Criticized for Our Principles; the New York Times Takes on the Washington Times

Article excerpt


When our editorials make front-page news in an out-of-town newspaper, we know we are doing our job.

On Friday, the New York Times ran a front-page story about the origins of what they called the stubborn yet false rumor that President Obama's health care proposals would create government-sponsored 'death panels' to decide which patients were worthy of living. The article listed The Washington Times editorial board as one of the sources of the death panel notion.

The New York Times noted two of our editorials. Neither of those articles used the expression death panels.

Our first editorial that was criticized appeared Nov. 23, which the New York paper wrote was long before any legislation had been drafted, implying that we were jumping the gun on the issue. But then-President-elect Obama had discussed health care extensively on the campaign trail, so it was fair game to anticipate how his team might seek to implement those proposals. We returned to the topic in February, but the New York Times failed to mention the context, which was a proposal in the stimulus bill then being rushed through Congress that would have established a national database recording every visit to a doctor's office in the interests of promoting efficiency.

We were concerned that efficiency was being used as a code word for health care rationing, and wondered then why congressional Democrats were trying to sneak this major piece of health care legislation through in the stimulus bill if it was as harmless as they made it out to be. …