Mar
01
2005

Letters to the Editor

The Emperor's New Hump: An Exchange Having been directed to it by many of your readers, I have read Dave Lindorff's article about the Times' spiking of the John Schwartz/Andrew Revkin article on the apparent bulge beneath President Bush's suit during the first presidential debate. I consequently retrieved the original version of the story Mr. Lindorff mentions in his Extra! article, as it was submitted to the paper's top editors. At no point does it come anywhere near to "exposing how George W. Bush had worn an electronic cueing device in his ear and probably cheated during the presidential debates," […]

Mar
01
2005

Taking a Dive on Contra Crack

How the Mercury News caved in to the media establishment

At 2 a.m.—midnight in San Jose—on August 18, 1996, I was at a party at my best friend’s house in Indianapolis. I excused myself, went into a bedroom, plugged into my laptop, and dialed into the Mercury’s website. A picture of a man smoking crack, superimposed upon the seal of the CIA, drew itself on the screen. After more than a year of work, “Dark Alliance” was finally out. The Mercury News executive editor, Jerry Ceppos, called and congratulated me. The TV networks were calling the paper. We were getting phone calls from all over the world. “Let’s stay on […]

Mar
01
2005

'The World Little Noted'

CBS scandal eclipses missing WMDs

There was much journalistic hand-wringing and finger-pointing during the week of January 10, after CBS News’ official report on its dubious story on George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service record. (See Extra! Update, 2/05.) But another story released that week suggests that media self-criticism has its limits—especially when the press’s failures involve being too credulous rather than too critical. The final announcement that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq came on January 12, two days after the CBS report was released. The official evaporation of the Bush administration’s chief rationale for a war that has killed more than […]