My second conclusion about the Wikileaks scandal? That the New York Times has reached a new level on the smug-and-smarmy-hypocrisy-o-meter. This seems obvious just as soon as you hear someone make the point. But it took Scott Johnson, our friend at Powerline, to make the point–and so far as I can tell, Scott’s the only one to make it. Read this slowly, taking it in. And if you’re ever tempted to suppose that the mainstream media is merely silly, or callow, but essentially harmless, remember it:
The New York Times is participating in the dissemination of the stolen State Department cables that have been made available to it in one way or another via WikiLeaks. My friend Steve Hayward recalls that only last year the New York Times ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate emails because they had been illegally obtained. Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s inspiring statement of principle: “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”
Interested readers may want to compare and contrast Revkin’s statement of principle with the editorial note posted by the Times on the WikiLeaks documents this afternoon. Today the Times cites the availability of the documents elsewhere and the pubic interest in their revelations as supporting their publication by the Times. Both factors applied in roughly equal measure to the Climategate emails.