New York Times May Have Been First Doubters of JFK Plot

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I blogged yesterday about Time magazine’s commendable skepticism about the alleged terror plot targeting JFK airport in New York City. Today, a quick update. Turns out the New York Times was skeptical from the beginning, at least a day before Time. Even though the NYT played their story about the plot big on their website, they completely buried it in their print version. Readers complained, and today the NYT‘s national editor responded:

“In the years since 9/11, there have been quite a few interrupted terrorist plots. It now seems possible to exercise some judgment about their gravity. Not all plots are the same. In this case, law enforcement officials said that J.F.K. was never in immediate danger. The plotters had yet to lay out plans. They had no financing. Nor did they have any explosives. It is with all that in mind, that the editors in charge this weekend did not put this story on the front page.”

Hear, hear! Next time a government official spews hyperbole, claiming with scant evidence that “one of the most chilling plots imaginable” almost “resulted in unfathomable damage, deaths and destruction,” I hope the rest of the media and American citizens across the country exercise as much judgement as the New York Times.

Update: I love this attitude from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but Josh is right, he’ll never survive in the GOP thinking this way: “There are lots of threats to you in the world. There’s the threat of a heart attack for genetic reasons. You can’t sit there and worry about everything. Get a life. You have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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