October 28, 2013 Last Updated 7:45 am

In the paper: the NYT’s Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald engage in an online chat about journalism; Bruni column discusses Italy, and by inference, the U.S.

The Guardian continues to lead with NSA, while NYT talks about painkillers

In a lengthy and civil column this morning the NYT’s former editor, and now columnist, Bill Keller engages in an online chat with Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who will be launching his own news organization with the financial help of Pierre Omidyar. Over seven web pages the two share state their views, though in the end one senses that neither will ever really see the world from the other’s point of view.

Readers, for the most part, side with Greenwald. The NYT still has too much baggage it must deal with following its cheerleading for the war in Iraq. In one instance, Greenwald discusses the work of John Burns, the NYT reporter who wrote extensively about the Iraq War and today seems to be limited to covering the royals in London. It is too back that Keller does not respond to Greenwald’s points here as they seem to get to the center of many reader’s criticism of the Grey Lady.

Another small point: Keller refers to Omidyar as Greenwald’s “new employer” – a strange, and a bit condescending way to lead into the subject of Greenwald’s new news venture. Greenwald doesn’t take the bait, but simply uses “we” when discussing the new team.

There is simply no way the very much establishment Keller and the very much anti-establishment Greenwald could ever find common ground. But it was an interesting attempt, nonetheless.


WSJ-spying-frontThe Guardian’s website leads this morning with the news that Spain has summoned the US ambassador after yet more news about NSA spying against world leaders. The NYT, meanwhile, talks about painkillers.

I think this is where the two approaches to news also differ. The NYT appears hypersensitive to criticism that its coverage of NSA spying has had an impact on US foreign relations, how could it not? In the US the conversation is between those who think the media should report on the NSA’s activities and those that say that Edward Snowden has damaged US interests. Actually discussing whether the NSA should be gathering up all that data is off the table.

The WSJ, on the other hand, has no problem continuing to lead with the story, though its take on it appears designed to score political points rather than discuss the implications and fallout from the revelations.


Another column worth reading from the NYT appeared yesterday from Frank Bruni who talks about his recent trip to Italy: Italy Breaks Your Heart.

As with the Keller-Greenwald column, the reader comments, especially from those in Italy or frequent visitors to Italy, are most instructive.

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