ShrinkWrapped nails it.
It seems that almost every day the New York Times prints another story that is destructive to our war effort and threatens to damage its (the Times’s) swiftly declining, now almost negligible, credibility. Today’s example is a story, Muslim Scholars Were Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda, in which the reporters reveal that the United States, as part of our war effort in Iraq, used the traditional means of money to get opinion leaders in the Iraqi Sunni communities to come over to our side. This is not really news, but the story is prominently featured on the front page of the Times, it appears, primarily because it can damage our war effort, and endanger people who are working with the American forces in Iraq. If the story had been leaked by a foreign national spying on the United States, no one would question whether or not they deserve, at the least, a long jail term, but since the information is printed in the pages of the New York Times, we are all supposed to ignore the harm it can do and let it slide.
This is not an important story in the greater scheme 0f things. The Times campaign of leaks and innuendo which seems to have the goal of disarming the United States in a global (partly informational) war against Islamic fascists who want nothing more than to kill large numbers of infidels and destroy our country has been ongoing for months, perhaps years, and there have been many more dangerous stories, like the leaks about the NSA program that the Times has recently been bruiting about. No, the issue with this story is not its power to harm our interests, though it can and will, but the fact that it is such a minor story of so little import, without even a patina of justification based on the supposed concerns over civil liberties that so much of the left uses to legitimize their opposition to American self-defense. It begs the question: why would the Times print such a minor story on the front page at such a time?
The primary job of the editors of the New York Times, indeed, of any news organization, is deciding which stories among the plethora of news they collect everyday, deserves to be printed. Of even greater import, which stories should be on the front page. These are the stories that the derivative news organizations all the way down the line to the local news casts and local papers, will feature as their important news stories of the day. When the Washington Post and the Times printed stories about the NSA program to monitor communications, they could justify their breaches of national security by believing that civil liberties concerns trump national security concerns, and that any risk they might run in printing the stories was worth the benefit that would accrue from the American public knowing what was being done in their name. So far, the American public doesn’t buy their justification, if the polls are accurate, but at least they can claim to be standing on principle in printing the stories.
A story about using the time honored approach of bribing tribal leaders and religious leaders to support our policies, in a part of the world where this has been standard operating procedure for centuries, is a non-story, which can only harm our war effort and can in no way be justified by high minded rationalizations of supporting our civil liberties. This is anti-war, anti-American, behavior, and as such, adds to a mounting body of evidence that the Times has lost its way.