Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

What else can be said about this execrable editorial from the New York Times? It should be considered old and irrelevant news, but if the NYTimes editorial board is going to be as dishonest as their own Bill Safire, someone has to call 'em on it. In ascribing venal motives to Howard Dean's sealing of a bit less than half of his records as Vermont governor, the Times has this to say (emphasis mine):

Whatever the public response, Dr. Dean has certainly made things worse with his own actions. He anticipated this vetting of his past when he first considered a presidential run. And he opted to keep almost half of his records as governor sealed longer than usual, safely beyond the time limits of the eight-year White House incumbency that he covets.
OK, so how long is the time frame for record sealing? 10 years. "Unprecedented!" says the Boston Globe at the top of their article. That is until you actually read past the first two grafs. Here's something about the procedure for sealing records in Vermont, way down in graf 12 (once again, emphasis mine):
In sealing his papers, Dean invoked the doctrine of executive privilege, which the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in 1990 extended to governor's papers.

Theoretically, a governor could indefinitely seal his or her papers under the ruling, said Gregory Sanford, Vermont's archivist. In practice, governors have sought six-year seals. Madeleine Kunin, a Democrat, requested a six-year seal on nearly half her papers. The sealing period starts at the time of her departure from office in 1991. The papers of Richard Snelling, a Republican who died in office in 1991, were also sealed for six years.

Representatives of Kunin and Snelling initially requested 20- to 30-year seals, as did Dean. Dean agreed to 10 years in the course of negotiations, Sanford said.
So much for "longer than usual", eh?. Also note that the sealing period for Madeleine Kunin's and Richard Snelling's records approximately matched their time in office. Dean was in office for more than 10 years.

Oh and Globe reporter, way to contradict yourself after a whole paragraph. Gaffes like that, as well as that rahter transparently dishonest piece of editorial writing at the Times is why we have to have The Daily Howler and the Media Horse.

Link from Daily Kos frequent contributor DHinMI.

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