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 BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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