Sunday, August 08, 2004

Here's the reaction of the New York Times to my intimation regarding the media ethics of the photographers who had perhaps laid in wait for the bomb to be exploded against the Israeli tank:-

Dear Mr. Medad,

Our public editor is on vacation, and his office has passed your correspondence to me as standards editor of The Times.

Normally we are unable to reply individually to letters to the editor that are clearly intended for publication. But since you asked the public editor for a comment, I'll try to give you one.

Your letter poses a hypothesis from which The Times is at least three levels removed.

First, the cameramen in question were employed by news agencies, not by The Times; you might wish to address your comments and questions to The Associated Press and Reuters.

Second, the suggestion that the cameramen had been alerted in advance is based on nothing more than what you describe as questioning by leading media observers. I do not know who they are, or what makes them "leading."

What we have here is rumors and speculation, metamorphosing before our very eyes into an assumption of scandal. The "symbiotic relationship between terror groups and the press" is not something I recognize as characteristic of The Times.

Finally, while it is not unusual for reporters and photographers to accompany military units when accredited, I cannot imagine that a Times journalist would collude in terrorist activity or a plan to shed innocent blood.

Allan M. Siegal
Assistant Managing Editor/Standards
The New York Times

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