How to Get the Government to Ease Up: Involve Scott Shane

This is fairly extraordinary. BuzzFeed reports that in an effort to alleviate some of the pressure from the UK it is bringing in the NYT — but just one reporter from the NYT — to report on the Snowden stories.

“In a climate of intense pressure from the UK government, The Guardian decided to bring in a US partner to work on the GCHQ documents provided by Edward Snowden,” Guardian spokeswoman Jennifer Lindenauer said in an email. “We are continuing to work in partnership with the NYT and others to report these stories.”

That reporter is not James Risen — who of course broke the original NSA story with Eric Lichtblau. It is not Charlie Savage — who had an important story based on the Snowden leaks already.

It is Scott Shane.

The Times’s Charlie Savage and other reporters have chased the NSA story aggressively, despite Snowden’s choice to go to fillmmaker Laura Poitras, theGuardian’s Glenn Greenwald, and Barton Gellman, who has written about the documents for the Washington Post. Snowden said he did not go to the Timesbecause the paper bowed to Bush Administration demands to delay a story on warrantless wiretapping in the interest of national security; he was afraid, he said, the paper would do the same with his revelations.

Now, Times reporter Scott Shane is at work on a series of stories expected to be published next month jointly with the Guardian, a source familiar with the plans said. The source said the internal arrangement has also been the cause of some tension in the newsroom, as other national security reporters working on the NSA story — Savage and James Risen, among others — are not centrally involved in stories based on the Guardian’s documents.

Scott Shane has an increasingly consistent ability to tell grand tales that serve the interests of The Powers that Be. And somehow his stories about extremely sensitive subjects like drones don’t get chased for leaks.

Was the alleviation of pressure tied to Scott Shane in particular, a journalist who hasn’t followed this story as closely as some of his colleagues?

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @gregorylent Thanks for recommending I do. @niubi
emptywheel @MoonofA Precisely--that is what it looks like, which makes NYT look like propaganda organ. @Sulliview
emptywheel @MikeW_CA That's one reason I ask. If you're translating human rights articles on behalf of USG, you should say so.
emptywheel Translated today: Canadan Miss World contestant barred entry, cloning center set to open Not translated: Guo Feixiong sentence, mil overhaul
emptywheel @GregDjerejian That's sort of what I think. Tho this was not translated.
emptywheel RT @empiricalerror: @emptywheel This was originally reported by BILD, so *high* chance of it turning out to be complete bullshit.
emptywheel It SEEMS like NYT always makes stories on Chinese corruption/crackdowns available. Fine. But why not others?
emptywheel Really wish NYT would explain thought process behind articles it makes available in Mandarin. @Sulliview
emptywheel Guns Paris terrorists used bought fr Darknet provider--but they found proof fr emails... Were THEY not encrypted?
emptywheel @laurenist Does it matter? You'll enjoy yourself (and may well have done it anyway). @REI
emptywheel @davidsirota Right. Glad NYT adding pressure, but if transparency advocates just learning this they're not doing their job.
emptywheel @ppppolls I'd be interested in cross tabs of Deflategate opponents and presidential support.