08 August 2005

He's got a shovel, so he digs


The flap about unsealing the Roberts adoption records may bring down the next NYT editor. Methinks they aren’t telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them G*d.

Here’s a reply I received from the NYT’s Bill Keller, Pulitzer Prize Winner, to an emailed inquiry I made.

As is often the case, the original “source” of this “story,” the Drudge Report is wrong, overwrought and a gross misrepresentation of what has happened. Fox, of course, jumped on the “story,” putting their own spin on it.

Like all major news organizations, we report extensively on the life and career of any nominee or candidate for high public office. Most of the inquiries we make do not report in published articles at all; we would simply be remiss if we did not ask the questions.

In the case of Judge Roberts’s family, our reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions, as they did about many other aspects of his background. They did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue. We did not order up an investigation of the adoptions.

Our reporter called a number of lawyers who handle adoptions to learn about adoption issues in general and to inquire whether adoption papers are publicly available. He did not try to get them unsealed, nor did he try to obtain copies in any other way. He did not try to hire anyone to help him.

Our editors have made it clear that they will not stand for any gratuitous reporting about the Roberts children. Many of our staff are adoptive parents - including our executive editor - and we are particularly sensitive to the subject.

And this explanation is supposed to make it look better? If this claim is correct, then the NY Times has never before seen the need to investigate the general state of adoption laws and it is only with the nomination of Roberts that this was important enough to make inquiries. Doesn’t that imply effectively the same thing about the NY Times as the original story?

Posted by orbital at 4:50 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL