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
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
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.