Margaret Sullivan Criticizes New York Times Over NSA, Israel Story

NY Times Public Editor Criticizes Newspaper Over NSA, Israel Story

Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times' public editor, criticized the newspaper on Monday over its decision not to cover the Guardian's story about the NSA's relationship with Israel.

Last week, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill reported that the NSA routinely shares "raw intelligence data" that contains information about American citizens with the Israeli government. The story was covered by the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, but not the New York Times.

Sullivan said Monday that she got dozens of complaints from readers, and asked managing editor Dean Baquet about the paper's decision to not cover the story. Sullivan said Baquet told her that he didn't think it was "significant" or "surprising" enough to use resources that could otherwise be devoted to the Times' own original reporting.

"I disagree, however, with Mr. Baquet’s conclusion on this one," she wrote Monday. "I find it to be a significant development and something that Times readers should not have to chase around the Web to find out about. They should be able to read it in The Times."

It was not the first time that Sullivan criticized the Times' coverage of Edward Snowden's NSA revelations. In August, she questioned whether the newspaper had done enough to advance the story after the Guardian broke it months earlier. Since then, the Times has partnered with the Guardian to report on the NSA and also denied the UK's request to destroy Edward Snowden documents — two moves that Sullivan acknowledged and praised on Monday.

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Jill Abramson, executive editor

New York Times

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