Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Gordon of 'NYT,' Criticized for Using Unnamed Sources on Iran Story, Returns with More of Same

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Gordon of 'NYT,' Criticized for Using Unnamed Sources on Iran Story, Returns with More of Same

Article excerpt

If you wrote an extremely high-profile article for the most influential newspaper in the land that subsequently was widely criticized for its utter reliance on anonymous sources, would you produce a followup five days later, also based on unnamed sources?

That's what Michael R. Gordon did today in The New York Times.

On Saturday, he had written a much-disputed front-page story on weapons from Iran now being used to kill Americans in Iraq, under the direction or at least with the knowledge of top Iranian leaders. Even Gen. Peter Pace and then President Bush backed away from the certainty about Iranian leaders. Gordon opened his story today with this: "One of the questions posed by skeptics about the Bush administration assertions about Iran's meddling in Iraq is why the charges are coming to light only now, when American officials say the shipment of lethal weapons from Iran to Shiite militias was first detected several years ago."

Gordon then aimed to quiet the skeptics, citing only the following sources: "American officials". …

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