Bench Memos

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Re: NYT Editorialist Lincoln Caplan’s “Accountability Avoidance”?


Beyond the question of Lincoln Caplan’s “accountability avoidance” is the broader irresponsibility of the New York Times editorial board.

On the excellent blog Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes, a former member of the Washington Post’s editorial board, has taken on the burden of being the “unpaid fact-checker for the New York Times editorial page on matters of law and security.” And that’s kept him both busy and exasperated, as the Times “insists both on making serial factual errors and on not ever correcting any of them.” Worse, the Times compounds its “serial, often-comic errors of fact and law” with “a relentless stridency in denouncing those who don’t share its views.” Wittes expresses his “personal sadness … that the Times editorial page chooses to play the role of incompetent leftist gadfly, rather than to engage hard choices seriously from a liberal perspective.”

Wittes’s most recent post on NYT’s follies shows that NYT editorial-page editor Andrew Rosenthal case against using military commissions rests on an elementary confusion of Rosenthal’s.

As regular readers will know, I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to expose the mendacity, inanity, and confusion that pervade NYT editorials on legal issues. (The links in the previous sentence are merely illustrative and far from exhaustive.)


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