Or for the New York Times?
I'll make an accusation here: In the end, the New York Times does not much care for honesty.
Please see Michelle Malkin's column at the Jewish World Review. There are two angles to this story as it relates to the media, which I will relate through some quotes. The first angle is that the NYT has been caught in a lie and is stonewalling, as reported in Malkin's article:
On Sunday, Calame wrote a stunning column debunking an April 9 New York Times Magazine cover story on abortion in El Salvador. The sensational piece by freelance writer Jack Hitt alleged that women there had been thrown in prison for 30-year terms for having had abortions. Hitt described his visit to one of them, inmate Carmen Climaco. "She is now 26 years old, four years into her 30-year sentence" for aborting an 18-week-old fetus, Hitt reported.
Climaco had actually been convicted of murder for strangling her newborn baby.
There is "no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts as reported," the editors imperiously told Calame. They refuse to issue a correction, publish an Editors' Note or inform their readers of the ready availability of the court decision that exposes Jack Hitt's deception about the Climaco case.
The second angle is that the NYT "Ombudsman" Byron Calame has a two-year term, which may not be renewed, partly due to NYT Editor Bill Keller's aggravation at the prospect of being questioned from within his own organization. The following quote is pulled from a post at Malkin's site, which in turn she attributes to Michael Calderone at the New York Observer:
“I have been critical of the newsroom,” Mr. Calame said. “I’ve also praised the newsroom, and I think that Bill Keller has been—quite obviously—unhappy with some of the things I’ve written.”
“It seems to me that the high degree of independence that has been given to the public editor at The New York Times makes it a situation that inevitably causes criticism,” Mr. Calame said.
He added: “So it is not a surprise to me that The New York Times—that Bill Keller, the executive editor, and Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher—would want to sit down and think about whether they want to have a public editor.”
I have two observations: First, A newspaper shouldn't need a Public Editor or "Ombudsman"; newspapers should be public editors. If Americans need special representation within a newpaper organization to take their views into account, then what is the newspaper itself doing?
Second, the difference between strangling a newborn and aborting an 18-week-old fetus may not be as great as it seems. Eighteen weeks is half of a full-term pregnancy. It is certainly murder in both cases, to a certain point of view. Monstrously, they may both be viewed as acceptable solutions to an "unwanted pregnancy" by another point of view. Certainly to Ms. Carmen Climaco, now in prison for one of these actions, and the New York Times refuses to draw a distinction. What is point of view that says that the two actions are fundamentally different?
With the spectre of the AP's Jamil Hussein comeuppance looming large, the NYT would be well-advised to admit their mistake and back down. Cut and Run. Not because they cannot win, but because they are fundamentally wrong to pursue this. This was an interesting story, deceitfully misreported by a freelancer for the NYT. The New York Times' dreadful misjudgement
in backing a demonstratedly false interpretation of the facts (see the Malkin article at the Jewish World Review, linked above, to see how easily the falseness was proven) is impossible to reconcile with the mission of an American newspaper. That the New York Times has an honesty problem is not disputed--after all, they appointed Mr. Calame to address the problem. The accusation that, in the end they do not care much for honesty, is rapidly losing its accusatory tone--soon, that statement may simply be honest reporting.
For Ms. Climaco's dead child, the clock has stopped. For the New York Times, the clock is ticking.