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New York Times Criticized for 'Flawed Journalism' About Iraqi Weapons
VOA News
30 May 2004, 18:14 UTC

The house critic for The New York Times says the newspaper engaged in "flawed journalism" by giving too much hype and not enough review to its reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The column by ombudsman Daniel Okrent marks the second time in a week that the Times, one of the United States' leading newspapers, has criticized its own coverage on the weapons issue.

In an note published Wednesday, the Times' editors apologized for publishing reports they said were based on informants advancing what the paper called "misinformation." The editors said stories about weapons-making plants in Iraq and aluminum tubes allegedly used for nuclear weapons could not been verified.

Today, Mr. Okrent criticized editors for placing these kinds of stories on the front page while giving less prominent display to articles that challenged the idea of an Iraqi weapons program.

He also says reporters with questions about certain stories were either ignored by editors or never given the chance to express their reservations.

Mr. Okrent praised the editors' critique published earlier in the week. But he said the note will only be of use if the Times publishes a series of stories detailing the faulty information and analysis that led the U.S. government to believe Saddam had banned weapons at his disposal.