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NYT v. TWT: Solomon Fires Back

In a front-page story on health care “scares” in the New York Times this morning, Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes claim that the Washington Times is “decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama.”

From the article:

The specter of government-sponsored, forced euthanasia was raised as early as Nov. 23, just weeks after the election and long before any legislation had been drafted, by an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama, The Washington Times.

The article has caused quite a stir at TWT and from a memo obtained by FishbowlDC, it appears that John Solomon is fuming mad about the accusation:

By now many of you know that The New York Times wrongly and unfairlybesmirched your good reputation in a front-page story this morning about health care. I want you to know that we’ve told the Times and and the rest of the media world that we found it wrong, inaccurate,irresponsible and insulting for the New York Times to brand an entire newspaper as “decidedly opposed” to President Obama because of the voice of its editorial pages. Nothing can be further from the truth when it comes to the hard work of performance of our newsroom. Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news, including that made by the administration.

See Solomon’s full memo after the jump.

“To the Newsroom:

By now many of you know that The New York Times wrongly and unfairly besmirched your good reputation in a front-page story this morning about health care. I want you to know that we’ve told the Times and and the rest of the media world that we found it wrong, inaccurate, irresponsible and insulting for the New York Times to brand an entire newspaper as “decidedly opposed” to President Obama because of the voice of its editorial pages. Nothing can be further from the truth when it comes to the hard work of performance of our newsroom. Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news, including that made by the administration.

We know this because the facts support it. On the morning of the Inauguration, our newspaper’s front page featured an essay by President Obama, the only newspaper in America to do so. Last Sunday, our newspaper accurately described the week of victories President Obama had in Congress. This morning – the very day the New York Times besmirched our newsroom unfairly we featured a front-page interview with White House health care adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel in which he explained the evolution of his thinking on health care rationing.

And when I took over as Executive Editor, I asked that the oversight of the Opinion pages be moved out from under me to ensure there was a bright line between opinion and news gathering in the daily operations of the newspapers.

These are the hallmarks of a newsroom doing factual and fair reporting. I challenge the New York Times to prove otherwise. If they can’t, they should apologize to you and acknowledge that this newsroom puts out a fair, balanced, accurate and compelling new report every day that millions of Americans now consume.

John”

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