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2:10 PM, Mar 11, 2009 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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In an email to Greg Sargent, New York Times editor Doug Jehl explained the paper's decision to skip covering Chas Freeman:

We did initially elect not to write a story about the campaign against Mr. Freeman. In deciding how to deploy our reporters, my initial judgment was that this squabble fell short of the bar, since the head of the National Intelligence Council is not a Senate-confirmable position and it lies well below cabinet rank.

But the fact that the campaign proved successful certainly justified Mark Mazzetti's story in this morning's paper, and we are continuing our reporting efforts today.

It's interesting that Jehl seems to think that the news here is "the campaign against Mr. Freeman," rather than the selection of Freeman itself. It gets tiresome to play the "what if Bush had done this" game, but it seems likely that if George W. Bush had picked someone who had made the statements Freeman had -- defending the Chinese at Tienanmen, praising Saudi reflection after 9/11, "King Abdullah the Great," etc. -- the Times might have found it more newsworthy.