As I wrote yesterday, the New York Times has now published three articles (plus several editorials) on Willard’s moving and eloquent speech on Religious Tolerance in America and failed to mention his bigoted comments about Muslims.

After the first article was published, I contacted the reporter, Michael Luo, and asked why he neglected to give even a passing note about Willard’s anti-Muslim remarks. He replied that he didn’t have enough time or space in the column to address the issue, a startling and disturbing admission to say the least.

I contacted Mr. Luo on Thursday again, asking why he didn’t mention Willard’s "No Muslims In My Cabinet" platform in his two subsequent articles.

Here is his response (emphasis mine).

Sigh. I was thinking about you as I wrote yesterday. Crazy deadlines again. Filing for the web, than the IHT, and then for the paper. And throughout the day, multitudes of editors chiming in, telling me things they thought I should include. And to top it all off, at 7 p.m., being asked to write a couple of paragraphs of the differences between mormonism and traditional christianity. Alas, my excuse again is space. That preview of Romney’s speech went from 1300 to 850 words. And today’s story was bursting with information and I still wanted/needed more space.

I guess I would point out that no one other major press that covered the story yesterday mentioned the muslim thing either. Perhaps it was because there is some dispute about what exactly was said. I think it’s more likely, though, they ran into the same problem as I did. Too much other stuff to say. I mean, i only got two paragraphs for reaction into the piece.

Sigh?

This is simply unacceptable. Is the New York Times going to change its motto to "All the news that fits in print?" How can Luo credibly argue that there wasn’t enough space in 3 separate articles to give even a passing mention of Willard’s well-documented remarks, remarks which his paper’s own blog noted?

Come on. There is no "dispute" about what Willard said. The Christian Science Monitor reported the comments, four others came forward, and the Romney camp spun it — while not denying it. And since when does the Paper of Record neglect to accurately cover a story because "no other major press" does?

Enough.

As an aside, I find Luo’s glib dismissal — "the Muslim thing" pretty revolting.

Does anyone think — even for a minute — that if Willard had said he’d exclude blacks, Jews, or Catholics, or anyone other than Muslims from his cabinet, on several occasions, that it would be shrugged off?

Let’s contact the paper’s public editor, Clark Hoyt, and urge him — politely — to correct the record.

Here is his info.

Clark Hoyt, Public Editor

  • E-mail: public@nytimes.com
  • Phone: (212) 556-7652
  • Address: Public Editor
    The New York Times
    620 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10018