By last Friday afternoon, I was–I admit–in a state of nearly fevered excitement. Al-Aulaqi had just been killed, and there would be a nice, fat, New York Times editorial about it to savage. It would contain errors, internal contradictions, and legal nonsense. And it would be mine–all mine!
Saturday’s paper, which contained not a word from the editorial page, did not diminish my hopes; they’re saving the editorial for Sunday, I thought. I questioned their news judgment, but that’s hardly unusual; I question their judgment in general. The treat would still be mine in a day.
Sunday’s silence made me scratch my head. Why are they holding back?
By Monday morning, I was a little concerned. Are they having trouble figuring out how to denounce the strike and praise Obama at the same time? Are they having trouble figuring out how to blame House Republicans for whichever part of it they don’t like? Do they not want to endorse a counterterrorism move that some day, some Republican president might use and against which the Times might, by that fact alone, feel compelled to muster outrage? Maybe they just haven’t noticed that Al Aulaqi was killed; or maybe they are the only people in the world who have not apprehended the hand of the United States government in this particular “covert” action.
The Tuesday and Wednesday papers have now come and gone–and still no word from the gurus at the Times who never admit errors, which are admittedly easy to avoid if one simply keeps silent. Maybe it’s a good thing. But I am feeling bereft.