Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The NY Times Does it Again

In typical fashion the NY Times won't let facts get in the way of a good line of speculation. Johnson and Stevenson hypothecize that there is a greater liklihood that Rove, Libby etc will be indicted because Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will not be issuing a final report on his findings in the Plame affair.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 - The special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case has told associates he has no plans to issue a final report about the results of the investigation, heightening the expectation that he intends to bring indictments, lawyers in the case and law enforcement officials said yesterday.

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is not expected to take any action in the case this week, government officials said. A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, declined to comment.

A final report had long been considered an option for Mr. Fitzgerald if he decided not to accuse anyone of wrongdoing, although Justice Department officials have been dubious about his legal authority to issue such a report.

By signaling that he had no plans to issue the grand jury's findings in such detail, Mr. Fitzgerald appeared to narrow his options either to indictments or closing his investigation with no public disclosure of his findings, a choice that would set off a political firestorm.

Interesting spin if it didn't happen to be prohibited by law. Victoria Toensing addresses Fitzgeralds options here....

Fitzgerald cannot write a report. It is forbidden by law as the information he has accumulated is grand jury material prohibited by law from disclosure. There is no longer an Independent Counsel statute, which permitted this type of report. I have never heard of a federal judge ordering a prosecutor to write a report of a grand jury investigation and then make it public. A court does not have the authority to do so.

Don't these people have editors??? Don't the authors do just the bare minimum of fact checking before penning a piece for what was once the most respected publications in the free world? Mind you, this is not some obscure little known and ill defined statute that is open for interpretation. A quick Google and anyone would know that the premise of this article is totally bogus.

Much of this can be summed up in four words......... agenda driven lazy journalism, not a combination that lends itself to the pursuit of truth and accuracy. The Times is becoming nothing more than a politically orientated National Enquirer where veracity is secondary to the narrative. Contrary to managements beliefs, a firing here or there is not going to change things. The problem is pervasive and endemic, nothing less than a top to bottom clean out will cure what ails this old grey lady.

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