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The New York Times’ Duties of Disclosure

Friday, July 7, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Professor Bainbridge has provided some preliminary answers to questions posed in the post below about the duties the New York Times owes its shareholders, advertisers, and the public if the June 23 story and subsequent public disgust with the paper have led to a sharp drop in paid circulation.

My follow up question concerns insider trading:  If the insiders at the Times know that the paper has taken a big hit, can they trade stock between now and the time the drop is made public? 

Be sure as well to read The Prowler’s latest at the American Spectator: “What the New York Times  Has Wrought.”  The fact is that some day some terrorist will emerge and explain exactly how the Times’ assisted them by providing bulletins on how the U.S. conducted its search for them.  Keller et al are no doubt already working on their dismissive responses.

Not the Times  is alone in this business.  Criticism of the New York Daily news story this morningis beginning to appear.  From the FoxNews acount of today’s press conference:

In opening the press conference, Mershon blasted the leaking of the ongoing investigation, and the publishing of a report on Friday by the New York Daily News. Officials later downplayed the Daily News report.

FBI and New York City officials would not go into details of the plot, but did confirm that the PATH system was the likely target, not the Holland Tunnel, as the Daily News reported.

“We have had a number of threats over the months and years, frankly, that would target all of the conveyances across the river,” Mershon added.

The person who leaked the investigation is “clearly someone who doesn’t understand the fragility of international relations,” Mershon said.

“The release makes the investigation more difficult for us; it has greatly complicated what otherwise would be a very smooth relationship, a very smooth partnership, with a number of overseas allied agencies,” Mershon added.

Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, added, “It would have been better if this had not been disclosed.”

So now Americans have to ask: How many terrorists were alerted by this story that the FBI was on their heels? How many got away? And even if captured, what intelligence was not gathered because of a need to bring the investigation to a premature conclusion?

It is not difficult to see the enormous damage that has been done to the war against terror, and the assists that have been given to terrorists on a variety of fronts.

What is surprising is the response of Keller & Co that everyone else is wrong, that the Adminsitration is playing politics, and that it really is about the embarassment the Adminsitration feels at not being able to keep secrets.

This episode is entering its third week and there is no sign outside of Manhatten that Keller & Co are persuading anyone but themselves, and the evidence is accumulating that not even they believe their own absurd explanations.

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