compliance with legislative intent.
* Improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of governmental
operations.
* Evaluate program performance.
* Prevent executive encroachment on legislative prerogatives and powers.
* Investigate alleged instances of poor administration, arbitrary and
capricious behavior, abuse, waste, dishonesty, and fraud.
* Assess an agency or official's ability to manage and carry out program
objectives.
* Review and determine federal financial priorities.
* Ensure that executive policies reflect the public interest.
* Protect individual rights and liberties.
* Review agency rule-making processes.
* Acquire information useful in future policymaking.
</blockquote>

As you can see, the Republican dominated Congress has sadly failed in its oversight duties with regard to the Bush Administration.

And, you are quite wrong in your assertion. The Founding Fathers established the separation of powers in order to prevent the accumulation of too much power into the hands of any one individual or group. When this happens, the rule of law breaks down as the holder(s) of this power see themselves as being above the law, as the current administration appears to do. This sets us upon the very slippery slope to authoritarian, or even totalitarian, rule.
 

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