Scoop? We Didn't Have Any Scoop!
By James Taranto
May 12, 2006
The New York Times editorial page is in its usual hysterical form today:
The Times' conflation of "monitoring" and "collecting information on" calls is quite dishonest. What the government is doing here is essentially maintaining a database of people's phone bills--information the phone companies store and use for their own marketing and billing purposes. In Smith v. Maryland (1979), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law-enforcement agencies do not need a warrant to collect such information.
That's not even the most astonishing thing about the Times piece. The USA Today report that leaves the editorialists so breathless turns out to be largely a rehash of a story that appeared way back on Christmas Eve--in the New York Times!
The Times, of course, helped land one of its own reporters in jail by pushing for an investigation of who "leaked" accurate information to journalists in the Valerie Plame kerfuffle. Now the paper is so eager to hyperventilate about President Bush that it is willing to give another paper credit for a scoop it reported itself months ago. This is demented.
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