The NYT has a very long profile on their interactions with Wikileaks, about which I will have more to say.

But I wanted to point to this meeting, which Bill Keller describes as the NYT’s effort to give the government a “heads up” on the diplomatic cables.

Because of the range of the material and the very nature of diplomacy, the embassy cables were bound to be more explosive than the War Logs. Dean Baquet, our Washington bureau chief, gave the White House an early warning on Nov. 19. The following Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, Baquet and two colleagues were invited to a windowless room at the State Department, where they encountered an unsmiling crowd. Representatives from the White House, the State Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the C.I.A., the Defense Intelligence Agency, the F.B.I. and the Pentagon gathered around a conference table. Others, who never identified themselves, lined the walls. A solitary note-taker tapped away on a computer. [my emphasis]

It’s bad enough that–as Keller also reports–the NYT has no secure communications.

But is it also the habit of the NYT to meet with the government–including the FBI–on upcoming stories? For all the NYT’s insistence, with Judy Miller, that they would not be an accomplice to a government investigation, what the hell were they doing meeting with the FBI before they published a story?



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.