NY Times editor reveals difficult dealings with Assange
Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, told The Cutline yesterday that the paper is considering creating its own WikiLeaks-style, in-house submission system for potential leakers.
That’s a probably good idea, since it’s unlikely WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange will fork over any secret documents following Keller’s harsh critique in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. (Keller’s lengthy piece is an excerpt from a forthcoming Times e-book, “Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy,” that drops on Jan. 31)
Some tensions between the Times and WikiLeaks have already spilled out in public. In October, Assange lashed out at the paper for its coverage of him and alleged leaker Private Bradley Manning. The following month, The Times acknowledged that WikiLeaks wasn’t the source of the diplomatic cables it based its reporting on. Indeed, the Guardian was the source, as The Cutline first reported.
Relationship with Assange falls apart after release: “By this time, The Times’s relationship with our source had gone from wary to hostile. I talked to Assange by phone a few times and heard out his complaints. He was angry that we declined to link our online coverage of the War Logs to the WikiLeaks Web site, a decision we made because we feared — rightly, as it turned out — that its trove would contain the names of low-level informants and make them Taliban targets. ‘Where’s the respect?’ he demanded. ‘Where’s the respect?’ ” Later, Assange voiced his concerns with profiles of Manning and himself.