12.26.2005

the personal touch

Another dispatch from the Land of the Free, brought to you by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post. I guess the Cheney White House has pissed off even conservative writers now, by personally treading on their turf.

I found this at The Huffington Post, where you can find many good things to read.
Bush Presses Editors on Security
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 26, 2005; C01

President Bush has been summoning newspaper editors lately in an effort to prevent publication of stories he considers damaging to national security.

The efforts have failed, but the rare White House sessions with the executive editors of The Washington Post and New York Times are an indication of how seriously the president takes the recent reporting that has raised questions about the administration's anti-terror tactics.

Leonard Downie Jr., The Post's executive editor, would not confirm the meeting with Bush before publishing reporter Dana Priest's Nov. 2 article disclosing the existence of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe used to interrogate terror suspects. Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, would not confirm that he, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman had an Oval Office sit-down with the president on Dec. 5, 11 days before reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau revealed that Bush had authorized eavesdropping on Americans and others within the United States without court orders.

But the meetings were confirmed by sources who have been briefed on them but are not authorized to comment because both sides had agreed to keep the sessions off the record. [Emphasis mine.] The White House had no comment.

"When senior administration officials raised national security questions about details in Dana's story during her reporting, at their request we met with them on more than one occasion," Downie says. "The meetings were off the record for the purpose of discussing national security issues in her story." At least one of the meetings involved John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, and CIA Director Porter Goss, the sources said.
More editorial dissembling here.

2 comments:

G said...

Isn't one of the early warning signs of totalitarianist leanings a press controlled by the State ... ?

A free country. But not a free press. Hmmm.

Or as Shaggy would say, YOIKS!!!

L-girl said...

Isn't one of the early warning signs of totalitarianist leanings a press controlled by the State ... ?

There's a veritable checklist of early warning signs down there by now.