The New York Times, the bastion of supposed liberalism and journalistic inquiry apparently likes to cozy up with the CIA. The Guardian reports the the Times‘ national security reporter colluded with the CIA’s spokeswoman to make sure a Muareen Dowd column discussing the release of what may have been classified information to Hollywood bigwigs for the upcoming Bin Laden propaga…, er, movie, did not reflect poorly on the Agency.
They chatted via email, as Glenn Greenwald the reporter for The Guardian put it, almost like a client would with a PR agency.
From The Guardian
But what is news in this disclosure are the newly released emails between Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times’s national security and intelligence reporter, and CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf. The CIA had evidently heard that Maureen Dowd was planning to write a column on the CIA’s role in pumping the film-makers with information about the Bin Laden raid in order to boost Obama’s re-election chances, and was apparently worried about how Dowd’s column would reflect on them. On 5 August 2011 (a Friday night), Harf wrote an email to Mazzetti with the subject line: “Any word??”, suggesting, obviously, that she and Mazzetti had already discussed Dowd’s impending column and she was expecting an update from the NYT reporter.
A mere two minutes after the CIA spokeswoman sent this Friday night inquiry, Mazzetti responded. He promised her that he was “going to see a version before it gets filed”, and assured her that there was likely nothing to worry about:
“My sense is there a very brief mention at bottom of column about CIA ceremony, but that [screenwriter Mark] Boal also got high level access at Pentagon.”
She then replied with this instruction to Mazzetti: “keep me posted”, adding that she “really appreciate[d] it”.