Media Blog

Clark Hoyt Defends the Times

Clark Hoyt finds that the NY Times acted reasonably in outing former CIA agent Duece Martinez.

Probably the most unbelievable aspect of the piece is this:

Martinez hired a Washington super-lawyer, Robert Bennett, to plead his case. With the story two days from publication, Gen. Michael Hayden, the C.I.A. director, called Bill Keller, The Times’s executive editor. Keller said Hayden acknowledged that he did not know of any specific threat to Martinez or of any Qaeda hit list. But Hayden said that naming Martinez could subject him to harassment or even put him in danger. Keller said, “I had this impression that he was doing it out of respect for Martinez’s and his family’s concerns more than a concern the C.I.A. had.”

Got that?  Martinez hired “super-lawyer” Robert Bennett to keep the Times from publishing his name, but Bill Keller thought it was only out of “respect.”  What does Bennett charge?  $500 an hour?  $1,000?  Kind of a steep bill to pay to simply go through the motions.
In any event, with something this serious, shouldn’t Keller get back on the phone with Bennett and confirm all this?
So, why wouldn’t Keller make the call.  Maybe it has something to do with Bennett calling the McCain/lobbyist/affair story from February a “hit piece.”

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