Showing classic journalistic hypocrisy, New York Times reporter Nicholas Fandos shared the Democrats’ alarm that Republicans may actually reveal what the country’s domestic surveillance organization is doing behind closed doors in his report for Tuesday’s front page, “Republicans Vote to Release A Secret Memo.”
The story’s one photo was captioned with similar Democratic alarm:
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Monday that it has been a “sad day” for the committee and that Republicans had voted “to politicize the intelligence process.”
An aggrieved Fandos led with criticism of the Republican vote to release the now-famous four-page memo.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, disregarding Justice Department warnings that their actions would be “extraordinarily reckless,” voted Monday evening to release a contentious secret memorandum said to accuse the department and the F.B.I. of misusing their authority to obtain a secret surveillance order on a former Trump campaign associate.
The vote, made along party lines, threw fuel on an already fiery partisan conflict over the investigations into Russia’s brazen meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans invoked a power never before used by the secretive committee to effectively declassify the memo that they had compiled....
Democrats called the three-and-a-half-page document a dangerous effort to build a narrative to undercut the department’s continuing Russia investigation, using cherry-picked facts assembled with little or no context....
Fandos loaded up his story with Democratic-approved distractions.
People familiar with the underlying application have portrayed the Republican memo as misleading in part, they say, because Mr. Steele’s information was insufficient to meet the standard for a FISA warrant. They said the application drew on other intelligence material that the Republican memo selectively omits....
There is no known precedent for the Republicans’ action. Though House rules allow the Intelligence Committee to vote to disclose classified information if it is deemed to be in the public interest, the rule is not thought to have ever been used. Typically, lawmakers wishing to make public secretive information classified by the executive branch spend months, if not years, fighting with the White House and the intelligence community over what they can release.
The New York Times, concerned over disclosing classified information? Conservatives on Twitter snarked it up over the NYT’s hypocrisy.
Mollie Hemingway: “If you love publishing anonymously sourced, unverified, suspiciously partisan leaks regarding national security but fret about public claims made by Congress as part of its Constitutional oversight duties, you might be a journalist.”
James Taranto: “Hasn't the NYT effectively declassified an awful lot of secret info over the years?”
Indeed, just last year the paper was forced to explain why they published the name of a covert CIA official (it wasn’t convincing).
This is the same New York Times that gleefully spilled the details of secret anti-terrorist programs during the Bush administration and printed the trove of classified diplomatic cables from the Wikileaks hack. It’s a bit late to get huffy about keeping classified intel secret.