Roger L. Simon

Reading the tea leaves at the New York Times

Not much more than a day after the military appropriations bill finally slogged through Congress without a troop withdrawal deadline, the NYT is locked and loaded with a new inside story on Iraq policy – White House Said to Debate ’08 Cut in Iraq Troops by 50% “Said?” If that weasel-ish word right in the headline weren’t enough, how about this sentence, which is run as a full paragraph in itself? “The officials declined to be quoted for attribution because they were discussing internal deliberations that they expected to evolve over several months.

In other words, you’ll never be able to check the truth of this. By the time a decision is made this article will be irrelevant (and long forgotten) anyway – so don’t blame us if it turns out to be hooey. We’re all in the game of propaganda anyway… wink, wink.

It’s a long way from the days of “All the News that’s Fit to Print.” Seems like a distant hieroglyph, doesn’t it? These days the Times is in essence a convenient quasi-scandal sheet for disaffected administration officials, intelligence agents, lobbyists, insert your favorite leaker here, to dump their info/disinfo on an increasingly numb public. At least I know I’m feeling numb. And now it’s getting to be a battle of the scandal sheets as the NYT complains about the WaPo in the race to expose the latest Hillary dish.

And how about those Hillary rumors? In this long election, it looks as if we’re going to be subject to more lurid marital details than a shelf full of Judith Krantz novels. Hillary better win after all this – or she’s going to be mighty angry.