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Responsibility, part2

May 21st, 2004

In an earlier post , I suggested it was startling to find that the Daily Mirror has more stringent standards of personal responsibility than the Blair government in relation to the dissemination of falsehoods about the war in Iraq Looking at parallel cases in the US[1], Jack Shafer at Slate is surprised but in the opposite way, saying that until NYT editor Bill Keller publishes an apology for the bogus WMD reports published by Judith Miller

we’ll be occupying a bizarro world in which the secretary of state is more accountable than the New York Times.

Pardon my naive idealism, but isn’t the government in a democratic society supposed to more accountable than any newspaper. Still, it does seem rather alternate-universe that the Daily Mirror should be the only actor in this whole drama to uphold traditional standards of responsibility.

Finally, although it’s been pointed out before, I can’t resist asking how it is that Glenn Reynolds and his legion of NYT “fact-checkers” have missed this story.

fn1. To recap, the editor of the Mirror, Piers Morgan, was sacked for publishing photos of torture in Iraq that turned out to be fake. Powell, alone among senior government figures in the Coalition of the Willing, has apologized for the false claims made about Iraqi weapons programs before the war. (He is in a better position than most to do so, having been the only one to apply some sort of scepticism to the intelligence info he was given, though not nearly enough. ) The NYT has made no apology over Miller, even though she violated all the rules of good journalism and produced a string of spurious stories as a result.

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