In reprinting AP story on House resolution condemning NY Times, Post omitted editor's explanation

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In its June 30 reprint of a June 29 Associated Press article about a House resolution condemning the reporting of the Bush administration's financial monitoring program by several media outlets, The Denver Post removed a passage -- included in the original AP article -- in which New York Times executive editor Bill Keller defended the paper's decision to publish the story. By contrast, in its reprint of the AP article, the Rocky Mountain News included Keller's full statement defending the Times.

In its June 30 reprint of a June 29 Associated Press article about a House resolution condemning the reporting of the Bush administration's financial monitoring program by several media outlets, The Denver Post removed a passage -- included in the original AP article -- in which New York Times executive editor Bill Keller defended the paper's decision to publish the story. The AP article noted that the resolution "was aimed at The New York Times and other news media" that reported the program. The Post's version of the AP article included several quotes from congressional Republicans attacking the Times and noted that the resolution claimed the disclosure had "placed the lives of Americans in danger." However, the Post omitted a key portion of Keller's defense that "the administration simply did not make a convincing case that describing our efforts to monitor international banking presented such a danger," as well as Keller's observation that "the administration itself has talked publicly and repeatedly about its successes in the area of financial surveillance."

The Post included quotes from several House Republicans denouncing The New York Times but left out Keller's statement. Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH) was quoted in the Post's edited reprint as saying, "The recent front-page story in the aforementioned New York Times cut the legs out from under this [financial monitoring] program. ... Now the terrorists are well-informed of the details of our methods and will find other ways to move money outside of the formal financial system." The same article noted Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) claim that the Bush administration and the 9-11 commission "went to The New York Times and asked them in the interest of national security not to release the details of this program. ... They went ahead and did it anyway."

The original AP story also included the following information -- which the Post omitted:

Its [the Times'] executive editor, Bill Keller, said in a statement after the House passed the resolution that the paper took seriously the risks of reporting on intelligence.

"We have on many occasions withheld information when lives were at stake," Keller said. "However, the administration simply did not make a convincing case that describing our efforts to monitor international banking presented such a danger. Indeed, the administration itself has talked publicly and repeatedly about its successes in the area of financial surveillance."

The Post's version of the article noted only that "The Times has defended its reporting, saying publication has served public interest." By contrast, the Rocky Mountain News included Keller's full defense of the Times in its June 30 reprint of the AP article.

From the June 29 AP article, as published by The Denver Post on June 30:

The House on Thursday approved a Republican-crafted resolution condemning news organizations for revealing a covert government program to track terrorist financing, saying the disclosure had "placed the lives of Americans in danger."

The resolution, passed 227-183 on a largely party-line vote, did not specifically name the news organizations, but it was aimed at The New York Times and other news media that last week reported on a secret CIA-Treasury program to track millions of financial records in search of terrorists.

[...]

"The recent front-page story in the aforementioned New York Times cut the legs out from under this program," said the Financial Services Committee chairman, Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio. "Now the terrorists are well-informed of the details of our methods and will find other ways to move money outside of the formal financial system."

The administration and the 9/11 Commission "went to The New York Times and asked them in the interest of national security not to release the details of this program," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. "They went ahead and did it anyway."

The Times has defended its reporting, saying publication has served public interest.

The resolution "condemns the unauthorized disclosure of classified information" and "expects the cooperation of all news media organizations in protecting the lives of Americans and the capability of the government to identify, disrupt and capture terrorists by not disclosing classified intelligence programs."

From the June 29 AP article, as published by the Rocky Mountain News on June 30:

The Times has defended its reporting, saying publication has served America's public interest. Its executive editor, Bill Keller, said in a statement after the House passed the resolution that the paper took seriously the risks of reporting on intelligence.

"We have on many occasions withheld information when lives were at stake," Keller said. "However,the administration simply did not make a convincing case that describing our efforts to monitor international banking presented such a danger. Indeed, the administration itself has talked publicly and repeatedly about its successes in the area of financial surveillance."

The resolution "condemns the unauthorized disclosure of classified information"and "expectsthe cooperation of all news media organizations in protecting the lives of Americans and the capability of the government to identify, disrupt and capture terrorists by not disclosing classified intelligence programs such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program."

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