Thursday, November 24, 2005

The New York Times

Re: The New York Times

To the Editor:

After reading my last copy of your newspaper, I'm happy to report no regrets whatsoever for cancelling my subscription yesterday. (Burial on Tuesday's page 11 of the story about Blair dissuading Bush from bombing the headquarters of Al Jazeera was the last straw.) And the nearly $50 a month I'll save will buy a little more bandwidth for my blog.

In fact, it seemed that blinders had been removed, as I finally saw your publication in a clear light: propaganda produced by the very rich, for the very rich.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

News Summary?

Re: News Summary, A2, Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dear Mr. Calame,

The top international story is about a gay-priest document released by the Roman Catholic church that says nothing new. The last one is about Blair dissuading Bush from bombing the headquarters of Al Jazeera in Qatar--a report that is obviously true because the leakers have been charged with violating Britain's Official Secrets Act.

That's it for me. I'm cancelling my subscription and will rely on Google News from now on. And you yourself might consider fighting for integrity in an institution that offers you some chance of success.

Report: 9/11-Iraq link refuted days after attack

Re: Report: 9/11-Iraq link refuted days after attack

The saddest thing about this is that anyone at all could have figured it out in 2001 or 2002 just by reading Saddam's own statements--in English--on the official Iraqi government website. I did. I was a kindergarten teacher in the LA ghetto.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cheney attacks calls for pull-out from Iraq

This is not a letter.

Subject: Cheney attacks calls for pull-out from Iraq

Three years ago Iraq was a peaceful country where ordinary citizens could go out at night to comedy shows that slyly poked fun at the ruling regime.

Today Iraq is a country where the only people who remain are those who cannot leave, those who hope to profit from destruction, and those who live to avenge the dead.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Guatemala's Secret Files May Hold Clues to Atrocities

Subject: Guatemala's Secret Files May Hold Clues to Atrocities

Dear Mr. Calame,

"...a campaign launched with money and advice from a succession of United States administrations worried about the spread of communism."

Surely we deserve more than a vague half-sentence of explanation for our complicity in these crimes. It is this reluctance to discuss U.S. adventures in Central America that causes them to be "forgotten"--as they were described in a recent NYTimes story. They are never forgotten by Latin Americans, and are a major cause of anti-Americanism south of our borders. That anti-Americanism was prevalent long before Chávez, or even Castro, came to power. (José Enrique Rodó's Ariel, which for the first time described the U.S. as "el coloso del Norte," was published in 1900.)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Goodbye, Judith Miller

Re: Novel Strategy Pits Journalists Against Source, October 29, 2005

To the Editor:

You should stop publishing articles like this one. They only suggest to your readers that your reporters habitually "cultivate" criminal sources. Read the April 19 decision of the DC Court of Appeals:

"But barring an absolute privilege--something no federal common law decision endorses and that Branzburg forecloses as a First Amendment matter--reporters either enjoy no privilege, in which case compelling their testimony requires no evidence at all, or they hold a qualified privilege, that is, a privilege subject to exceptions, much like the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege, see, e.g., United States v. Zolin, 491 U.S. 554, 563 (1989), and the imminent-harm exception for psychotherapist-patient communications, see Jaffee v. Redmond, 518 U.S. 1, 18 n. 19 (1996). If the privilege is qualified, then ex parte review, far from violating due process, affords a critical protection to journalists: it permits the court to demand a detailed showing by the government that it has satisfied the criteria for overcoming the privilege."

Besides, Fitzgerald's case depends not on the credibility of Russert, Cooper and Miller, but on Libby's own words in his own handwriting.

If you had been as concerned about the credibility of Judith Miller's sources as you were about protecting them there might never have been an Iraq war.