The New York Times Admits They Can’t be Relied Upon

I think the New York Times did an excellent job admitting that they cannot be relied upon for actual journalism:

In his statement to the military court, Manning said that before he fell in with the antisecrecy guerrillas at WikiLeaks, he tried to deliver his trove of stolen documents to The Washington Post and The New York Times. At The Post, he was put off when a reporter told him that before she could commit to anything she’d have to get a senior editor involved. At The Times, Manning said, he left a message on voice mail but never got a call back. It’s puzzling to me that a skilled techie capable of managing one of the most monumental leaks ever couldn’t figure out how to get an e-mail or phone message to an editor or a reporter at The Times, a feat scores of readers manage every day.

But what if he had? What if he had succeeded in delivering his pilfered documents to The Times? What would be different, for Manning and the rest of us?

First of all, I can say with some confidence that The Times would have done exactly what it did with the archive when it was supplied to us via WikiLeaks: assigned journalists to search for material of genuine public interest, taken pains to omit information that might get troops in the field or innocent informants killed, and published our reports with a flourish. The documents would have made news — big news.

Emphasis mine. In that paragraph the New York Times basically admitted that it would have edited the received documents instead of publishing them in their entirety. As one of my friends in the National Guard said, “As though msm [mainstream media] really knows what kind of info could put troops at risk? Remember how great Geraldo’s grasp of operational security was?” There is no way for journalists to know what information might be a danger to troops in the field or could put the lives of informants at risk. For that matter there is no way for a journalist to know what material would be of genuine public interest. This demonstrates the reason why the old media is suffering. WikiLeaks puts up all the information they receive and people are free to sift through it and decide what is and isn’t of interest to them. In fact this is how the Internet works, everybody puts up what information they want and everybody else can read what interests them.

Organizations such as the New York Times either believe that they know what is best for you or that you’re too stupid to decide what information is of interest to you. If I were in charge of the New York Times I’d make all received information publicly available, while anonymizing sources that didn’t want to be identified, and allow the readers to decide if they want to read the curated story or sift through the raw information themselves.